April 25, 2023 Minutes-Sabrina Gonzalez, Executive Director, Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California-Hybrid Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Sabrina Gonzalez, Executive Director, Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California

Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM


Present:  Megan Barajas, Carole Beswick, Bill Blankenship, Greg Bradbard, Mike Burrows, Luis Cetina, Ken Coate, Josh Cox, Dr. Sam Gibbs, Rebbccah Goldware, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Lena Kent, Lowell King, Steve Lambert, Miguel Mendoza, John Mirau, Robert Nava, Brian Nestande, Vikki Ostermann, Bansree Parikh, Cid Pinedo, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Eric Ustation, Lupe Valdez, Pete Van Helden, Reggie Webb, and Frank Zabaleta.

Announcements: 1) Transportation industry stakeholders will convene for the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (ACT Expo) conference on May 1-4, 2023, and the Expo on May 2-4, 2023, at the Anaheim Convention Center.  For more information go to  https://www.actexpo.com/ 2) The 29th Annual Inland Empire World Trade Conference will be held on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at the Event Center at Bear Springs Hotel. For more information and to register please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2023-inland-empire-world-trade-week-conference-tickets-590340703937The discount code for free tickets is COMP2023, courtesy of SBD International Airport.  3)  The 2nd Annual Leaders in Energy Summit will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at the Event Center at Bear Springs Hotel.  For more information and to register please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-leaders-in-energy-summit-registration-538069519417?aff=erelexpmlt

Michael Rivera, First Vice Chair presiding.

Motion by T. Rice/Second/Passed: Minutes from April 18, 2023.

John Mirau introduced Sabrina Gonzalez, Executive Director, Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California (CRIISC), who joined us in person.  Jane Carney, Board Member, was unable to attend and sent her apologies.  The mission of the Institute is to be a vital center for inclusion and to memorialize our region’s rich civil rights history and shape its future through social history stories and cultural, civic and educational engagement.

Located at 3933 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside in the 92,000 square foot Mission Heritage Plaza, the CRIISC has 3,500 square feet of permanent space for celebration and defense of civil rights.   It is also the home of the Fair Housing Council of Riverside County and provides 72 units of urban workforce housing. The housing provides safe, stable affordable housing, that will help build better lives for families and military veterans.  The need is obvious, and they now have a waiting list of over 200 applicants.

The CRIISC is a 501(c)(3) charity and will serve as the voice of civil rights for Inland Southern California.  They hope to inspire and empower people of all walks of life with a regional community center devoted to civil rights exhibits and educational programming.  To serve the region and inspire our next generation pushing the needle closer to equality the Institute will:

  • Provide public programming and curate children’s programs focusing on diversity, equity inclusion and anti-racism and civil rights in addition to education on the region’s civil rights history.
  • Host community groups, meetings and program exhibits and performances that support civil rights activities.
  • House an archive and library focusing on civil rights contributions to the Inland Empire in addition to creation of a digital archive of regional civil rights materials.
  • Conduct oral history projects and support the production of civil rights audio and video productions through the media center.
  • Recognize the region’s civil rights leaders and their impacts.

The CRIISC will use public engagement and dialogue to help position the Inland region as a leader in civil rights discourse.  They support the following primary facilities for cultural and social history exhibitions to engage and inspire understanding and conversation:

  • Altura Credit Union Media Center
  • Bank of America Diversity Center
  • Riverside African American Historical Society Exhibition Center

A Walk of Fame in front of the building will honor Inland Southern California’s rich civil rights history. The honorees include some of the many civil rights advocates who have lived or worked in Inland Southern California for their regional, statewide, national, or international impact on civil rights issues.

These individuals are memorialized by underwriters who have sponsored their inclusion on the walkway around the Civil Rights Institute. A digital version of the Walk of Fame is also under development.

The CRIISC’s opening exhibit of “Still I Rise: The Black IE Fight for Justice”, examines the lived experience of Black residents of the Inland Empire from the Great Migration to the present. Themes of Black self-reliance, home, work, education, policing, and intersectionalism, bear witness to the adversity and discrimination faced by the Black community and the strategies they used to thrive in the face of adversity.   A highlight of the exhibition is the debut of three interactive story maps that use sound and video to help visitors learn about the development and growth of Black communities in the region and local civil rights leaders who have advocated for equity in housing, education, jobs, leisure, and politics.

The Institute has many partners in arts and culture organizations and are used by numerous diverse groups.

From many indigenous communities to rural farm workers and diverse urban populations, the Inland region has a powerful story to tell about the fight for social justice and racial equity.  They believe in the power of education to heal, to bridge divides, to inspire meaningful dialogue and to raise up allies and champions for social justice and civil rights today and tomorrow.

Their regular hours of operation are Thursday: 12 PM – 5 PM and Friday: 12 PM – 5 PM.  For more information, please see their web site at  https://www.inlandcivilrights.org/exhibitions/  or email sabrina.gonzalez@inlandcivilrights.org

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:29a.m.