In 2009, pre-funding, the Faces 4 Change (F4C) Drug-Free Community (DFC) Coalition was formed in the Northeast (NE) neighborhood of Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Youth Popular Culture Institute had already been volunteering in Harrisonburg for several years serving with youth serving organizations and local government agencies in the fields of positive youth engagement and youth substance use prevention. One of YPCI’s co-founders is indigenous to the Harrisonburg NE community, and the idea was always to bring their resources and skill sets “home” – particularly because their expertise was successfully supporting funded DFCs in other parts of the country.
The late Dr. Doris Harper Allen served as an inspiration for the community collaboration required for the 2009, then unfunded Coalition. Allen was a local historian, author, and community activist. JMU awarded Allen an honorary doctorate in 2019. She, along with all of us, would be proud to know that Faces 4 Change is a now funded and thriving community coalition.
Doris Harper Allen, Ph.D.