Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Humanities Appoints New Board Chair

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Cherie Hill, Communications Manager,

California Humanities Appoints New Board Chair

Bennett Peji, Vice President of Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego, to Lead Board of Statewide Humanities Organization

February 6, 2020

(Oakland, CA) — California Humanities, the statewide public humanities grantmaker and programming nonprofit, announces Bennett Peji as its new Board Chair, effective February 6, 2020.

Peji, a board member of California Humanities for over four years, is Vice President at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation in San Diego. He directs the community affairs work as well as the business accelerator, branding, marketing, and public relations. Peji is an international brand consultant, designer, and frequent speaker on inclusive, community-centered design. He co-founded Connect All @ the Jacobs Center, the first city-funded, low-to-moderate income, and diversity-focused business entrepreneurship center and accelerator in San Diego.

In addition to his California Humanities board service, Peji also serves on the boards of Tijuana Innovadora and the UDA Foundation. Appointed by the Mayor, he served as a Commissioner of Arts & Culture for the City of San Diego from 2003 to 2012. He also served as President of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Asian Business Association.

“We’re grateful to Bennett Peji for his years of service and we’re pleased to announce the continuation of his support in this new role,” said California Humanities President and CEO Julie Fry. “After many years working within the San Diego community, supporting entrepreneurs and neighborhood development, we know he will bring an innovative mindset, strong relationships, and his charismatic leadership qualities to this statewide position.”

“I believe strongly in civic participation at the neighborhood and city level, based on deep research, community engagement, and collaboration,” said Bennett Peji, “As the new Chair of the California Humanities Board of Directors, I will use this perspective to support California Humanities as it continues to engage communities through high-quality public humanities experiences across the state.”

For more information on members of the California Humanities Board, visit

California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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