Empowerment Works!

Empowerment Works! Logo

Basic Information

Address: 1801 Lincoln Blvd. #138 Venice, CA 90291
Phone Number: 1-310-392-6909
Director: Melanie St. James

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Empowerment Works!
Empowerment Works!
Empowerment Works!

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Additional Information

Causes Served: Founded in 2001, Empowerment Works! (EW) is dedicated to empowering people, businesses and organizations with the tools, resources and knowledge they need to co-create a healthy, culturally rich, and bio-diverse future.
Population Served: global demographic
Ages for Volunteer: 18+
Hours of Service: 5 hours per week
Minimum Hours Required: 5 hours per week
Days of Service: any
Mission Statement:


Founded in 2001, Empowerment Works! (EW) is dedicated to empowering people, businesses and organizations with the tools, resources and knowledge they need to co-create a healthy, culturally rich, and bio-diverse future.

EW achieves this mission via 3 synergistic program areas:

7 Stages to Sustainability (7SS) - Framework & Education 4 Local Solutions

Partners In Empowerment™ (PIE) Collaborative Knowledge Base & Network

The Global Summit™ (TGS) TGS 2010: "Humanity Uniting" Nov 7-10 in SF!

Together we can.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:


When people are empowered they contribute more positively to their communities- and our world.

Program History:

Grassroots Inspiration

Founded in 2001, Empowerment Works! (EW) is the brainchild of its Executive Director who recognized a common strategy to address challenges in regions facing very distinct challenges: Senegal - facing threats of food security and desertification, and Zimbabwe - facing the spread of AIDS and economic collapse.

In 1999, while conducting human security research in the war-torn Casamance Region in Senegal, EW's founder identified medicinal plants, textiles and music as economic opportunities. Uniting like-minded social entrepreneurs, local organizations and artists, EW produced an awareness and fundraising compilation CD, Music of the Diola, supporting the development of a long-term local program to preserve both the rainforest and local Diola culture.

And in Zimbabwe, while on a sustainable development seminar in 2000, EW's founder met a group of young Zimbabwean artists working to provide HIV services in their high-density township of Mbare (with one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world). With decreased tourism and economic collapse, they exported a container of sculpture to the US to raise program funds.

Through this collaboration, individuals and organizations across multiple sectors of society mobilized to tackle a complex web of challenges in one community. Zimbabwean artists, doctors, community organizations, homeless teens, international philanthropists, and arts patrons all worked together in order to see the fruition of this project.

However, of all these factors, it was the sheer will of the young artists to take control of their destinies that sparked it all.

By honoring local will, serving as a catalyst for community-led social action, stimulating economic development, and addressing issues and needs identified by those they most affect, the EW model was born.


Striving to be a model for efficient and sustainable social benefit enterprise, Empowerment Works is committed to a diversity of income streams:

Income generating events (cultural arts, educational & entertainment) such as The Global Summit and the Artists In Action benefit series.
Our donors both foundations and individuals, who recognize that Empowerment Works offers them an opportunity to make a substantial impact on the future shape of society. Empowerment Works is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law. Get Involved/ Donate.
Our partners primarily leading Sustainable Businesses who, enhancing their corporate responsibility commitments, provide funding and in-kind donations (such as hardware, software and connectivity) to support us in fulfilling our mission. Partners In Empowerment
Our client base who pay a fee for our project consulting services and collaboration skills workshops. Consulting
Revenue from fairly traded goods that protect local heritage such as compilation CDs from albums recorded through “EW Music” an economic development program.

As appropriate, we recognize our partners and donors publicly in our events and invite them, as they choose, to participate in our international development work.

Additional Information:

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them." - Albert Einstein

Your Think-Tank In Action: a revolution in thought

Our generation has inherited a timely responsibility to turn the tide of AIDS, abject Poverty, and the rapid threat of Climate Change – and we must do so fast enough to assure a secure future for our children.

While myriad efforts are made to address single issues and their symptoms, who is looking at the big picture and addressing root causes?

While the stakes can’t get much higher, humanity seems stuck in an economic and social pattern based in the past 5000 years of conquest and tribalism, when migration to virgin lands seemed an endless possibility. However our physical reality has changed dramatically. Just since 1965, our population has doubled from 3.2 billion to 6.5+. Surviving and thriving through this demographic shift calls for conscious, collective action transcending politics, religion, or any other isms that divide us from achieving human security.

This is where the larger vision of EW- as a Think Tank-In-Action (committed to LEARNING WHILE DOING) comes into play. While ACTIVELY applying our knowledge to affect positive change now through innovative social and environmental security initiatives, we continue to assess global economic policies, human nature, what works, what doesn't - and why. Remaining focused on the big picture; through and beyond our Partners In Empowerment, EW advances global strategies that work into public policies and global action to benefit all earth's species.

By modeling sustainable systems and new forms of partnership, EW goes beyond the status quo of fighting single issues and dedicates itself to shifting the entire global system from a power over, linear thinking paradigm (which is destroying us) to that of mutually supportive empowerment.

This may seem like an overwhelming task for some, but it calls upon many, and needs to be done sooner or later, so it might as well be now, and it might as well be us.

Together we can.