Programs currently conducted at the Monterey Peace and Justice Center (MPJC) include:
Art Gallery: two walls are used for art and photography shows on a variety of themes. The emphasis is to use art to create appreciation for diversity of cultures and the natural environment, and raise awareness on issues.
CSUMB Service Learning: as a long-time Service Learning Partner, the MPJC can tap into the skills of CSUMB students while providing them a learning opportunity. Up until now, service learners have worked on projects that benefit the Monterey Peace and Justice Center. Now we plan to create opportunities for Service Learners to benefit groups that don’t have the necessary facility to become an approved Service Learning Partner on their own. We will provide the facility, experience, and some supervision, while the group provides the project, and the student provides the labor.
Peace Through Understanding: English as a Second Language classes taught by graduate students from the TESOL department of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. The ESL classes serve two populations – adults who need to learn English, and MIIS grad students who need teaching experience. (They volunteer their time. ) Classes are free for anyone who walks in the door. No registration is necessary.
Library – Reading Room: Our free lending library of books and DVDs has a concentration on social issues, history, and politics. Twice a week we have open hours when anyone can drop in to browse, sit and read, or use our computers for research. We provide free WiFi for people who bring in their own computer.
Peace Central: The Monterey Peace and Justice Center is available for use by many different organizations for meetings and events, and serves as a hub of information on activities of various groups. Activities have included sign-making workshops, letter-writing parties, guest speakers and panel events, film screenings, potluck gatherings, book study and issue study groups, board meetings, candidates’ debates, committee meetings, sing-a-long gatherings, legal-defense fundraisers, and activist trainings. We also provide storage space for some groups, and share resources with them all — everything from computers and internet access to tablecloths and dishes for the potluck gatherings.
Our Peace Central program provides the opportunity for “cross-pollination” among groups. Fliers posted on our bulletin board by one organization are seen by members of many other groups, and we keep a copy of the emailed Weekly Peace Calendar (listing events in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and beyond) where it can be read by people who don’t have email. Examples of recent cross-pollination: ESL teachers are writing lesson plans from information given to them by Communities for a Sustainable Monterey County, and members of the Sudanese-American Society Monterey who participated in a sign-making workshop have signed up for an NCBI workshop on appreciating diversity. Also, social service agencies frequently provide us with fliers and leaflets (Veteran’s Transition Center, Monterey County 211, Employment Development Dept, etc.)