MINNEAPOLIS (March 20, 2015) — Charisma “C.C.” Smith was named the new PRIDE (From PRostitution to Independence, Dignity & Equality) Program Director on Thursday. PRIDE is a program of The Family Partnership.
“Our previous director, Artika Roller, took PRIDE to an entirely new level of advocacy, reach, and impact,” said John Till, Senior Vice President of Program Strategy and Innovation for The Family Partnership. “We had some very big shoes to fill, which is why I interviewed a mix of candidates from all over the country.
“Charisma is a great choice as Artika’s successor. She has already demonstrated the ability to take PRIDE programming to a higher level, first as a TeenPRIDE Advocate, and more recently as TeenPRIDE Coordinator,” Till hadded. “I am looking forward to working with her in this new role, and am excited to see where she will take the PRIDE program next.”
Smith joined The Family Partnership in October of 2011 as a TeenPRIDE Advocate, and advanced to TeenPRIDE Coordinator in April of last year. In her new role, Smith will oversee The Family Partnership’s PRIDE and TeenPRIDE programs, both of which provide support services to sexually exploited individuals and their families.
“Words cannot express how honored I am to serve our community in this capacity,” said Smith. “I am encouraged to continue the great work that has already been put into motion to build awareness, prevention, and intervention for sex trafficking victims in our area. We will continue to serve women and sexually exploited youth with trauma-informed interventions that encourage healing and self-sufficiency.”
During her time at The Family Partnership, Smith has worked with numerous victims of sexual exploitation, offering help with safety planning, counseling, support groups, legal assistance and advocacy. She has also worked to provide resources and referrals, case management and education, access to transitional housing, relapse prevention support, and systems advocacy.
About the Family Partnership: The Family Partnership is an accredited, multicultural human services organization founded in 1878. For 137 years, it has provided help and hope to more than a million people in Minnesota who are struggling with difficult challenges or in crisis. Through counseling, education and advocacy, The Family Partnership helps children, families and communities realize their full potential, regardless of income and origin. For more information, visit www.TheFamilyPartnership.org.