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Local Black-Belt Martial Artists Open Empowerment Center in Covington

Thrive Empowerment Center will celebrate the opening of its permanent space at 226 West Pike Street in Covington on Saturday, May 1.

The following Monday, May 3, the center will host anti-violence and assault-resistance education classes.

Therapeutic programming, designed to foster resilience and promote healing in trauma survivors, will also be offered, a news release said.

“Our primary goals are to help women, children, and other vulnerable populations access their strength to prevent, interrupt, or heal from violence and to be part of positive cultural change in the Greater Cincinnati area,” said Lauren Bailey, a Fort Mitchell resident and one of two co-founders and instructors at Thrive Empowerment Center.

Bailey and co-founder Lindsey Ross, a Florence native who lives in Blue Ash, Oh., are both black-belt martial artists.

The founded Thrive after finding that previous class offerings for women's self-defense in the area were not to their liking.

“Our programs are for everyone,” said Ross, “even if you aren’t an assault survivor or don’t identify with that label. But it’s important to us that the community knows that no matter what neighborhood they come from or what their experiences are, Thrive is a safe, fun, and accepting space made for you.”

“The ladies at Thrive do such an incredible job at making a potentially stressful environment a comfortable one. As a victim advocate for university-aged students, I’ve seen firsthand what this level of empowerment can do for survivors. By creating a safe space to share and learn, survivors and allies are able to build confidence and strength,” said Madesyn DeVivo, the Miami University campus advocate from Women Helping Women. “I wish all my clients could take their classes.”

Thrive offers Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) training which addresses mental and verbal safety in addition to physical safety.

At the Center, weekly classes will include principles of empowerment (THRIVE’s basic ESD skills class), as well as targeted offerings like verbal boundary setting, defense from a ground position, and therapeutic writing and yoga. Seminars for special populations (teens, mother/daughter pairs, college students) will also be offered monthly beginning this fall.

In addition to the classes taught on-site, Thrive’s instructors travel to college campuses, high schools, teams and clubs, and businesses to offer customized empowerment and safety workshops.

-Staff report

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