GCEA believes that our youth are the future and need targeted support in order to reach their full potential. We run a number of youth and adult led programs to help us reach this goal.
GCEA hosts several Youth Workshops in partnerships with local schools and organizations. Workshop topics include health education, healthy eating habits, life skills development, conflict resolution, violence prevention, and college placement workshops. GCEA works in coalition with many grassroots organizations to support our youth. These include Youth Uprising, Oakland Votes, We Lead Ours (WELO), The East Oakland Collective, The MenTouring Project, B.H. Minds Project Inc and The Focus Leadership Initiative.
Trip To Africa
GCEA facilitates a yearly youth trip to Africa where our youth visit a different African country every year. They are given a guided tour of historical sites and are able to participate in community service projects such as suppling local schools/orphanages with books and school supplies funded by our sponsors and partners. This trip is a chance for our youth to immerse themselves in African culture, participate in humanitarian causes, and come back to their roots.
GCEA partners with UMOJA health and Alameda County to run a program called Youth Mobilizers where youth work to get community members vaccinated. Youth Mobilizers goal is to emphasize peer-to-peer youth-created content. What this means is content that is developed for youth, by youth, and conversations that are led by youth leaders within the community. Through this we wish to offer young people a change to facilitate their own messengers and organize a way to disseminate information about the vaccine that resonates with them. A youth-led program gives us the ability to uncover true attitudes that youth hold surrounding COVID-19 and vaccination, and allow us to then address the issues we hear about while also empowering our youth and facilitating leadership development.
All staff and board members at GCEA are fellow immigrants who have extensive experience working with our target population and speak the native languages of our diverse client list. Our work has a greater impact because we relate to our clients in meaningful ways through a shared understanding of their unique circumstances and the daily obstacles they encounter. Clients we work with the trust our staff because our services and programs are developed and delivered in the languages spoken by the Pan-African community; for whom these services are intended.
Refugee Asylum Seekers
We support asylum seekers and refugees in their quests for permanent residency and citizenship. We also provide legal support and attorney referrals for those in exigent circumstances. We advocate for immigrants in their quests for affordable housing, access to social services, and job placement.
Application Assistance/ Legal Help
GCEA provides access to lawyers and legal support surrounding housing issues that impact the immigrant community. This includes securing housing for homeless individuals, locating and facilitating roommate arrangements, and advocating for tenant rights. We provide support by meeting with individuals and families at the African resource center in Oakland, as well as making case-specific decisions such as meeting clients at home.
GCEA breaks language barriers by translating outreach information into several different languages native to the Pan- African Community. Additionally, we translate flyers for various community-based and government organizations such as the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency. We provide translation and interpretation services in Amharic, Berber, Arabic, Somali, Tigrinya, Swahili, and Yoruba.
Rental Assitance Program
GCEA supports initiatives like the Emergency Rental Assistance Program where we can confidentially help with immigrant emergency shelter needs and referrals. Immigrant legal needs and counseling. Finding and creating local community connections with Oakland Resilient Families and seeking to provide eligible housing for Oakland residents by coordinating outreach and application assistance efforts and a safe place to stay.
GCEA owns and operates an open shelter at 5917 International Boulevard in Oakland that provides transitional housing for immigrants who have been displaced due to the pandemic. This space provides a cushion until individuals are able to secure more permanent independent living conditions, and also decreases the likelihood that these individuals will become homeless. GCEA is seeking funds to renovate our shelter in order to accommodate a larger number of unhoused or unemployed individuals. Funding for this project will provide the resources we need to offer this support, and help us all meet this new challenge as it continues to deepen its impact on our community.
GCEA Health Education Workshops focus on educating people about healthy living practices consistent with supporting, improving, maintaining, and enhancing health. Areas within this focus encompass environmental health, physical health, social health, mental health, and spiritual health. Health education can be defined as the principle by which individuals and groups of people, learn to behave in a manner conducive to the promotion, maintenance, or restoration of health. However, as there are multiple definitions of health there are also multiple definitions of health education. GCEA promotes Health Education as any combination of planned learning experiences based on sound theories and holistic health that provide individuals, groups, and communities the opportunity to acquire information and the skills needed to make quality health decisions.
GCEA holds Health Education seminars for adults on their health and well-being. it is a unique program for them and physicians, nurse practitioners, holistic health educators, and other health care professionals designed to provide information on symptoms of diseases and diseases prevention workshops. GCEA also focus on mental health- removing the social stigma of mental sickness and providing resources to those affected.
Economic Development is the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people. The number one economic development activity is business retention programs that assist small businesses to prevent falling. GCEA focuses on economic empowerment, self-sufficiency, and the opportunity to do meaningful work which can be critical to the long-term stability of the community. GCEA holds workshops where speakers talk on growing their small businesses by utilizing social media to build up their clientele to how loans/grants can be accessed to grow their businesses. As communities recognized that real job growth over time comes from local business expansion. For those seeking employment, GCEA offers help with resume/cover letter building and basic computer classes. Every month GCEA also holds a business expo that exposes businesses and their products to the community. Our workshops help career readiness that helps participants break the cycle of poverty, homelessness, and abuse.
Professional Development Training
GCEA’s Professional Development Training program offers job placement training workshops to immigrants who are seeking to elevate their professional skills. We offer classes that include topics such as job placement preparation, resume/cover letter building, interview preparation, and professional grooming. Our wide range of classes are offered in several different languages and are catered to the unique needs of African Immigrants.
Small Business Support
GCEA offers small business support through workshops and training programs. We support immigrants who are struggling during the pandemic by holding small business workshops where owners can learn about supplemental loans, EIDL, and laws surrounding the operation of small businesses in Alameda County. We help communities recognize that real growth over time comes from local business expansion and there are many resources available to small business owners that immigrants in the African Community are often unaware of. Our workshops bring to light these resources and help struggling small business owners take advantage of them.
GCEA sits on the board of the Violence Prevention Coalition in Oakland, a collection of grassroots organizations local to Alameda County who come together to combat gun violence within their communities. VPC funds projects such as the “Take Back Our Streets” series that works on preventing gang and street violence.
GCEA’s trauma and violence healing workshops are targeted towards victims of domestic and gang violence. They provide survivors with a safe space for healing and give them the opportunity to talk freely about their experiences. We also offer family support services to families of victims that have been affected by gun violence within the community.
We play hosts to several arts, dance, music, and cultural events in various locations. More importantly, we integrate film, dance, arts, theater, and music into classes that foster tolerance, openness, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and civic literacy. We also have a program that sponsors students for foreign travel.
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