|"Building justice through peace and peace through justice."|
|526 Broadway St , across from the Downtown Post Office|
|Center office hours|
|Olivia Schmidt, Aramenta Hawkins|
The Chico Peace & Justice Center, lesser known as the Chico Peace Endeavor (its 501(c)(3) organizational name), has been promoting non-violent living since 1982, but its roots can be traced to the early 1960s, when the U.S. Military had planned to install Titan nuclear missiles into nearby silos. Wilhelmina Taggart, a local resident, went to the base weekly to pray, and eventually the Titans were removed. During that period, Taggart was joined by several other individuals and they began to hold weekly peace vigils downtown. Today, peace vigils continue at Third and Main and the center has become important in social, political and economic dialog within the City of Chico.
The CPJC now has a large contingent of volunteers helping to operate programs for education, community building, direct action, outreach, and fund raising. The center hosts various meetings for local groups and often stages community events. On May 9, 2007, the center brought Cindy Sheehan to Chico where she spoke at a packed Harlen Adams Theater at CSU Chico.
The center's activities are regulated by a Board. In addition, there is one full-time paid position, the Coordinator/Director, Sue Hilderbrand. The Volunteer Coordinator is another paid position and is currently filled by Lisa Sun.
Furthermore, in addition to being its center of operations, the CPJC operates a small Fair Trade shop at its 526 Broadway Street location and is generally staffed by dedicated volunteers and/or interns. The emphasis is that Fair Trade is not Free Trade, since Free Trade pays no mind to working conditions, wages, and the environment. The center is actively working towards making Chico a certified Fair Trade Town.
Finally, the Peace Center publishes a monthly newsletter called Peaceful Action. It focuses on reporting the center's activities and important local and world-wide issues.
Fair Trade Store
The CPJC's Fair Trade Store had its official grand reopening on the 28th of November, 2008. The store received a lot of attention including total reorganization, expansion of goods sold by the store, and a new paint job. For the holidays they have all kinds of Christmas-themed goods. In addition, they sell coffee beans, polished rocks, chocolate, musical instruments, clothing, and toys (just to name a few).
The store was open 1-6pm on Weekdays and from 1-5 on Saturday.
In September 2008, the Peace Center began its annual membership program. It is tiered into six categories with different membership fee levels. They include Individual, Family, Sustainer, Visionary, Business, and Organizational. Students can receive a substantial discount on membership.
Members benefit by allowing the center to have a solid number on those supporting the center's causes and by also receiving discounts at the Fair Trade store and events such as the annual dinner. Those interested in joining the Peace Center can do so at their website or by dropping into the center.
There are many teams at the Chico Peace and Justice Center that meet regularly to accomplish specific goals and tasks. Tasks can be office work or simply taking care of the Peace Garden. Goals may be things such as advocating for marriage equality, peace, or a single-payer health system. The center is constantly seeking motivated individuals to help accomplish its mission. To volunteer or apply for an internship, visit the Chico Peace and Justice Center website at http://www.chico-peace.org or drop by their office. Lisa Sun is currently the volunteer coordinator.
Partners in Peace Scholarship
The CPJC has a scholarship that is awarded during Chico High School's achievement assemblies. It is an effort to counter-balance awards given by local military recruiters. The center needs to raise funds in order to provide scholarships of $150-$300 based on student activities in peace-oriented community service. Its primary goal is to encourage youth to be active in the community, solving problems without violence, and to help prevent enlistment by illuminating the fact other sources for college funding exists.