About the Space
Chuco’s Justice Center serves as a youth and community space, resource center and gathering place for organizers, artists, educators and organizations building a social justice movement in Los Angeles. The CJC works to challenge the criminalization and mass incarceration of youth and communities; police unaccountability and state violence (ie: police brutality, ICE raids, gang injunctions); or the creation and/or expansion of the prison industrial complex. The CJC is a collective space where the membership and organizations involved work together to provide shared leadership that is most beneficial to the community and larger justice movement.
When the YJC first started, we struggled to find free or low-cost space. We lived out of our cars and Kinko’s for two years. When we got our space, we made a commitment to provide low/no-cost space to grassroots organizing groups working to challenge the mass incarceration of communities of color, and/or addressing community and/or police violence.
We established our first space in South Central Los Angeles as Chuco’s Justice Center in memory of Jesse “Chuco” Becerra, one of the YJC’s youth organizers who were killed in September of 2005. In January of 2009, we moved into a 35,000 square foot space on the border between South Central L.A. and Inglewood, and are working to build a more comprehensive resource for youth and community organizing that includes: office, meeting, concert/open mic and workshop space; a phone bank; Internet access; shared database; opportunities for networking and joint action, a leadership high school for youth who have been pushed out of other schools, are on Probation, Parole or house arrest, and/or who are returning home from lock-ups. This year, we will continue to operate these resources and also build a recording studio with the technology to produce for radio, a video and film production space, and t-shirt and poster screening equipment. Groups that use the space get free to low-cost space. Those who contribute funds, give $300 a month to $300 a year. The Center serves as a meeting, program and/or performance space for dozens of groups, and Chuco’s also provides office space 8 organizations.