Hundreds of residents attended the grand opening of the Chicano Indigenous Community for Culturally Conscious Advocacy and Action (Ch.I.C.C.C.A.A.) to learn more about social services that will be provided out of the downtown community space.
The ‘not-for-profit’ service co-operative, located at 802 N.‘E’ Street, is the only of its kind in the Inland region. The community service model utilizes shared governance to resolve social, economic, and cultural issues.
Organizations working out of the center are not offering “charity” or “pity” to residents, but instead looking to empower fellow residents living near or in poverty.
“We are here to learn from and support each other, because no one else will,” said Mary Valdemar, Co-founder of the Chicano Indigenous Community for Culturally Conscious Advocacy and Action (Ch.I.C.C.C.A.A.). “We want social and economic justice.”
The kickoff featured live performances from indigenous hip-hop groups Kozmik Force, La Marea, and El Vuh. A community potluck also took place; community members ate hamburgers, corn, and other foods.
The following groups are located at the center: Chicano Indigenous Community for Culturally Conscious Advocacy and Action (Ch.I.C.C.A.A.A.), Sierra Club My Generation Campaign, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Inland Regional Equality Network, the Indigenous Defense and Resistance Movement, Progressive Alliance of the Inland Empire, Village and Child Co-Op, Mother Earth Co-Op, San Bernardino Valley College LGBTQ+Pride, San Bernardino Valley College Progressives, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.) de San Bernardino Valley College, I.E. Hack Lab, and Team Abigail.