Mission and Community Action Promise

CMCA’s mission is to build relationships to empower people, strengthen resilience, and improve quality of life for all members of the community.

Central Missouri Community Action is part of a national network of Community Action agencies founded in 1964. Our network is dedicated to eradicating the causes and conditions of poverty.


CMCA envisions communities without poverty. 

We are connected by our commitment to the promise of community action.

Community action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

The motto we use to summarize this promise is

“Helping People. Changing Lives.”

While this national network serves as the backdrop for the work we do and shares a common core set of programs, each Community Action agency is autonomous.

Meeting the unique characteristics of the communities that we serve.

In Central Missouri, we span a continuum of very rural to very metropolitan communities with a wealth of resources, multiple opportunities for higher education, and generally low unemployment. Yet, individuals and families still struggle to meet their basic needs. It is this dynamic that led the CMCA Board of Directors to adopt our mission statement.

Each word in our mission statement was carefully considered. Empowerment is a powerful word that we debated at length. Can one really empower another or is success more of an intrinsic characteristic regardless of external factors? The causes and conditions of poverty differ for everyone who struggles. We determined, however, that it is possible to establish a framework of support, guidance, and resources that can empower an individual when they are ready to embrace it. CMCA offers that framework. Education systems, employment opportunities, equality factors, diversity, and environmental factors all determine our fate. To this end, CMCA is committed to engaging communities to tip all of these variables in favor of opportunity, economic stability, and empowerment.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At CMCA, we are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work. We believe that everyone deserves equal access to employment, resources, opportunities, and services, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion or ability. 

To achieve this goal, we have policies and procedures that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of our organization. We actively seek out and engage with members from diverse backgrounds to ensure that our programs and services are accessible and relevant to all members of the community we serve. 

We also strive to create an inclusive, welcoming, and non-judgmental environment for our staff and volunteers, where everyone is valued and respected for their unique contributions and perspectives. We provide ongoing training and development opportunities to promote cultural competency and enhance our understanding of the diverse needs and experiences of the people we serve. We are also a learning organization that will continue to seek best practices and data to direct our work. 

Furthermore, we are committed to advocating for systemic changes that promote equity and justice for all individuals and communities. This includes supporting the development of skills and opportunities for members to advocate for themselves and their communities. We collaborate with other organizations and community partners to address the root causes of social and economic disparities and to promote policies and practices that promote equity and inclusion.