The Center for Community and Connection

A transformation initiative of the Ana Grace Project

In keeping with the mission of The Ana Grace Project to promote love, community and connection for every child and family our goal is to identify the most effective ways to build community and interpersonal connection to prevent violence and promote recovery. This is to be accomplished through research, practical tools, professional development and public policy.

The Center was inspired by the heart and soul of Ana Grace’s mother, Nelba Márquez-Greene, LMFT a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist employed by Klingberg Family Centers. Together, she and Jimmy have dedicated themselves to creating real solutions to the kind of violence that took their daughter’s life. They believe that love and community are the antidotes for violence. They are spurred on not only by their loss but by their faith and the belief that it is always best to “Overcome Evil with Good.”

Here is how Nelba describes her efforts to honor her child: “For anyone whose child has been the victim of senseless violence it can seem almost impossible to go on. Grappling with anger and despair, you search for a way to redeem what has been lost. And here we stand, knowing we must do something, something meaningful, to help all of us turn the page and begin the next chapter.

Our hope as a family is to invest in creating solutions that will draw these individuals away from violence and replace it with the powerful love and connection that can only be found in a healthy community of caring.

In partnership with Klingberg Family Centers we have established the Center for Community and Connection as the first initiative of the Ana Grace Project. Klingberg Family Centers’ extensive experience serving children traumatized by abuse allows us to build on a strong foundation. I am deeply grateful for their incredible support and expertise. I hope you will join us as we move forward with this important project.”

About the Center for Community and Connection

The Center is dedicated to promoting love, connection and community for every child and family through research, practical community steps (toolbox) and professional development.

glassTo identify best practices in building community and creating interpersonal connection to prevent violence and promote recovery. The Center will:

  • Sponsor consortia of national experts
  • Complete a comprehensive literature review
  • Conduct primary research

toolboxTo develop and disseminate a toolbox for communities to foster strong networks of support, encouragement, interdependence, and connection. The Center will provide:

  • Personal action tips
  • Training
  • Community building activities and events
  • Instructional materials
  • Consultation and resources
  • Media materials
  • Curricula

mouseTo provide professionals in education, mental health, medicine, and faith-based leadership with accessible, practical training. The Center will train professionals in:

  • Violence prevention
  • Trauma recovery
  • Community building
  • Promotion of interpersonal and social connection

IMG_5592To establish meaningful relationships with local schools in order to implement the “Love Wins” school curriculum.

The Ana Grace Project of Klingberg Family Centers will connect local schools with clinical support and classroom resources for self regulation skills and empathy development.

Goal: Adopt 10 classrooms per year.

Each classroom will receive:

  • Clinical suport
  • Class centered activities
  • Professional Development Resources
  • Self regulation through art and music
  • On going opportunities to document their “Love Wins” efforts

folderTo advocate for local, state, and national funding that supports community and connection. The Center will support funding decisions that:

  • Enhance relationships
  • Assure family and youth input at all levels
  • Foster connections within communities
  • Support neighbors helping neighbors