What We Do
MENTORSHIP WITH INTEGRATED ARTS
HEALING-CENTERED YOUTH WORKSHOPS
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAININGS
HOW WE EMBRACE THE COMMUNITY
In Defense of Girlhood Workshops
These youth sessions provide girls ages 5-11yrs, an opportunity to uniquely advocate for their childhood through their shared interest in playing with dolls. Peer discussions and topics of interest are cultivated and supported by a therapist leading the sessions. This effort aims to lower adultification perceptions in schools and family systems, by increasing awareness of bias and informing educators about how to teach in an environment where Black girls have an equal opportunity to succeed.
Therapeutic Mentorship and Arts Integration
Center for the Empowerment of Families has a long history of of proven outcomes from our participants receiving long term mentorship from arts and mental health professionals. Students report improved coping skills and conflict resolution, and more than 80% of our participants report improved family or caregiver engagement. In 2018, more than 78% of our youth participants reported increased interest in arts as a tool to cope with short and long term stress. Over the years, we have observed students discover their gifts as "artists" for the first time. Our professional teaching artists work with youth in parks and recreation centers, juvenile and adult detention facilities, mental health centers, continuation schools, public housing sites, and faith-based communities.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Trauma Informed Trainings
CEF has provided state certified Trauma Informed Care trainings to more than 2800K law enforcement staff, including Los Angeles County Probation Department.
Other student participant agencies include Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) teachers, members of the American Association of Probation and Parole, and members of the California Probation Parole and Corrections Association.
CEF teaching artists receive bi-monthly 8hr trauma informed care and health centered trainings.
THE DANCE FOR HEALING PROJECT
After acceptance to the Grantsmanship Center in 2014, Center for the Empowerment of Families, Inc. and Pony Box Dance Theatre Executive Directors pitched similar goals for youth programming. This objective was responsible for pioneering the first mentorship program that would integrate ballet programming in Juvenile Halls. In October 2016, CEF vetted a teaching artist for a two week pilot at Los Angeles County's Eastlake Juvenile Hall entitled "The Grace Behavior". This program included girls ages 14-16 who were able to experience the benefits of healing through movement therapy and its value to their mental and physical health. CEF introduced "Healing Through Ballet" in 2016, through a reel video and GofundMe to initiate the process of funding to sustain the project for future dance programs. The "Ballet For Healing" Phase II introduced the choreography of Pony Box Dance Theatre, also a fellow recipient of the Annenberg Alchemy Grant. The partnership of Center for the Empowerment of Families, Inc. and Pony Box Dance Theatre, officially combined mentorship and therapeutic dance services through The Dance for Healing Project, to LA County underserved youth and families. Our partners include LAUSD, LA County Probation Department's Juvenile Halls, Long Beach Memorial Hospital, and several Foster Care and Group Homes throughout Los Angeles. Serviced populations include special needs youth and adults; sex trafficked girls and boys groups; homeless minors and domestic violence victims have all benefited from The Dance for Healing Project.