Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI) is a trauma-informed community based orginization (CBO), specializing in developing and delivering culturally-reflective services to Southeast Asians and other low-income refugees and immigrants who have fled war, genocide, torture, imprisonment, political unrest, and other forms of persecution. Its mission is “to improve the social, psychological, and economic health of families in which one or more individuals have been affected by war trauma, genocide, torture, or another form of extreme trauma.”
CERI came into existence in December 2005, when about 100 Cambodian refugees who had been receiving mental health services at another East Bay agency for three years were abruptly informed that their program was closing due to lack of funding. These clients were all survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide, which took the lives of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979.
Dr. Mona Afary, a psychologist trained in trauma work, was at the time overseeing counseling services for these particular clients. Dr. Afray worked together with other experts who were also working with survivors to create a new nonprofit to address the ongoing needs of these clients with an aim to expand to other refugees and immigrants who had also experienced war trauma. The result was the creation of CERI, incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2006.
Today CERI is a thriving agency with a client population that has tripled to 300 clients (adults, children, youth). CERI is governed by a seven-person board of directors, which includes members who are immigrants or refugees. The staff is 83 percent refugee/immigrants with 58 percent Southeast Asian and multilingual capacity.
Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI) is a trauma-informed community based orginization (CBO), specializing in developing and delivering culturally-reflective services to Southeast Asians and other low-income…
|Communications and Donor Relations Manager||Oakland, CA||April 19, 2021|