Safe Space: Grand Opening of the Center for Culture and Social Justice
After years of fighting, the DREAMers, P.I.N.T.O, the Lavender Coalition, and UMOJA finally received the Center for Culture and Social Justice (CCSJ). The grand opening of the CCSJ took place on August 28th in AD 109, with a crowd exceeding 50 people.
The event began with representatives from the DREAMers, the Lavender Coalition, UMOJA, and P.I.N.T.O clubs speaking about their personal background, the club's background and mission, and why the center is important to them.
Moises Rosales, the President of the Chaffey College Student Government, has been an important figure in fighting for this center. As president of the DREAMers club, he organized many marches, rallies, and events demanding not only a center for the underserved populations on campus, but also against many of the policies that the Trump administration has enacted. He, along with members of the DREAMers club and allies brought the center up at governing board meetings, student government meetings, and out in the free speech quad . For Moises, the fight lasted three years, and as Chaffey's first undocumented Student Government President he was able to see the center finally open.
Rosales' emotions were bouncing off the walls as the people gathered in the room. "I'm excited. It's been almost three years of waiting for this moment to happen. I didn't think it would happen this fast." The number of people that attended the event excited Rosales, and he hoped that the room would be this crowded everyday. "I hope it looks like this everyday after today" Rosales stated.
Rosales' mom, dad and little sister attended the event. "I invited them because they know I come to school and they know I am somehow involved, but they've never seen anything, and this is the one thing I have been fighting for three years, and I figured this is the perfect time for them to be here and see just what I do in school."
Rosales emigrated to the United States from Mexico along with his mother to pursue a better life. "I came holding her hand to this country" Rosales said "She knows I'm here to help students but I don't think she has the idea of what is exactly happening so I have to explain to her later on about what just went down."
Rosales' mother, Michelle Medina, stated that she was "very proud of Moises because he fights[for the underserved] like if they're his family." She went on to say that she feels proud, because when they arrived to the United States, he did not know English and now he has accomplished so much. She sometimes worries about his involvement since he is undocumented. When living in Mexico, she never imagined that her child would be accomplishing so much. "The world is yours" she would tell Moises when he was a kid "you are made to triumph in this life." She states that when Moises come homes she always says "My Congressman is home." She makes sure to remind him that he has a long way to go in order to meet his goals, and she hopes that motivates him to reach his goals.
The Center for Culture and Social Justice is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The center's mission statement states, "The Center for Culture and Social Justice (CCSJ) is a culturally conscious safe-haven dedicated to cultivating socially responsive leaders. Unwaveringly committed to fostering solidarity and amplifying the student voice, the CCSJ will evolve with the needs of our student population, always seeking to empower, inspire and encircle the Panther community."