February Newsletter: This Weekend! Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens

Thank You!

Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens in our Community

This Saturday! February 25, 1:00-3:00PMend-of-year campaign!

The planning committee has put all of the final touches on the 2023 Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens in our Community! Please join us at the Carrboro Century Center from 1:00-3:00PM this Saturday, February 25. CEF strongly encourages all attendees to be fully vaccinated and boosted or have a negative COVID-19 test the day of the event. Masks are required and will be provided at the event for anyone that needs one. Registration is encouraged.

We will be honoring the leadership of six amazing Black Queens from our community and enjoying the artistic talents of CEF Members including paintings, pottery, woodworking, mixed media, textiles, and more! The event is free, but capacity is limited.

Join our team

CEF is Hiring!

Four Full-Time Positions!

Are you passionate about building relationships and making a positive impact in your community? CEF is seeking kind, collaborative individuals with the curiosity to drive their professional growth. We are currently hiring for four full-time positions!

The Development & Communications Manager will lead development and communication efforts as CEF continually grows its reach in the community. They will be responsible for sustaining CEF’s development strategy through grants and contracts management, funder relationships, communications stewardship, and donor campaigns and events; creating and posting content to CEF’s social media platforms; creating a monthly newsletter; producing CEF’s Annual Report, and managing all communications and grant processes and documentation. Although most responsibilities may be carried out remotely, some on-site work should be expected, especially for events. The Development & Communications Manager will report to the Executive Director and may supervise volunteer Advocates and Summer Interns. They are a key member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The Finance & Operations Manager will oversee financial management and oversight, manage CEF’s financial coaching & Safe Savings programs, and ensure the organization is complying with all audit and legal recommendations. The Finance & Operations Manager will be responsible for leading organizational budgeting processes, the preparation of financial statements and projections, supervising financial record-keeping and accounting, oversight of CEF’s operating budget, check-writing, and payroll. The Finance & Operations Manager will have a combination of on- and off-site work; some tasks and duties will be performed in both CEF’s Chapel Hill and Durham offices, and other tasks can be completed remotely. The Finance & Operations Manager will report to the Executive Director, lead the Finance Committee, be an active member of the Resources & Financial Coaching team, and is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The Advocacy Manager position is a cross geography position that is tasked with managing CEF’s advocacy initiatives, in alignment with CEF’s Strategic Plan. They will work with the Executive Director and frontline staff to determine overall advocacy goals and will provide guidance to ensure CEF’s mission, guiding principles, and values are represented in targeted campaigns and that campaigns and initiatives center on those with lived experience, especially CEF Members. An ideal candidate will not only be passionate about equitable and affordable housing but have demonstrated experience in inspiring others to get involved and advocate for safe and affordable living conditions. The Advocacy Manager is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The Member Services Coordinator (MSC) position is a part of the core program staff and co-leads CEF’s Durham office. The MSC stewards all services provided to CEF Members in the Durham office and works collaboratively with the leadership of CEF’s Chapel Hill office to ensure consistent and equitable services across our two geographies. The MSC also maintains CEF Durham’s relationships with a wide variety of local service providers, represents CEF in collaborative spaces within Durham County’s human services systems, and will manage special projects specific to needs of Durham Members. This position works closely with the Durham staff team to support office operations, including providing in-person support in the office several days a week, facilitating and supporting teams of volunteers, supervising staff and interns, and participating in and co-facilitating regular team meetings.

To learn more and apply to these positions visit our website here. Please share with your networks!

CEF has been selected to join the Common Future Accelerator 2023 cohort!

Common Future Accelerator

CEF has been selected for the 2023 cohort!

We are so proud to announce that the Community Empowerment Fund has been selected to join the Common Future Accelerator 2023 cohort. We join 9 other BIPOC and woman-led organizations working to solve the racial wealth gap. To learn more about the cohort, visit the link below.

