Authority to make decisions concerning the Harlem Independent Living Center’s programs and services rest with the Board of Directors. The official role of the Board is limited and specific: determining the policies by which the Center is governed.
The Board of Directors, under the leadership of Dr. Keith Taylor, Chairman, represents the community and provides general oversight of the work of the Center. Implementation of Center policies and daily operational control is the responsibility of the Executive Director, who reports to the Board. The members of the Board have no formal organizational ties to the Center or its staff. With the exception of unusual instances, the Board does not become involved in the day-to-day operations of the Center.
Because the membership of the Board is composed largely of people with disabilities, it is required by law to maintain a 51% majority of disabled representatives. The relationship between the Board and the Center mirrors the relationship of the Board and the community.
The Board shall:
- Enforce anti-discrimination policies
- Ensure the Center is an equal opportunity employer
- Implement compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) including but not limited to reasonable accommodations to all Board members, Center staff, consumers, volunteers, applicants, and visitors.
The Board itself may benefit from the programs and services the Center maintains. As area residents, Board members are likely to perceive the needs of the community for services the Center might develop and provide. The Board’s primary focus lies in the overall management of the Center’s performance, growth, and progress by establishing policies that ensure its operations are effective, legal, and fair.
Each HILC Board member is required to be well informed on the issues and rights of persons with disabilities. Board members are strong advocates of the Independent Living Movement and represent the Center to public and private entities as such.
- By-Laws: Rules that govern the management of the activity of the Board of Directors are necessary and mandated and must be supported by each Board Member.
- Long-Range Planning and Development: Long-range goals extend more than a two-year period in the Center’s future and are usually used to provide direction to the Center’s operations. Members assess future community needs and assist in planning fiscal budgets, grant research, fundraising efforts, and other financial aspects of the Center.
- Management of Center Funds: It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that Center funds are allocated and spent efficiently and effectively in delivering services. Board members must support any fundraising efforts of the Center.