As one of the most visible and involved community centers in Greater Houston, SHAPE has led the way toward justice, equal opportunity, human rights and institution building in the city, state, nation and the world. Because of its deep commitment to the community, SHAPE has actively sought ways to oppose injustice and to improve the community for all people.
SHAPE (Self-Help for African People through Education) Community Center was founded in 1969. Today, the Center provides many programs and activities that serve as tools to strengthen families and communities including:
• After School /Summer Enrichment Program, with youth and family guidance and counseling • Parenting Support Program • Annual Pan-African Cultural Festival • Annual Kwanzaa Celebrations • Fruit & Vegetable Cooperative, 3rd Saturday of every month • Elder's Institute of Wisdom Gathering, each Tuesday and Thursday • Wholistic Health Program (Food & Nutrition) • Children and Senior Adults Computer Classes • Legal Assistance Clinics / Consultations • Forums for Community Issues • Voter Registration / Mobilization • Annual Freedom Tour (Retracing the Civil Rights Movement) •Math Tutorials •Death Penalty Abolition Movement (Advocacy) • Home Site for the Association of Black Social Workers • Association of Black Social Psychologists • Sisters of SHAPE.
These are just a few of the many programs that have been housed at SHAPE Community Center. While there are core programs at SHAPE, many programs and activities change to meet the changing needs of the community that we serve. Our primary focus continues to be programs and activities that are geared to youth, family and the revitalization and strengthening of the family and the community.
For over 44 years, SHAPE has survived the ebbs and flows of the civil rights movement. SHAPE's journey from a small organization to one of international scope mirrors the transition of its leadership. The outreach, which began locally, has now gained national and international attention. As a result, SHAPE was honored in Washington, D.C., along with 26 others, for efforts in combating drugs, in the early nineties. SHAPE was involved with the organizing of the Million Man March, the Million Family March and the Millions More Movement where hundreds of families were transported from Harris County and the Gulf Coast Area to Washington, D.C. to join these historic events.
For its efforts in improving the quality of life for children, family and the community as a whole, SHAPE has received over 450 awards through the years, including the Jefferson Award, the MLK Humanitarian Award, the UNCF Leadership in the Minority Community Award, the Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award, Metropolitan Transit Authority Outstanding Community Service Award and the State of Texas Substance Abuse Prevention Award, along with many others.