CEF Homebuyers Program: Financial Coaching, HUD-Certified Homebuyer Education, Homeownership Matched Savings, Register Your Interest Here: https://bit.ly/CEFHomebuyers

CEF Homebuyers Program

Working towards homeownership

The CEF Homebuyers Program has been developed to assist Orange and Durham County residents in overcoming barriers to homeownership and transitioning into safe, permanent housing. By supporting Savers in achieving financial stability and building equity, the program is intended to serve as a tool for lessening the racial-wealth gap in our community.

The Homebuyers Program has three components:

    - Financial Coaching

    - HUD-Certified Homebuyer Education

    - Homeownership Matched Savings

To be eligible for participation, community members must meet the following criteria:

    - Live in Durham or Orange County

    - Fall at or below 80% of the Area Median Income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    - For the duration of the program, remain listed as a tenant on a rental lease agreement.

Who is encouraged to apply? This program is best suited to community members who see themselves living in the are for five or more years and have been stably employed for over one year. Those receiving Housing Choice Vouchers in Orange County are encouraged to apply, as the Orange County Housing Authority has recently established a Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership option. Apply at the link below!

Durham Housing Debt Assistance- To support Durham residents in settling housing debts related to COVID-19. Past-due utilities, Past-due rent, Mortgage delinquency, Eviction costs

CEF Durham Housing Debt Assistance

Housing Debt Assistance

CEF has received funding to support Durham residents in settling housing debts related to COVID-19. This includes past-due utilities, past-due rent, mortgage delinquency, and eviction costs. There is no limit to the request amount; however, all debts must have been accumulated AFTER February 2020 and the Housing Debt Assistance Fund can only be accessed once.

To be eligible for the Durham Housing Debt Assistance Fund, community members must meet the following criteria:

    - Complete CEF New Member Orientation and be a Member for at least 30 days.

    - Have a budget on file with CEF that was completed or updated in the last 30 days

    - Live in Durham County, North Carolina

    - Have incurred housing-related debt while living in Durham County, North Carolina

    - Fall at 80% or below of the Area Median Income (AMI) according to the 2022 HUD Adjusted Limits

For more information contact the CEF Durham office at 919-797-9233. Interested in becoming a CEF Durham Member? Fill out this intake form.

Resource Alert

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month

This month, Imanie would like to highlight Families and Communities Rising. Families and Communities Rising offers children’s programs and family support in Orange and Durham Counties including resources to help families find and afford childcare, literacy, and therapeutic services for children.

They offer multiple programs including:

    - The Durham and Orange County Head Start and Early Head Start programs – free daycare and pre-K for children birth to Kindergarten age.

    - The ARCH National Respite Network – respite day care for caregivers who need a break.

    - FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP).

    - KidSCope – Painting classes, wraparound and therapeutic services for children.

    - Orange County Family Resource Centers.

For more information give them a call at 919-490-5577.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, the Durham office would like to highlight the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The SCSEP works to get low income seniors into the workforce. Partnering agencies/employers train participants on-the-job, while SCSEP pays for their work at the company. While working, seniors gain job skills and some short-term income, and ideally permanent employment with the placement site.

To be eligible for the program you must be unemployed, 55 years of age or older, income at 125% of the poverty level or below, and have a valid ID and Social Security card.

Participants usually work with several host organizations (4-6 weeks at each) to learn a diverse set of skills. Participants also always have the support of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging- SCSEP staff if counseling is needed. For North Carolina residents you can sign up here and a representative will be in contact.

March Office Hours

Office Availability Updates

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday-Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm & 5:00-7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CLOSED Wed 3/15 and Fri 3/17, Reduced Capacity Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, & 5:00-7:00 pm


CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday 3/16: No Prime Time!

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.


We recognize that we work and CEF’s offices are located on the unceded territories of the Eno, Lumbee, Occaneechi, Saponi, Shakori, and Skaruhreh/Tuscarora tribes. We acknowledge and respect the ancestral & present land stewardship and place-based knowledge of the peoples of these territories. Please support them directly.

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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

Chapel Hill: 919-200-0233 Durham: 919-797-9233