Dr. Onwubiko Agozino

January 24, 2011

The Caribbean region remains one of the most vibrant sites of learning in the world today; yielding the inventors of many genres of music, the inventors of musical instruments, master artists, creative writers, original theorists, giants of the struggle for social justice, excellent sports persons, and an incredible number of beauty queens– all lettered or unlettered.

By Azuka Nzegwu (March 8, 2006)

Overview of Management and Strategy Issues

The Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), formerly known as the Rheedlen Centers for Children and Families was facing problems with management and strategy. Started in 1979 by Richard Murphy to help truants in Manhattan’s upper west side community, the organization also had a range of programs to address disadvantaged populations such as the elderly and the homeless. During the 1990s, the Harlem’s Children’s Zone was growing rapidly under a dynamic leader, Geoffrey Canada. Because of the growth, the organization needed to evaluate their programs and determine where their efforts should be concentrated to reap the most social investment. As the organization grew, the need of evaluating and identifying the strengths became crucial, as well as sustaining that organizational growth. The management and strategy issue the organization faced, which plagues other nonprofits is effective resource allocation in mission-critical program. Second, organizations that do not have a mechanism of evaluating the programs cannot determine their effectiveness or if the programs are producing results that will further the organization’s mission. The inability to demonstrate their commitment to their mission will make it difficult to secure future funding. If organizations, such as HCZ with an ambitious goal of educating every poor child in a 64-block area in Harlem are to achieve their goals, they need to understand their long-term plan and to be able to inform funders as to how they are meeting their milestone if they want to receive funding to continue to grow. These are some of the problems Harlem Children’s Zone faced. Essentially, the organization needed a way to effectively manage their operations, secure long-term funding, evaluate their programs, and meet their intended impact.

By Azuka Nzegwu (April 19, 2006)

Brief Summary of the Transformation of the Seattle Day Nursery Association

The Seattle Day Nursery (SDN) was created in 1909 to serve the childcare needs of parishioners of the First Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington. The shift of traditional roles and family imbalance caused women to become sole providers of their families, thereby increasing the need of childcare services. Meanwhile in 1921, SDN became a charter member of the United Way. During the 1960s, Mildred Reed, a social worker, became the first professional executive director and formed a strategic coalition with another organization to provide daycare services to low-income families. Plagued with problems with resource management and looting of the fund by a staff member, plus her involvements with other initiatives led to Reed’s resignation. In 1973, the Board of Trustees hired an executive director with twenty years of experience in nonprofit and welfare organization. Pat Gogerty stepped in to rescue the failing organization and created innovative programs that not only changed the organization but have sparked much-needed debate in the field.

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