Greetings from the National President
As President of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), I have the pleasure of welcoming you, on behalf of NFBPA’s more than 2600 members representing more than 350 jurisdictions in 40 states. Founded in 1983, NFBPA is a professional membership organization dedicated to the advancement of Black leadership in the public sector. Over the years, the membership has grown to include managers and executives in virtually all disciplines represented in state and local governments. In addition to public service professionals, the association embraces graduate students, deans and faculty at schools of public administration and executives in the corporate sector.
I believe each person and group are brought here with a purpose. The purpose of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, as stated in our mission, is to strengthen, increase and prepare Blacks in senior public management, as well as those aspiring for a career in the field. This group has been taught to view the world as a color-blind society. They may question whether the word “Black,” as listed in our name, is needed to define who we are. The response is as clear as our history has taught us: We can never take for granted the accomplishments of the past, which has taught us that who we are is just as important as what we stand for and believe in. As we look at the issues our cities are forced to address each day, we see there is still much work to be done. For this reason, we must move forward with a renewed purpose and commitment to promote the advancement and education of Black public administrators.
With just over 2,600 members, we need a renewed focus on enhancing our membership base and our mission. As I identified in my remarks during our Marks of Excellence Banquet, I will focus my administration on these three Rs: Recruit, Reactivate and Rejuvenate.
RECRUIT: If we are to continue to thrive, we must invest time and energy in recruiting new members so we may grow to fulfill our destiny of greatness. To do this, we must get them interested, involved and committed to the mission and vision of NFBPA.
REACTIVATE: Not only do we need to seek new members, but we need to identify those we have lost. As our mission becomes increasingly clear, we must attempt to understand not only how to get people to the table, but also how to keep them there. As leaders, we will actively focus on bringing those individuals back into our NFBPA family.
REJUVENATE: Finally, we must rejuvenate our mission growth, education and exposure. We must be the leaders in reminding this nation of all that Black public administrators bring to the table. To do this, we must ensure people understand how important, relevant and meaningful NFBPA is to them on a personal and professional level. With this rejuvenation, we find ourselves in a period of growth and determination to work together for our future. So today, I take my strength and courage from those who sacrificed so much to get us to where we are today.
Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides, President