Expanding on the Miné Okubo Collection, history and the arts, and social justice in the Inland Empire…

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Welcome Center’s New Director

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Photo by Mabel Amber on Pexels.com

Kishi Animashaun Ducre, Ph.D. is the new Director of the Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties. Kishi Ducre (pronounced “Key-sha Doo-cree”) has authored works on environmental justice, feminism, and community-based research, including 2012 book A Place We Call Home: Gender, Race, and Justice in Syracuse and 2016 co-edited volume entitled, Addressing Environmental and Food Justice Toward Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Poisoning and Imprisoning Youth.  From 2005 to 2017, she served as Associate Professor and former Chair of the Department of African American Studies (AAS) at Syracuse University. In 2011, she was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to teach and conduct research at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at The University of the West Indies – St. Augustine. She received her PhD in the Environmental Justice Program of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment in 2005.


Dr. Ducre has been a committed advocate for environmental justice for over two decades. She has curated photography exhibitions based upon her community-based arts research known as photovoice: the “Damu Smith Memorial Environmental Justice Exhibition” at the Community Folk Art Center of the Department of African American Studies at Syracuse University in 2007 and, “Our Community, Our Vision, Our Voices: East Port of Spain Photovoice Exhibition” debuted at the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies in 2011.

This spring, Dr. Ducre taught an Introduction to Sociology course at Riverside Community College. Her teaching philosophy is based on the Paulo Freire’s concept of liberatory pedagogy; knowledge as a form of empowerment. This philosophy complements her commitment to scholar activism. Join us in a chorus of “Welcome”!


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First Trailblazers Program Event -Michelle Obama

On February 18th, the Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties held its inaugural Trailblazer Program event that focused on former First Lady Michelle Obama’s work on food education. Kids learned about Michelle Obama’s “MyPlate” campaign which emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet including all 5 food groups- fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Our favorite part of the day was when kids were able to plant their own vegetable seeds to take home and watch grow. You can view pictures from the event below.

Our next Trailblazers Program event will take place on March 18th, from 1-3pm, and will focus on the life and legacy of comedian, actress, producer and television legend Lucille Ball. We hope to see you then!

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Edna Horiuchi Visit to the CSJCL

” In 1979, I wrote a paper about Mine when I was a student at UC Riverside. Afterward I sent her a letter. She wrote back and we ended up exchanging yearly Christmas cards. She always created her own cards. One day I received a package from her. Inside was a small painting of a girl and a cat!”

-Edna Horiuchi

Reconnected After all of These Years

With the help of a recent visitor survey, the Center discovered Ms. Edna Horiuchi’s connection to well-known Japanese American artist Mine Okubo. Edna recently toured the Center to view the Okubo exhibit and archives. She also shared her prized original Okubo art piece with us; a gift from Mine Okubo after their friendship blossomed through years of written communication. Edna expressed her admiration for Mine Okubo; an internment survivor, talented artist and cultural historian who despite everything she had experienced lived a life filled with a sense of humor and a positive outlook. Visit the Center to see Mine’s work first-hand and learn more about her life and internment period through her beautiful art.

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Trailblazers Program

The CSJCL is very excited to announce that next month, we will be launching our TRAILBLAZERS PROGRAM! Our featured trailblazer on Thursday, February 18th, 1 – 3pm, will be Michelle Obama and the target audience is children grades 1-3. Please join us to learn about the First Lady’s determination to change the way parents and children think about nutrition by playing games and even planting your own seeds!


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APCA Lunar Festival

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Celebrate Asian Pacific Culture with the CSJCL at the 2017 Lunar Festival in downtown Riverside on Saturday, January 28, 2017! We will have a booth at the festival with fun, family activities that include prizes. In addition, our doors at the CSJCL will be open from 10am-4pm. Come learn about Asian Pacific community members who have helped shape Riverside!