Community Empowerment Association (CEA) was founded in 1993 in order to establish an organized, structural approach to address the specific needs of at-risk families in distressed, marginalized communities. CEA’s success emanated through its grassroots origins serving residents of predominantly African American, inner-city communities in Pittsburgh.

Centuries of racism, prejudice, and marginalization have created a multitude of socio-cultural risk factors among contemporary African Americans that have slowly eroded the foundation of the black family and cause a myriad of daily challenges with regard to survival and quality of life.

CEA’s mission is to create spaces of empowerment, education, and fellowship that reconstruct and fortify the cultural foundation of the black family. Additionally, by consistently generating jobs and economic sustainability, CEA serves as an institutional foundation for the strengthening of black communities.

Over the years, the organization’s growth into a full-service, multi-systemic organization in Allegheny County has demonstrated the indisputable need for human and social service agencies that value the unique historical experiences and cultural influences of African Americans.  

Understanding that African Americans respond more readily to this type of social service intervention, CEA has developed its own Afrocentric Paradigm. This model centers around the African and African American culture and experience as a moral compass, viewing our people as subjects in our stories rather than as victims who operate on the fringes of society. In this way, CEA strengthens and nurtures the self-esteem and ethnic identity of Black youth while simultaneously improving their abilities to reason, listen, be attentive, build high aspirations, and advance language, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

CEA’S Distinctive Programming works within four identified life-domains

  •        Individual
  •        Family
  •        Community
  •        School

and is guided by 8 core Program components to impact family and community changes:

  •        Personal Growth & Development
  •        Educational Support
  •        Cultural Enrichment
  •        Economic/Career Exploration
  •        Health and Wellness
  •        Community Service
  •        Recreational Activities
  •        Family Empowerment

Evidence Based Practice

In order to achieve continual refinement of quality of client services, service outcomes, and organization performance, Excellence Research, Inc (ERI) is providing evidence based evaluative research services designed to help optimize staff performance, client satisfaction and service outcomes. With guidance from ERI (with over 25 years of experience is conducting applied evaluative and organizational development research), CEA is continually focused on maximizing quality assurance, intervention effectiveness, and organizational performance.