Restoring Hope

The Yetunde Price Resource Centre's Fight Against Violence

Words by Daphne Milner

In a world plagued by senseless violence, organizations that focus on healing become vital in rebuilding communities and fostering hope.

One such organization is the Yetunde Price Resource Centre (YPRC), a non-profit dedicated to combating the effects of trauma and providing support to those in need. Co-founded by Isha Price, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams to honor their late sister, Yetunde Price, the Compton-based organization develops and runs trauma-informed workshops both in California and across the U.S. through collaborative efforts with like minded partners.

At the core of their mission is a commitment to empowerment through what Isha Price describes as a “teach a man to fish” approach, equipping people with the essential tools to help them regain control of their lives and draw strength from their community, family, and self. It’s a technique derived from a holistic understanding of rehabilitation; from the recognition that recovery is a multi-faceted process that must encompass physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. From practical assistance—like identifying resources and access to counselling services—to the therapeutic benefits of art and entrepreneurship, YPRC works tirelessly to ensure individuals and families affected by violence and systemic oppression are supported at every phase of healing.

Now, the YPRC is partnering with JOOPITER on Holding Court, a charity auction of four works by celebrated African American painter Ernie Barnes. The artworks depict people in acts of harmony and togetherness—a saxophonist playing, two brothers embracing—in Barnes’ characteristically bold, emotive style, and all auction proceeds will go to supporting the YPRC. Not only will the partnership enhance the organization's impact through financial support, it will also help ensure the non-profit’s long- term sustainability and the development of additional programs that can benefit the wider community.

Below, Isha Price speaks with JOOPITER about practical aid, community outreach, and holistic methods of healing in the face of violence.

The Yetunde Price Resource Center focuses on healing, resiliency, and empowerment. Could you elaborate on the strategies or approaches used to facilitate and achieve these outcomes?

Our focus is, in part, on a comprehensive awareness of healing. Healing occurs in different stages and iterations. Sometimes the initial step is acquiring knowledge and understanding the aftermath of being a victim or experiencing trauma. Often, individuals don't know where to turn or what actions to take. So, we help in identifying and sharing resources—from practical matters to art therapy and counselling services that are tailored to different people’s needs.

Building on what you’re describing, how do the services you provide address the unique needs of each individual?

We have collaborated with various facilitators to provide support. For instance, we have built a comprehensive program, in partnership with Best Buy’s teen tech centres, that caters specifically to teenagers. It grants them access to state-of-the-art equipment and emphasises entrepreneurship, healing through learning, and mental health awareness. This program, which is developed by YPRC, is now being utilised nationwide in connection with Best Buy's teen tech centres.

That’s just one example of our targeted approach when it comes to wellness, which covers a range of health awareness topics and actions. We also try to promote resilience by offering programmatic components that help individuals discover their own resilience. For instance, we have previously worked with to secure housing for domestic violence victims. Our efforts span a wide range of areas. During Covid-19, we recognized the practical needs of the community, such as food, disinfectants, and antibacterial supplies. The YPRC has a longstanding focus on addressing real-time community needs.

Why is the work of the YPRC important in today's society? In what ways does it contribute to creating a more trauma-informed and supportive community?

I think it’s necessary right now because we are seeing more and more people struggle with everyday challenges. It's worth noting that even those who may appear to have resources—people that look like they’re okay—face a learning curve. We’ve seen so many different examples of public figures where everything seems fine on the surface, but in reality they are struggling with physical, mental, and emotional difficulties. The YPRC is ahead of the curve in that it was established based on our own experiences with trauma. However, what we found is that the needs of our sister's children—who were five, nine, and 11 when the tragedy occurred—have evolved over time.

It took us a while to get to a place where we could memorialise and honour their mother. They are adults now and they still struggle with her absence. These challenges are not limited to trauma alone; it can also involve people feeling unheard, crises amplified by social media, economic hardships, and a lack of understanding. And so we think that the work we undertake at our centre and the nationwide programs we develop are super helpful. They are focused on reaching to the core of these issues; to get people talking and relating to one another. Together, we can support one another for the greater good because no one can really do it on their own.

How will the partnership with JOOPITER help the Yetunde Price Resource Center enhance its impact and increase community outreach?

We are excited about our partnership with JOOPITER because it allows us to offer up these works. Art has always been a real love for our entire family, and seeing how people express themselves through art has been truly astonishing. Entertainment comes in many forms—and obviously our family is predominantly known for entertainment, particularly with Venus and Serena being the sports icons that they are. But this collaboration with JOOPITER allows us to share our love for art in a way that benefits the wider community. It also helps us sustain our work and create additional programs that can be shared.

Although YPRC is located in Compton, California, we collaborate with many other centres across the nation, specifically in underserved communities. In that way, we can offer the programs we have developed at YPRC, which we consider to be best practices, to support these communities that often lack the necessary resources.