CEA Overview & Philosophy

Community Empowerment Association Inc. (CEA) was organized by Mr. T. Rashad Byrdsong in 1994 to address the needs of the children, youth, adults, and families among African American communities. CEA utilizes an Afrocentric strategy of integrating culture, social identity and empowerment techniques to effectively achieve desirable goals and objectives. Major mission of CEA is to empower communities and families by providing high quality, well-managed, innovative services, including family support services, education, housing, economic development, and employment. Core belief of CEA is that families develop best in a community with a sense of order, positive social interaction, and opportunities supported by positive adults. CEA's cultural frameworks are clearly unique to human and social service providers in the Pittsburgh region. CEA capitalizes on the powerful role that cultural influences play within the African American communities.

CEA's distinctive programming works within four identified life-domains (individual, family, community, school), and is guided by 8 core program components which history and research has shown impact family and community changes for self-sufficiency. In order to work with youth, parents and families to strengthen protective factors for keeping children healthy and well, CEA is focused on serving its participants through these 8 core program components -- Personal Growth & Development, Educational Support, Cultural Enrichment, Economic/Career Exploration, Health and Wellness, Community Service, Recreational Activities, and Family Empowerment.

awesomeEmpowerment begins when these factors are positively addressed in consistent and resourceful ways. Hence, as a culturally responsive and community-driven social services organization, CEA is accountable for community empowerment through multi-sector collaboration. Accordingly, CEA is focused on providing violence prevention/intervention, an after-school learning center and summer camp programs, truancy prevention/intervention, therapeutic support and human services, social support groups, community outreach, pre-employment and employment skills training, employment for youth and adults, and mentoring and family empowerment services. In part, to address unemployment in the black community, CEA also developed a landscaping and materials removal and hauling program. The CEA Maintenance Group is a business initiative created for the empowerment of qualified community residents for hire in maintaining residential and commercial properties through landscaping, painting, cleaning, and hauling.

Evidenced Based Practice
In order to achieve continual refinement of quality of client services, service outcomes, and organizational 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 experience in conducting applied evaluative and organizational development research), CEA is continually focused on maximizing quality assurance, intervention effectiveness, and organizational performance.