Centro Shalom

Serving the community since 1977

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Program Archive

Over the years, Centro Shalom has supported and offered various programs and services based off of the need of the community and the support we have received. Below is a list of the past programs and services that Centro Shalom has offered.

Advanced Organizing Institute (AOI):

The California Endowment has funded Centro Shalom's Advanced Organizing Institute to train community organizers to assist and support the Endowment in its Building Healthy Communities Initiative.

The ultimate goal of the Organizing Institute is to have experienced, professional community organizers train a group of twenty to thirty young adults to develop the tools and commit to changing systems and policies towards building a healthy community in Long Beach. Through weekly classes, participants learned all the organizing skills from strategic planning to coalition building, while having the opportunity to learn from local organizations and policymakers firsthand.

After graduation from the institute, the most promising organizers received the opportunity to receive a stipend to engage their organizing work in partnership with a community organization or independently toward their goals of building a healthy community in Long Beach. AOI has trained and graduated a total of 36 community organizers over it's two year period.

Olivia Herrera Community Center (OHCC):

In Fall 2009, Centro decided to open the Olivia Herrera Community Center in memory of our founder Olivia Herrera. The Center, operating in the adjacent space at 2129 Long Beach Blvd., placed an emphasis on education, community development, the arts, and cultural education. While Centro Shalom has primarily focused on direct services, the OHCC provided clients with a range of classes and peer mentoring to encourage youth empowerment, improve mental and physical health, and teach computer and job search skills and interviewing techniques.  Here’s a brief overview of some of the programs that took place:

  • Computer Lab: Courses taught in our computer lab provided technical skills training on major PC Windows based programs to those seeking to improve their job skills.
  • Adult literacy: Centro replicated the very successful Centro Latino literacy program currently operating in Los Angeles using self-paced computer study for Spanish-speaking adults. Maria Eugenia and her husband Javier Rivas coordinated the donation of seven brand-new laptop computers, recruited tutors, and began the program as of December 2009.  Our first graduation was in March 2010.
  • Parent Advocacy and Effective Family Seminars: The OHCC offered parent advocacy courses, Couples Relationship Workshops, and other seminars geared towards families. Family counseling was also offered each week as well as seminars presented every other month on various topics dealing with the adult community’s mental, emotional, and physical well being.
  • Self Esteem Classes: In addition to the Women’s Self-Esteem Workshop, which Centro had been offering since 1996, OHCC offered new self esteem and emotional enhancement classes for men and women.
  • Yoga Classes: Yoga classes were held here every Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m., led by Maria Eugenia Rivas.
  • Ballet Folklorico Classes: Started by Maria Eugenia and Grupo Yamin, the Olivia Herrera Ballet Folklorico practiced every Saturday morning.