Ezrach Braintrust Association- Community Needs Survey Webinar
On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, Ezrach Braintrust Association held a webinar to discuss the launch of their community needs survey.The webinar brought together various community leaders and organizations to discuss ways to collaborate in commencing the survey, as well as future community projects.
Ezrach is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to provide economic opportunity, growth and sustainability to underserved communities, through faith and community based organizations. The team consists of a Board of Directors and Advisory Board of diverse thought leaders, with a mission to positively change the trajectory of the SPA-6 community.
To welcome guests and initiate the webinar was the sound of Kirk Franklin’s song ‘I Smile’ which set the pace for the discussions that followed. To commence the discussion, guests received a warm welcome and the agenda for the webinar from volunteer researcher, Trevor Basham, who also introduced the Co-Founder and President of Ezrach Braintrust Association, Daniel Ferguson.
Daniel Ferguson, a Los Angeles native, has over 10 years of workforce development experience in assisting at risk unemployed youth and adults. Following his introduction, he thanked everyone for their attendance and shared the vision of the organization. He stated Ezrach Braintrust Association has initiatives aimed to “mitigate unhealthy city conditions, to combat chronic unemployment and eradicate financial and digital literacy, by launching project Bethany, which is their economic resiliency plan.
Next, Co-Founder and Chief Thought Officer, Shahiid Ali, joined to share how the vision will impact the community. He enticed attendees with a proverb that illustrated the meaning of Ezrach. Ezrach is a hebrew word for a strong tree with roots attached to native lands and soil, however, Shahiid emphasized the importance of the roots, sap and branches. He stated “the strong roots attached to native land and soil symbolize the organization, while the sap is project Bethany and the branches are community partners.” The sap is where initiatives and projects reside and is the channel, which permits communication between community partners and Ezrach.
Bishop Lindsay Emery, Pastor of Christ temple Cathedral and first site for Project Bethany, joined next and agreed through his expression of delight and privilege, to be partnered with Ezrach Braintrust Association. He highlighted the church's focus on the community and the initiatives taken to serve the community, such as the role of the church as the community voting center, the youth ministry headquartered there and serving as the first project Bethany site.
Proceeding his sentiments, enrapt listeners were introduced to the advisory board and informed on how Project Bethany aligns with the priorities of the community. Attendees also received an overview of the survey from the Pennsylvania State University team of researchers, who also serve as advisory board members.