Community Works (CW) engages youth and adults in arts, education and restorative justice programs that interrupt and heal the far-reaching impact of incarceration and violence by empowering individuals, families and communities. CW believes that the arts and education can serve as valuable platforms for achieving this goal, incorporating personal expression, alliance-building, and public engagement. CW is particularly concerned with the effects of soaring incarceration rates on communities, impacting not only the offending individuals but also families, neighbors, and survivors of crime. CW links up with the institutions that most affect our constituentsí lives, including the criminal and juvenile justice systems, the public school system, and other community-based organizations, in order to provide enriching, sustainable programs that work to bring communities together.
CW directly serves approximately 1,100 people a year and reaches at least 2,000 more through public exhibitions and events. CW works with populations impacted by incarceration and violence; specifically, men, women and youth in the criminal justice system, formerly incarcerated individuals, survivors of violent crime, children of incarcerated parents and their caregivers, and public school students. Program participants generally come from low-income communities with high violent crime rates, such as Southeast San Francisco, West Oakland, East Oakland and Richmond. Ninety-six percent of CW's program participants are people of color, primarily African American and Latino. CW is unique in the Bay Area: it is the only organization that uses arts education as a primary intervention with populations impacted by incarceration: the arts as a tool for personal transformation, skills development and community building, and ultimately for social change. CW has realized their programs through lasting and successful partnerships with municipal agencies, schools and other community-based organizations.
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