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Project Reach to honor Sharon De La Cruz

Sharon De La Cruz

Project Reach, a citywide organization devoted to healing divisions among young people of different races and ethnic backgrounds, will honor Sharon De La Cruz of The Point Community Development Corp. at its 40th anniversary gala on Feb. 9.

Project Reach cited De la Cruz, the program director of the teen service program A.C.T.I.O.N., for leading The Point’s Women’s empowerment group.

The group, called W.O.M.E.N. (Where Our Minds Empower Needs), launched in 2010 to give young women a safe space to talk about sex and sexuality and to provide information, in response to what The Point’s executive director Kellie Terry-Sepulveda called twin epidemics of teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS.

Young women meet regularly with De La Cruz to share their experiences. The group has led to the creation of a parallel organization of young men.

Founded by Asian American activists in response to the rise of gangs in Chinatown, Project Reach opened the doors of its center on Eldridge Street to all young people in 1985 in an effort to combat discrimination.

The anniversary gala, at the Steelcase showroom in Columbus Circle, will recognize a number of social justice activists. For more information on the celebration, visit http://projectreachnyc.org/index.html.

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