Progressive Transitions, Inc.  “Shining the Light”


Executive Director of the Family Justice Center Cherri Allison (center) is awarded a City of Oakland Commendation by City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson-McElhaney (right) at the Progressive Transitions Shining the Light Fundraiser at the Z Cafe and Bar in Oakland. They are joined by Norma Ward, (left) CEO and Founder of Progressive Transitions, Inc., Photo by Vivie Joseph.

Progressive Transitions, Inc. (P.T.) recently hosted their “Shining the Light” awards ceremony at the Z Café and Bar in Oakland. The fundraiser supported P.T.’s programs designed to break the cycle of abuse towards women.

Honoree Cherri N. Allison of the Family Justice Center was presented the Adrienne Elenteny Humanitarian Award for her dedication to transforming the lives of victims and survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual exploitation. She also received special commendation from the City of Oakland by District 3 councilwoman, Lynette Gibson-McElhaney.

Allison, one of the founders of the Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC), previously served as the executive director of the Family Violence Law Center. Nationally recognized as a leader in the field of domestic violence, Allison provides legal services to victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, human trafficking and sexual assault.

“Cherri Allison is wonderful,” said Norma Ward, CEO and Founder of P.T. “She’s been a mentor and really supported me from the very beginning,”

“We recognized that so many victims are weighed down by guilt, low self-esteem and blame themselves for many of their experiences,” said Ward.  “At Progressive Transitions, we give people a new blueprint for life built on a solid foundation by allowing them to pinpoint the broken areas and negative turning points in their lives.”

For the past three years, P.T. has collaborated with the Deputy District Attorney’s office, servicing over 150 clients ages 18-50.

“We have clients that are from other areas but have a local case, so we serve people from as far away as New York, Washington, and Stockton. We’ve also assisted many women that have been trafficked through massage parlors,” said Ward, who has witnessed three generation of prostitutes and works to break the negative cycle that women get trapped in.

“We help victims view their trauma in a way that generates a re-clarification of their values and provide them with tools to re-build a solid foundation – a new beginning,” she added.

Ward says it takes focusing on the mental health of individuals to ensure women can fully heal and reclaim their lives.

“We ask the difficult questions such as; ‘What was your home life like?’ ‘What was your relationship with your parents like?’ and we find out what drives them,” said Ward.
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