Darell PeedenFor new Golden State Opportunity Board Member Darrell Peeden, overall system change has always been a focus in his community organizing and civic engagement efforts.

“GSO is important because, at the end of the day, you need organizations focused on system change,” he said. “If there aren’t organizations focused on changing systems, nothing will change. You can put bandaids on problems and help make ends meet and address immediate need but if you’re not changing the system it won’t have long term results.”

Peeden knows more than most about community and civic organizing: he currently serves as the co-founder and Vice President of SBX Youth and Family Services, an organization he helped create as a high school student at Rialto High School in 1998. Peeden’s guiding light when it comes to community service is simple: lift other up.

“No one is in this by themselves,” he said. “There is an obligation as community members and neighbors to do what we can to help others. We’ve relied on folks throughout our lives and we need to be sure we can be relied on. That’s how you build community.”

Pedeen has continued his life of service, serving as Moreno Valley School Board President and co-founder of Think Big Gaming, a social enterprise focused on investing in digital assets and providing economic opportunities in the virtual world economy. In 2016, he served as an Economic and Justice Fellow for Golden State Opportunity. He hopes to bring bring his 20 years of community and civic engagement experience to support GSO’s efforts.

“Without folks working on improving systems from the state level, we can’t move that needle,” he said. “GSO does that.”

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