RIVERSIDE, CA — March 21, 2024 — The Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California has welcomed new members to its Board of Directors, aiming to enhance its efforts in civil rights and social justice across Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Located at 3933 Mission Inn Ave., Downtown Riverside, the Institute educates visitors of all ages about the local civil rights movement with exhibits, public seminars, oral history projects, and online archives. It celebrates regional civil rights leaders and offers a venue for community discussions and grassroots organizing.

Ken Gutierrez, an urban planning expert with a rich history of contributing to Riverside’s urban landscape, has been reappointed as Board President. His comprehensive experience includes serving on the UCR School of Public Policy Advisory Board, where his insights on equitable development has shaped the education of future policymakers.

Launa Wilson has been appointed Board Vice President, leveraging her extensive background in nonprofit leadership and philanthropy. Currently serving as the Board Chair of Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation, Wilson advocates for affordable housing solutions in the region. She owns Launa Wilson Consulting LLC, offering strategic guidance to nonprofits focused on strengthening governance, fund development, and organizational sustainability.

Chani Beeman, an advocate for social justice, joins the board. Beeman retired from the Riverside Community College District, where she served as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Compliance. Before that, Beeman spent 17 years at Cal State San Bernardino in various roles, including as the university’s first ombudsman.

Sharon Green, founder and CEO of Victor Valley Family Resource Center, brings her activism and advocacy in housing and criminal justice reform to the board. Based in the High Desert, Green’s organization offers case management, transitional housing, substance abuse intervention, prevention services, and workforce training for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Damien O’Farrell, President and CEO of Parkview Legacy Foundation, brings extensive experience in addressing social determinants of health and homelessness. His previous roles as CEO of Path of Life Ministries and founding Vice President and past President of The Pick Group, a young professionals organization, align with the Institute’s vision for community well-being.

Board President Ken Gutierrez said, “Our board’s expansion reflects our dedication to encompassing a broad spectrum of perspectives and expertise in civil rights advocacy. We are united in our mission to create a more equitable and just society.”

Executive Director of the Civil Rights Institute, Sabrina Gonzalez, added, “The collective experience and dedication of our new and returning board members are invaluable. Their leadership will significantly impact our ongoing efforts to champion social justice and equity.”

The public is invited to visit the Civil Rights Institute as we do tours and have a community space for programming. More information at www.InlandCivilRights.org