Nia Cultural Center
In response to the growing problem of youth violence in the early 1990’s Nia Cultural Center has provided family and youth empowerment programs. Originally a Community Youth Development program funded by the Texas Department of Family Services, the Nia Cultural Center’s Family Strengthening and Empowerment program operated from 1996 – 2006.
Our Previous Programs
Family Strengthening and Empowerment Program
The components that made up the Family Strengthening and Empowerment Program included mentoring and life skill training for youth via the Transformations Girls Rites of Passage Program, parenting skills building via the Family Rites of Passage, and support for both groups provided by partnerships with various community organizations and agencies.
Families and Schools Together Program
n February 2008 and 2009, Nia launched the Families and Schools Together Program, a substance abuse prevention and family strengthening program for families with children who attended two Galveston Independent School District Schools. External evaluation of this evidence-based, model program revealed that this program, funded by the Mitchell Family Substance Abuse Reduction Initiative effectively improved parent engagement, parent/child relationships, and better school performance with fewer problem behaviors.
Youth from the Nia Cultural Center for several years embarked on the Shape Community Center’s Freedom Tour, a seven state tour of the south to retrace the Civil Rights Movement. Students research the events and people related to the destinations and document their travels in a journal. A community presentation of this exciting and educational trip is developed by the students to inform the community of what they have learned. Destinations include key points in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas). Re-tracing the “Civil Right Movement,” students visit historical landmarks and Historically Black Universities. Some of the sites visited are Tuskegee University, Brown A.M.E. Chapel, the Voter’s Rights Museum, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, and the Symbolic March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge (this auspicious historical event was documented in the film “Selma” released in January, 2015). Civil Rights activists attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their way to Montgomery, Alabama. Young people are able to re-enact these moments in history by crossing the bridge with their group.
The World Is Your Stage
Nia continues to provide educational, cultural enrichment programming through the celebration and organization of cultural events such as Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Juneteenth.