Dr. Hasshan Batts, DHSc, LCSW is a survivor, healer, mentor, community leader, father and friend. Dr. Batts currently services Allentown and surrounding areas in his role as Executive Director at Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV). As a healthcare and community development consultant, he has invested over 20 years to become a leading expert in trauma-informed care, restorative practices and reentry. Hasshan’s experience is immense in both depth and range. As a practitioner he has helped countless individuals, families and organizations address issues including equity, program development and strategic planning. Hasshan is also a sought-after subject matter expert, sharing his methodologies on trauma-informed care and community engagement with hundreds of healthcare professionals and administrators.
Hasshan continues to contribute to the advancement of his field as a professional leader and researcher. He is a former Rider-Pool Collective impact fellow and founding member of both The Society for the Healing & Study of Historical Trauma and the NE Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. Dr. Batts is also a board member of the Resurrected Community Development Corporation. Hasshan is a published researcher and has delivered keynote addresses for fundraisers, graduations, banquets and conferences. The passion to learn, teach and share is not limited to his professional life. Dr. Batts is a community and political leader in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley. His efforts help to mobilize the people of the city in the execution of his vision of Allentown as a city without limits. As a youth Hasshan faced the perils of poverty and a broken education system which
eventually placed him in the hands of the justice system. "I had been treated like garbage for most of my young life, and as a result, began to treat the world around me as garbage," says Batts. Hopelessness and despair were my everyday reality." His story is one of hope,
redemption and the transformative power of hope – a story that is the same as so many people who need help finding their way towards a future that is different form their past.
In April 2018, Batts interviewed as candidate for interim mayor of Allentown. Although he was ultimately not selected due to a technicality, he had the overwhelming support of the people and of many members of the City Council. Councilmember Cynthia Mota was the holdout who maintained her vote for Batts through 12 rounds in an act of solidarity. “We need to give people hope," she argued. Hope is an abstract idea, but Dr. Batts is realizing hope in practical ways. His work in the healthcare sector as a practitioner and administrator addresses both emotional and mental healing. His guiding principle is that “healing occurs within relationships and in community”. The other side of Batts’ hope manifests in his community and political leadership. Hasshan is proof that people can change for the better and in ways that may seem impossible at the start, and he is bringing that brand of hope to everyone he meets. Dr. Batts holds a joint Master's Degree in Social Work from North Carolina A&T University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Doctorate degree in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
"Dr. Hassan Batts has made a significant impact on my life in a very short time. I have rarely been in a relationship where I was mentoring someone while being mentored at the same time. He is a great listener and asked poignant questions to better understand who he is interacting with at any given time. He has in a very short period of time impacted the city of Allentown as it relates to Black and Brown people more than any other leader, I can remember outside of a few Pastors that have established churches for 20 years or more. I am proud to be his colleague and friend."
- Dwayne Jones, Chief Executive Officer at Preventive Measure Inc. and Found of the PM Foundation.