REST’s community partnerships enable students to learn, do research and build work experience while they work with the diverse communities of the Inland Empire. REST students learn from these community partners through field trips, guest lectures, and research conducted in classes. Sometimes these experiences lead students into their first jobs. Currently, we have students working at COPE and Center for Employment Opportunities.
Congregations Organizing for Prophetic Engagement (COPE)
COPE is a faith-based network of black churches organizing “to protect and revitalize the communities where we live, work and worship.” They lead a wide variety of civic engagement, youth organizing and criminal justice reform efforts in the Inland Empire. They come regularly to teach students about their work in our classes, and sometimes collaborate with students and faculty on larger events and organizing campaigns.
Inland Congregations United for Change (ICUC)
ICUC is a grassroots church-based community organizing group that brings people together to develop local leadership that can strengthen families and improve communities. REST students in a May Term class, Urban Crisis and Renewal, developed a research-action project in collaboration with ICUC on the Mexican American Soccer Leagues of San Bernardino. Link to final report: English Version | Spanish Version
Students continue to learn from and work with ICUC through participating in voter education and mobilization efforts for some of their local and statewide campaigns.
All of Us or None: Riverside is a local branch of a national organizing initiative of formerly incarcerated people, their loved ones and allies that organize and take action to end the discrimination faced by formerly incarcerated people in areas of employment, housing, education and social services that we face as the result of past criminal convictions. Student interns have worked with RAOUON to plan Job Fairs and to work on criminal justice policy reforms in Riverside County.
Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO )
CEO is a national model that provides comprehensive employment services exclusively for people with criminal records. CEO's model is based on a highly structured program of life skill education, short-term paid transitional employment, full-time job placement, and post-placement services. This year, CEO anticipates preparing more than 3,000 people to move into mainstream employment. Student interns can work with CEO to learn about non-profit management, employment, and reentry services.
IE Fair Chance Coalition (IEFCC)
The Inland Empire Fair Chance Coalition is working to ensure that all people with criminal convictions have a fair chance to gain employment, housing, and the support they need to thrive. U of R classes and interns have worked with faculty member Jen Tilton to support the development of a reentry advocacy coalition with TFCF, Goodwill of Southern California, ACLU of Southern California, Riverside All of Us or None, Project Rebound and Starting Over. Students have done research, social media, and lobbying in Sacramento to pass California’s Fair Chance Act (AB1008). Students and faculty continue to work with community partners and the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing to educate employers and people with records to increase compliance with this law.
R.E.A.C.H trains students and faculty from the University of Redlands to work with and learn from students on probation in San Bernardino county facilities. R.E.A.C.H. volunteers build mentoring relationships, conduct writing workshops, and lead discussions; in order to build emotional literacy, critical thinking, and writing skills. Students also have the opportunity to take fully shared Inside Out classes with incarcerated youth on topics ranging from Education to Juvenile Justice.
Time for Change Foundation empowers disenfranchised low-income women and families to become leaders. They use evidence-based programming and housing to help women leave behind homelessness and incarceration and to build self-sufficient and thriving communities. Student interns have worked to help plan the TFCF Fundraising Gala, Civic Education, and policy advocacy.