In 2012 a group of activists and community organizers from the Northern San Joaquin Valley came together under the name Valley Improvement Projects, or V.I.P., with the mission of improving the quality of life of underrepresented and marginalized residents of California’s Central Valley by advocating for social and environmental justice.
V.I.P. opened and ran the Community Center for Social & Environmental Justice in downtown Modesto from 2013-2014. The Center provided a unique space and opportunity for local organizers, activists, advocates, and other community members to meet, learn, and take united action. In 2015 V.I.P. suffered the tragic loss of our Co-Founder and long-time community advocate Emiliano Mataka, Rest In Peace Emi, we miss you everyday!.
Since then, V.I.P has carried on Emi’s legacy and worked to fulfill his vision: a grassroots organization made up of local community members dedicated to bringing justice and equity to the most disadvantaged communities of our area. V.I.P. is proud to continue his hard work by ever-expanding our outreach and presence in the community and always fighting for Social and Environmental Justice in Stanislaus County and the Central Valley!
The Valley Improvement Projects Community Center for Social and Environmental Justice was a social space located in downtown Modesto from July 2013 until it officially closed in September 2014.
In 2012 a group of Modesto community organizers came together under the name Valley Improvement Projects, or V.I.P., with the mission of improving the quality of life of underrepresented and marginalized residents of California’s Central Valley by promoting social and environmental issues through youth outreach, education, technology, and art.
V.I.P. opened the Community Center for Social & Environmental Justice in July 2013 in downtown Modesto to give people a place to meet, learn, and take united actions against the power structures that keep most of the wealth, resources, and opportunities in the hands of only a few at the top.
Resources at V.I.P. included:
- Educational workshops and tutoring
- Computer and internet/Wi-Fi access
- Library and lounge area
- Bike repair and maintenance work area
- Donated clothes, food, and other items for those in need
- Arts, crafts, and other kid activities
- Screen printing t-shirts and posters
- Mental health and substance abuse “harm reduction” meetings
- Musical and theatrical events
- Projector and screen for movie nights
- Audio/radio production
- Information about other local community resources
The Valley Improvement Projects Community Center for Social and Environmental Justice was located at 400 12th Street Suite #14 Modesto, California, and was open Monday – Friday from 4pm – 8pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 8pm.
Our address is now: P.O. Box 4214 Modesto, CA 95352.
V.I.P. hopes to one day open a new community center and encourages anybody who would like to work with us to make that happen to contact us!
Pics of VIP’s former Community Center: