HARLEM WELLNESS CENTER INC

Harlem Wellness Center strengthens communities through health justice and racial healing.

aka Harlem Wellness Center -Partner Project of the Fund for the city of New York   |   New York, NY   |  harlemwellness.org

Mission

Our mission is to close the racial health gap by providing access to innovative and holistic wellness programs that empower individuals, strengthen communities, and create spaces where all can connect, heal, and thrive.

Ruling year info

2014

Founder/Executive Director

Vivian Williams-Kurutz

Main address

P.O Box 1402 Harlem Wellness Center_ FCNY

New York, NY 10025 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-3877817

NTEE code info

Physical Fitness/Community Recreational Facilities (N30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We address health inequity through an innovative approach that includes awareness building, education, programming, practice and community connection. In doing so, HWC aims to disrupt the longstanding upward pattern towards avoidable, unjust adult onset diseases (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, CAD) prevalent in communities of color. Harlem neighborhoods include blocks in West Harlem, Central Harlem, East Harlem and Hamilton Heights. Data for Central Harlem (taken from 2015) shows the alarming health statistics of a significant part of the population. This represents the population HWC has served from inception. While there have been some changes in the demographics of Harlem in the past few years, these numbers from 2015 reflect that the trend has continued and HWC is invested in stalling and reversing it.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Health and Wellness

Harlem Wellness Center’s mission is to close the health gap through access to innovative and holistic wellness programs that empower individuals, strengthen communities, and create spaces where all can connect, heal and thrive.

Working at intersection of racial, health and environmental justice, our focus areas are:
1) Racial Justice
2) Elder Health
3) Women's Health (with a spotlight on Black maternal/infant mortality)
4) Community Wellness
5) Environmental, food, water, and land justice

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
Multiracial people
Health
Age groups

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Harlem Wellness Center (HWC) believes that good health is foundational for reaching one's highest potential and aspirations. Sustained balance, and wellness of the body, mind and spirit is an integral part of reaching one's goals because it enables the growth and hope of individuals, families and communities. HWC is creating a healthier world one neighbor, one block and one community at a time. It is committed to improving the quality and longevity of life for Harlem residents by educating, motivating and supporting lifelong healthy living practices. Our team of qualified community-minded teachers accomplish this through a comprehensive health and wellness curriculum that includes yoga, mindfulness meditation, holistic healing modalities (e.g. massage, reiki, sound therapy), personal development workshops, support circles, healthy eating and cooking, access to local farm food, retreats and a place of belonging. HWC's partnership and outreach projects meet the community where they are in public schools, senior centers, public housing, faith based organizations, shelters and CBOs.

HWC values positive social connection as an important component to wellness. For the good of the neighborhood and world, we facilitate relationship building between diverse groups of peoples (racially, socio-economically, gender-wise, culturally and generationally) that make up the fabric of Harlem. Through the Racial Healing Hub HWC, we aspire to be agents of reconciliation in an ever changing neighborhood and world.

HWC strategically addresses its goals on these three levels:

Individual: Through regular engagement in program activities designed to nurture the total person, we have documented adaptive behavior changes that improve the quality of individual lives and expect to compound the number of individuals gaining the benefits of programming in areas of emotional support, mindfulness practices, alternative healing modalities, yoga and exercise classes, nutrition education and personal development workshops. Individuals transfer knowledge and experiences to family and friends to create a positive cycle of impact.

Community: We understand that the stress and obstacles resulting from systemic racism, marginalization, unemployment and underemployment, low wealth, and insecure infrastructure requires communal support and healing in addition to individual healing through transformative practices. Logs in a fire burn brighter when close together. We are attentive to building a web of interpersonal connections and accountability that inspires retention, healthy behaviors, and a transference of learning through intergenerational family and friend networks.

Systemic:
In addition to seeing the quality of life improve for individuals and families actively participating in our programs we understand that leveling the playing field will involve connecting to larger movements in the area of maternal health, environmental justice, and health and racial equity. Rather than working to fix the current system, we collaborate with individuals and organizations working to build new systems to increase impact.

