Access to Racial and Cultural Health Institute, Inc. (ARCH) was established as a Virgin Islands non-profit on November 20, 2003. The purpose of ARCH is to provide technical assistance, organizational management services, and develop culturally specific prevention programs for youth and young adults in the USVI. ARCH mission is to increase access to racially and culturally appropriate environments for the overall improvement in the quality of life in the USVI.
ARCH seeks to establish safe and healthy communities by designing and implementing culturally specific youth and young adult education, prevention, early intervention strategies and include significant adults, youth-led/adult guided programming. In 2002, an opportunity was presented whereby the founder, Averette Mhoon Parker, MD, assisted in the development of a grant proposal to provide youth substance use and HIV prevention services. In 2002, ARCH was awarded its first grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP); the Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) and HIV Prevention (HIVP) Planning Grant to develop an integrated SAP and HIVP youth program in St Croix. The program was named the Coalition of Adolescents and Young Adults (CAYA) Media Project. This federal grant propelled and galvanized ARCH prevention efforts, including spearheading the organization of an ongoing island-wide advisory council on youth SAP and HIVP issues. Since 2002, ARCH has continued to provide prevention services to youth and young adults with funding from SAMHSA and the USVI.
Check out this great video about ARCH!