Our Mission

The Empowerment Project Mission:

We are a social justice based, mental health, research and training organization utilizing evidence based

clinical therapies and the expressive arts to heal and transform the lives of women and families in order

to strengthen communities.

Mission of the Community Partnership Garden

We are an organic community teaching garden promoting community mental health, and creative

expression. We are a land based entity encouraging the building of relationships through volunteerism,

education on sustainable living and helping community members reduce their carbon footprint through

composting and organic gardening. We especially promote the importance of enhancing the efficacy of

women, girls and families through education and use of sustainable agricultural practices.

The Community Partnership Garden is a program of the Empowerment Project, Inc, made possible

through a generous donation of land, facilities and other resources from the historic Johnston Memorial

Presbyterian Church in NoDa-the North Davidson Arts District of Charlotte, NC. The Community

Partnership Garden (CPG) is a North Davidson (NoDa) community garden located behind Johnston

Memorial Presbyterian Church, 729 E. 36th Street in Charlotte, NC. The partnership between the two

entities has allowed the garden to become a contemplative and educational public space that fosters

healthy relationships and the synergy that comes from them. The Community Partnership garden

itself, is the centerpiece of a community mental health project that focuses on research, primary and

secondary prevention in mental health, particularly in regard to clinical depression. The Empowerment

Project’s organizational mission specifically addresses the needs and disparities of women, girls and

families within a 50 mile radius of Charlotte, NC. Clinical depression is a major public health issue,

among women, and among women of color, according to the United States Deparment of Health and

Human Services, the implications are twice as severe.

The CPG has several goals of service in the NoDa and greater Charlotte and Mecklenburg county. One of

the goals of the CPG is to educate the public about sustainable organic gardening and the importance

of buying local produce. The CPG is an organic garden: No chemical pesticides or growth hormones

are utilized and sustainable composting practices are emphasized. Other sustainable practices such as

the use of Hugelkultur farming, and permaculture principles, rain barrels for irrigation purposes, are

emphasized. The integration of the expressive arts is integral to the creative environment of the garden.

We utilize the wisdom and energy of community volunteers to help our garden grow.

Another goal is to utilize the garden for therapeutic purposes, and to eventually develop and conduct

research on the effectiveness of gardening as an intervention in mental health. Evidence-based

studies have shown that gardening is therapeutic for people who are survivors of trauma, and those

who struggle with a variety of mental health issues. The CPG has a goal of the garden being utilized

for therapy and therapeutic purposes. The CPG will welcomes collaborations with agencies that

provide mental health services to use the garden for therapeutic purposes. Research also indicates

the effectiveness of art and meditation as therapies. The garden has areas for sitting and future plans

include a labyrinth for meditation.

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