Harlem Wellness Center is an established 501c3 organization started by community members through a grassroots effort. Vivian Williams- Kurutz, a leader in the Harlem health movement since 2004, along with community members, founded Harlem Wellness Center in 2013 to address health disparity by educating, supporting and engaging populations most vulnerable to onset disease in healthy lifestyle behaviors. Our staff is representational of people most impacted by issues of racial and health inequity. Community members are stakeholders and curators and shape how HWC exercises its mission.

The pillars that support the infrastructure and efficacy of Harlem Wellness Center are:

-Community Power: Ownership, champions, advocates and volunteerism, financial investment

-Board of Directors: Bring a depth of professional and personal skillsets to our organization (business acumen, marketing/media, legal, event planning, strategic planning, community relations, organizational development)

-New York Women's Foundation: HWC is multi-year NYWF Early Investment grantee

-Fund for the City of New York: As a partner project of the Fund for the City of New York. The FCNY supports HWC through fiscal management and governance, allowing HWC to focus on its mission and to expand its impact through innovative programming, communications, and community fundraising.

-Harlem Wellness Center has successfully delivered programs funded by: NYWF, The Robin Hood Foundation, United Way/BET, NorthStar, NY Community Trust, Columbia Community Service, Office of the Manhattan Borough President, Apollo & 125th St BID, Kota Alliance, Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Covid-19 pandemic, devastating loss of a great number of lives in our community, economic crisis and outcry for racial justice has been painful and exhausting. A pressing need for our services, and our pivots to meet needs in an ever changing climate have led to a deepening in our commitment to do what we do. While sheltering in place throughout the past year, HWC has not only survived but expanded through a seamless transition to virtual programming and added attention to capacity building for sustainability.

Racial Justice: One of the ways we work to bend the arc toward equity is through our Mindfulness Based Racial Healing program. Our process is thoughtful, challenging and well balanced as we pursue racial justice with attention to personal care. The Racial Healing Lab for Women (Lab): seeks to affect fundamental changes to institutionalized structures perpetuating racial inequity through processes that inspire personal transformation and the collective power of a diverse group of women as change agents.

On January 19, 2021, the fifth annual National Day of Racial Healing, Harlem Wellness Center launched our Racial Healing Hub. Utilizing an interactive arts based framework, our events in public spaces and facilitated conversations are centered on the theme: truth, reconciliation and transformation.

Elders: In a culture where elders are treated as invisible, HWC gives special attention to the health and wellbeing of seniors. Our Better With Age Senior Employment program provides supplemental income to retirees living on a fixed income. The extra income helps them fund essential, incidental and personal needs and wants. On an emotional, mental and physical level our senior program provides social connection, creates opportunities for seniors to lead and be seen, share their gifts, stay mobile and continuing learning and growing. Our activities are evidenced to help stave off depression, atrophy, loneliness and physical decline. As HWC program assistants, participants in the Better With Age program are central to operation and culture building.

Food: Understanding the connection between the physical, mental, emotional psycho-social, we utilize a myriad of entry points to promote healing and wholeness. To promote physical health HWC secured grants from multiple foundations to purchase and distribute more than 5,000 weekly 15lb boxes of local farm produce through family shelters, senior centers, public housing and CBOs.

Mental/Emotional Health: Through our support groups and wellness circles, we promote talk therapy, somatic healing, social connectivity, rest and joy.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

HARLEM WELLNESS CENTER INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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HARLEM WELLNESS CENTER INC

Board of directors
as of 11/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robye Wallace

Vivian Williams-Kurutz

Harlem Wellness Center

Robye Wallace

Consultant

Kate Van Hulzen

Fidelity Investments

Phoebe-Sade Arnold

Director Of Community Affairs at Columbia University

Kirsti Samuels

Executive Director ALN and Professor at Columbia University

Serge Lambert

Harlem Wellness Center

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/20/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability