Center for Empowering

Refugees and Immigrants



Our mission is to improve the social, emotional, psychological, economic, and physical health of refugees and immigrants

Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI) is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland with a mission to improve the social, emotional, psychological, economic , and physical health of refugees and immigrant from Southeast Asia affected by war, torture, genocide or other forms of extreme trauma.

Founded in 2005 by a group of bilingual/bicultural mental health professionals, CERI provides culturally relevant mental health and other social services. CERI is dedicated to transforming the lives of refugees and immigrants and their families, who suffer from weakening intergenerational relationships, layers of complex needs and exposure to violence and trauma both in their current environment and in their native countries.


Adult and Older Adult Program

CERI offers a holistic array of culturally-sensitive bilingual services that support the mental health and well-being of refugee and immigrant clients who have multiple layers of complex needs.

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Wellness in Action

Wellness in Action (WiA) is a workforce training and development program for para-professional community mental health advocates from unserved and underserved refugee and new immigrant communities in the Bay Area. 

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LGBTQ Community

CERI is proud to be expanding services to LGBTQ refugees and immigrants of color, with a focus on the Southeast Asian population. The lack of recognition for the very lives, experiences, …

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CERI in Cambodia

CERI supports Cambodian refugees, survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide, through providing culturally competent mental health services, and creating a strong community. One part of creating such a strong community is the integral basis in community service, both here in the United States, and in the home country of many of the clients and staff, Cambodia. ..

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The Next Generation of Southeast Asian Leaders


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Our Impact

Over the last two decades, CERI has gradually built deep bonds of trust among its client population, encouraging clients to take an active role in their own healing and in supporting others in their community to heal. Specific benefits include:

  • Reduced symptoms of trauma and PTSD

  • Increased sense of wellness and enjoyment of life

  • Reduced need for psychiatric medications

  • Reduced social isolation and greater sense of community

  • Increase involvement in local politics

  • Greater involvement in the wider community through off-site activities

  • Emerging leadership behavior demonstrated by adult and youth clients

  • Improve intergenerhtoinal relationship

  • Financial and housing stability