Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action! 

VIDA logoVIDA's mission is to empower students to become agents of change in their communities and beyond; to foster education that meets the needs of the communities we serve; and to help develop pathways to meaningful participation in local, state, and federal government decision making processes.

VIDA office is closed due to the Shelter in Place order due to the covid19 pandemic. We are available remotely and will continue to provide resources when possible

Action Resources to Stand up for Black Lives and Against White Supremacy

Many of our students, faculty, and staff are wanting to take action as part of the movement for Black Lives. Increased urgency for this work has been sparked by the recent murder of George Floyd by police, but Floyd’s murder is part of a larger system of police impunity and white supremacy that is baked into every aspect of US society.

The following resource list will be evolving. It will help you find ways to take action to make a difference in standing up for Black lives, Brown lives, and against all forms of racism and White Supremacy. Please contact Cynthia Kaufman the director of VIDA for coaching on how to take action.

The Movement for Black Lives 

They have a great resource page: Some of the things they encourage are: school districts severing contracts with police departments, increased resources to deal with the COVID-19 crisis in communities of color, bail relief for those arrested in recent protests, accountability for police departments which have violated people’s civil rights in the recent upsurge of protest action.

Reclaim our Vote

Reclaim Our Vote, They are a non-profit organization led by Black women for people of color that fights voter suppression by mobilizing vulnerable voters of color to vote in statewide elections. They have many actions people can sign on to help with. 

Showing Up for Racial Justice

Has a lot of actions specifically designed for white people. One is “Collect Our Cousins for Voting: This is a quick guide for taking anti-racist action:

End White Silence Action toolkit from National SURJ:

Showing Up for Racial Justice at Sacred Heart Community Service: General meetings first Tuesday of every month from 6-8 pm (currently virtual).

Sacred Heart Community Service

Is at the center of political organizing among low income communities and communities of color and the need right now is very very very great.  The high infection and mortality rates among low income Latinx folks in the Silicon Valley is a part of the white supremacist system that devalues the lives of people of color.

Engaged Learning

If you are looking for a community partner for your service learning class, visit our Engaged Learning webpage.

Donate to VIDA

students at state capitolVIDA could not exist without generous supporters who believe in the power of civic engagement. After the death of Senator Vasconcellos,  VIDA received an extraordinary pledge to perpetuate the vision of the Institute of Community and Civic Engagement. Community members Jim and Becky Morgan pledged a challenge grant of $198,000 over three years in honor of Senator Vasconcellos' long history of civic work. Your gift will help the program match their generous donation.

Important information to direct your gift to VIDA: 

  • Click the "Donate Now" button below.
  • Fill out the form with your information.
  • Under Program, choose "Other."
  • Type "VIDA" in the box and the amount you would like to donate.

Donate Now

For more information, contact Robin Latta, from the foundation, at

VIDA Celebration

Watch a short video of the VIDA renaming event here, or visit YouTube to watch in full screen.



Building: East Cottage

Cynthia Kaufman
Phone: 408.864.8739

Program Coordinator:
Angélica Esquivel
Phone: 408.864.8993

Student Staff:

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Office Hours:

Cynthia Kaufman
Zoom Office Hours:

Tuesdays - Thursdays: 10:00 am -11:00 am  

Wednesdays12:00 pm

Angélica Esquivel


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