The Center for Family Justice will celebrate its 125th anniversary as a nonprofit at its March 26 Virtual Jubilee Gala honoring the many volunteer leaders who have helped advance its mission of supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence in six local communities.
CFJ’s roots date back to 1895 when it was founded as the Bridgeport YWCA by a group of philanthropic Protestant women committed to helping young women cope with the “stresses of urban life” in what was then a bustling factory city.
Although its mission has evolved substantially in the ensuing years, CFJ continues to focus on providing hope, safety and empowerment services to thousands of adults and children impacted by the trauma of abuse in the communities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, CFJ will celebrate its anniversary as a virtual event on March 26 at 7 p.m. The evening’s program will honor 28 of the nonprofit’s past and present board chairs, who have led the agency through a period of significant transformation and growth.
During the last four decades, CFJ has transformed from being the Greater Bridgeport YWCA to The Center for Women & Families of Eastern Connecticut in 1995 to The Center for Family Justice in 2015.
Six years ago, CFJ became the state’s first Family Justice Center, adopting a service model focused on providing the many crisis and supportive services victims’ need under one roof in one safe place. Today, those comprehensive services include an emergency safe house, 24-hour crisis hotlines, crisis counseling and support groups, free legal services, therapeutic counseling for children, and self-sufficiency services.
CFJ is also a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center and operates Camp HOPE America-Bridgeport, a summer camp and year-long mentoring program for youth ages 7-17 impacted by abuse.
“We are so proud of our legacy and evolution into a place where anyone in our communities can come to cope with the trauma of abuse and receive free, confidential services to help them rebuild their lives,” said Debra A. Greenwood, President & CEO of The Center for Family Justice. “While much has changed since our Bridgeport YWCA days, what has remained a constant is our focus on providing support, empowerment and hope to the adults and children who come through our doors.”
Besides honoring its former board chairs, the gala program will include a special surprise announcement involving CFJ’s future efforts to provide critical services to its domestic violence clients.
“We are excited that our jubilee celebration will mark the beginning of another exciting chapter in our mission history,” said Greenwood. “We hope people can join us to toast our history and leaders and learn more about our hopes and dreams for the future.”
Tickets for the virtual gala are $50 each and or can be purchased in groups of three for $125. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
To purchase tickets, visit CFJ’s web site CenterforFamilyJustice.org or call CFJ’s Development Team at 203-334-6154.