Raised in the Inland Empire, Sabrina Gonzalez has dedicated her professional career to strengthening relationships in the community and capacity-building through her work with youth and systemically excluded populations. Gonzalez grew up in what was then called Mira Loma. She is from a working-class American-Mexican family that has called the United States home for three generations. As a first-generation college graduate, Gonzalez said she was molded by community mentors and her family’s emphasis on hard work, lifelong learning, and community care.
Moving from Jurupa Valley to Boston University exposed her to the deep social, educational, and economic divides in American society. It inspired her to make a career that promotes educational opportunities to address disparities among diverse communities. Gonzalez served as a substitute teacher and coach for the Jurupa Unified School District. She worked as a senior teacher-counselor with the Cambridge Housing Authority, where she supported young people living in public housing with social services, life skills, and career training.
Gonzalez holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Northeastern University and most recently directed an intercultural educational program for international youth. Gonzalez will collaborate with the 11-member board of directors, diverse groups and individuals to advance the mission of the Civil Rights Institute across Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Among her first priorities is to oversee the completion of the Civil Rights Institute under construction at 3933 Mission Inn Ave. It will be open to the public on the first floor of a five-story affordable housing campus called Mission Heritage Plaza. The Civil Rights Institute will be a center for community meetings, grassroots organizing, historical archives, civil rights exhibits and year-round educational programming. It will house an oral history recording studio to capture stories about the region’s civil rights history-makers and unsung heroes.