State allocates $7 million for Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center

 

July 22, 2023

The Dolores Huerta Foundation has announced receipt of an additional $7 million grant from the State of California for the establishment of the Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center, a 32,000-square-foot building in downtown Bakersfield.

We are pleased to announce that, with the leadership of Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed the 2023-24 State Budget bills with the remaining key funds included to establish the Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center.

The Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) team expresses sincere gratitude to State Senator Anna Caballero (SD 14) and Assembly Member Dr. Jasmeet Baines (AD 35) for their sponsorship and support during the budget request process. Both legislators and their staff worked tirelessly with the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees to secure these additional funds.

The tireless efforts of Dolores Huerta and DHF in meeting the needs of underserved communities was also recognized by the esteemed Latino Legislative Caucus. The Latino Caucus prioritized this budget request and its support reflects the significance of the impact of this transformative community initiative.

Building upon an initial state allocation of $15 million in 2021, this new funding comes as a response to inflationary pressures, the rising cost of construction, and supply chain challenges that have substantially increased the overall cost of the Cultural Center.

Camila Chavez, Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, emphasized the pivotal role the center will play in positively transforming communities. She stated, "The Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Center will serve as a catalyst for change, enabling us to expand our educational initiatives, empower underrepresented communities, and respond to the many mental health, social and economic crises affecting Central Valley families. We are grateful for this funding, which will allow us to expand and make an even greater impact in Bakersfield, the Central Valley, and throughout California. Construction of our Peace and Justice Cultural Center is slated to begin in September of 2024."

"The DHF is grateful for the support from the state legislature. This is critical support to bring us closer to establishing a center to expand much needed services to our region. This center is about honoring the legacy of the many communities that have built the Central Valley by establishing a center as a testament to our ongoing commitment to supporting those most in need in the region, in California, and beyond," said Dolores Huerta, DHF President.

About the Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center:

The Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center is a visionary project dedicated to promoting peace, justice, and equality. Inspired by the pioneering work of Dolores Huerta, the center seeks to empower individuals, create educational opportunities, and advocate for social change. By nurturing collaboration and community engagement, the center aims to address systemic inequalities and build a brighter future for all Californians. The Peace & Justice Cultural Center will be a multicultural community center complex, covering an entire city block in downtown Bakersfield, which will draw tourists and revitalize small businesses in the area. The Dolores Huerta Foundation has chosen to locate the Peace and Justice cultural center in downtown Bakersfield as part of its long-term commitment to revitalize the Eye St. Corridor. The Self-Help Federal Credit Union – with locations throughout the country – creates and protects ownership and economic opportunity for all by lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices. Their Bakersfield branch is adjacent to the Peace & Justice Cultural Center and their partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation will be strengthened.

About The Dolores Huerta Foundation:

The Dolores Huerta Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization on a mission to inspire and organize communities to build volunteer organizations empowered to pursue social justice. DHF has established 12 chapters of Vecinos Unidos (Neighbors United) in Kern, Tulare, Fresno and Los Angeles counties. Vecinos Unidos members have been successful in advocating for community infrastructure improvements (sidewalks, sewer connections, swimming pools, public parks, etc.) as well as educational improvements (increased counseling and tutoring services, school meal access and more). Vecinos Unidos members are trained to increase civic participation in their respective communities through Census, redistricting, legislative advocacy, and voter registration and outreach. Youth from DHF's Liberated Youth for Empowerment (LYFE) program also engage community and education advocacy efforts. The Dolores Huerta Foundation continues to partner with multiple agencies and community members to respond to and support the community pandemic recovery by:

• Hosting weekly food banks which have provided over 1,071,503 pounds of food to thousands of struggling individuals and families.

• Hosting and/or supporting 125 vaccination clinics, resulting in over 10,000 COVID-19 vaccination doses.

• Providing direct services and referrals to rental assistance and other services.

Learn more about the Dolores Huerta Foundation at http://www.doloreshuerta.org.

 
 

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