Focus on Community Ministry Partners and Racial Equity
KINSHIP SENIOR CENTER
The Kinship Center at 921 S. Carrollton Avenue has been a part of SCAPC’s outreach ministries since the church, along with five other area churches, helped start this day program for underserved seniors in 1977. Kinship continues to offer varied programming, activities, meals, and resources to active seniors aged 60 and up. Kinship is a congregate site for Meals on Wheels and for many it is the only hot meal they may receive.
Director Elaine Looney has shared that at Kinship Center the population is about 89 percent African Americans between the ages of 65 and 96. “Like any social organization that serves the community we understand that it is vital to meet our clients where they are in diversity, culture, and socioeconomic status. One of the initiatives we have undertaken in light of the pandemic is educating ourselves about having racially sensitive conversations about prevention of Covid-19 and the attitudes about the vaccine,” said Looney.
“As we know African Americans have a long history of being exploited through medical practices (ie Tuskegee Project, etc.), and so there can be a higher level of mistrust of the medical community, understandably so. My case manager and I are both licensed social workers, so we reached out to our networks so that we are able to have culturally sensitive conversations about the importance of the vaccine and any misunderstanding,” Looney said.
In addition, when Looney started as director a few years ago, she instituted a code of conduct and policies and procedures that each member signed and read. These outline a culture of inclusivity, welcome and safety at the Kinship Center. Racially charged insults are unacceptable at the center. Kinship participants and employees work to create a culturally competent and safe environment for all races and ethnicities. If you’d like to learn more about Kinship, go to their website at kinshipnola.org