Exercise Daily – Nonprofit organizations play an important role in maintaining healthy communities. Nevertheless, nonprofit leaders are the voice of the people they serve. Therefore, Exercise Daily finds immense pleasure in promoting and encouraging the best of these organizations. At this time, EDM is proud to introduce CERI.

The CERI Story

The Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), established in 2006, initially served the traumatized Cambodian population of survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide. Founded by a group of bilingual/ bicultural mental health professionals, CERI provides culturally-relevant mental health and other social services.

Above all, they are dedicated to transforming the lives of refugees and immigrants and their families. Undoubtedly, many of these people suffer from weakening intergenerational relationships, layers of complex needs, and exposure to violence and trauma both in their current environments and in their native countries.

Therefore, CERI’s stated mission is to improve the social, emotional, psychological, economic, as well as physical health of refugees and immigrants suffering from trauma.

Fortunately, CERI has been able to reach a very large and diverse refugee and immigrant clientele with mental health advocacy, training and education, workforce development, outreach, and engagement activities.

Populations CERI serves include Cambodian, Vietnamese, Burmese, Afghan, Tibetan, Nepali, Indian, Rwandan, Tanzanian, Filipinx, Iranian, Brazilian, Columbian, and other Latinx communities. It should be noted that the majority of clients are living in low-income, over-policed, and violent neighborhoods in the SF area, East Bay.  

Additionally, CERI offers trauma-informed and multilingual mental health services (clinical counseling, medication management, support groups), culturally-tailored interventions (meditation, art therapy, knitting, dancing), and care management for housing, food, medical care, and legal services. 

Why is there a need for CERI?

There is no denying the fact that managing mental health is important. It definitely has the potential to have a substantial influence on our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. Therefore, it has a direct impact on how we feel and behave on a daily basis.

Many organizations provide essential work in resettling newcomer refugees and immigrants. However, very few have resources for serving the mental health needs of those who have been impacted by war and trauma. Hence, CERI takes the longer-term approach to address those needs and understands the impact that intergenerational trauma can have on refugee and immigrant communities.

CERI Programs and Services

Most importantly, CERI provides programs and services that intend to serve those directly affected by war, genocide, and trauma in their home countries. In addition, it aims to address younger populations who are the children or grandchildren of those who have suffered.


Unfortunately, living in over-policed and under-resourced neighborhoods in mostly Oakland, the younger generations have suffered a lot. Hence, CERI aims to help them as far as possible. Some examples of CERI programming include: 

  • Adult as well as Older Adult Weekly Support Groups
  • Field Trips for Enrichment and Community Bonding
  • Community Organic Garden
  • Dance, Art, Movement Therapy, and Other Creative Programs
  • Poetry as well as Spoken Word Workshops
  • Homework Assistance for Teens
  • Mural Project in Oakland
  • Green Jobs Youth Leadership Program
  • Anti-Asian Hate Program and Counseling for Those Affected
  • Wellness in Action, Mental Health Workplace Development Program
  • Southeast Asian Community Support Group
  • New Light Program – for those who have been unjustly deported to Cambodia, and those who face deportation
  • Digital Literacy Program
  • Direct Aid Services – meals, rental and utility assistance, culturally-appropriate food shopping cards
  • Case Management – resource referral, social services assistance, navigation through the medical system, enrollment in services 

Consequently, Exercise Daily Magazine acknowledges the efforts of CERI and wishes all the best for their future. The work that CERI is doing as an organization is undoubtedly commendable, and deserves all the encouragement!

For more info, please check the CERI website: www.cerieastbay.org.

Alternatively, you can email CERI at: info@cerieastbay.org.

Follow CERI on Social Media to discover the absolutely amazing work they are doing.

Twitter: @CERIeastbay

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cerieastbay/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cerieastbay/