Welcome to the Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties. The Center’s mission is to broaden awareness of social justice and civil liberties by providing insights into the American experience, both past and present.
One Location, Many Stories
The Center for Social Justice & Civil Liberties is located in downtown Riverside, California. It houses a research museum and art gallery highlighting significant events that shaped the history of our region and nation. During your visit, you will discover compelling stories of courage and have an opportunity to reflect on moments documenting the ongoing fight for equality for all. Much of your visit to the center will be self-guided, allowing you to take in the information at your own pace. Friendly staff and volunteers are on-hand and always happy to assist you.
Inspired by the Past to Enrich our Future
The Center’s building is also about honoring and retaining history. The two-story, 10,000-square-foot building was built in 1926 as the Citrus Belt Savings and Loan. Visitors are welcomed by its Spanish baroque façade in the elaborate Churrigueresque architectural style. The building was renovated to become the home for the one-of-a-kind art collection of Riverside native Japanese-American Artist Mine Okubo and to honor seven individuals and their families who faced challenges while making Riverside their home. An artist and illustrator, Mine Okubo, may be best known for her book, Citizen 13660, a seminal response to the World War ll internment of Japanese Americans. Her artwork on display and archived written works share much of this experience with us.
Digital Media Resource Center
In addition to offering permanent and temporary exhibitions to the public, the Center holds a digital repository of video, film, photographs and personal documents. The Vault Theater, our media room is uniquely placed inside the buildings former bank vault which held the financial riches of days past. In addition to our regular film “Ain’t Gonna Be Treated this Way” which shows each Saturday during our public hours, 10-4 p.m. , we provide free of charge other documentary films (August through June) showing important and powerful stories about social justice and civil liberties issues. The annual film schedule can be found on our website Calendar.
Designed as a space where young visitors can gain a cultural and historical experience, our youth room provides K-6th students with history and arts & crafts in a bright and colorful environment. The Center launched the Trailblazer Program in 2017 to teach children about inspirational world leaders and to show them the importance of making a difference. We are excited to grow this program and we invite teachers and parents to join us the third Saturday of each month (July excluded as the center is closed) – 1-3 p.m. The Trailblazer Program 2017-2018 Schedule can be found on our website Calendar.