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  • January 29, 2021

    Long-term tribal partnerships in the Klamath Basin: Advancing Karuk tribal sovereignty & self-determination through water quality

    134 community members, students, staff, and faculty from several groups and universities joined the conversation with  Ron Reed (Karuk Tribe), Susan Fricke (Water Quality Program Manager for the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources.), and Sibyl Diver ( research scientist at Stanford University in the Department of Earth System Science). The presenters focused on Long-term tribal partnerships in the Klamath Basin: Advancing Karuk sovereignty and self-determination through water quality.  A highlight of the presentation was the good news and outcome of community-based research and 20 years of Karuk activism led to a Nov 2020 agreement to bring down three dams in the Klamath region by 2023, which will restore water health and strengthen Karuk cultural ceremonies.

    Photo and Credit: Tribal leaders advocating for Klamath dam removal, Berkshire-Hathaway Shareholders meeting, 2007.
    Photo by Regina Chichizola, Klamath Riverkeeper. 

    >>watch the video

  • Learning about 15 years of multi-sector funding of community-academic partnerships in the South Bay

    The panel discussion focusing on environmental justice funding and government partnerships was an inspiring session on SJSU's funding model for CommUniverCity, their anchor institution program working in partnership with the City of San Jose.  CommUniverCity is a nationally recognized place-based community engaged learning model that operates in about 1.5 mile radius around SJSU. It has been working with San Jose City and other organizational partners for 15 years. With a $670,000 annual budget, they are able to involve 5,000+ low-income residents and 1,700 SJSU students per year in a long-term investment responding to community priorities. During the panel, the presenters shared how they have successfully funded their own EJ work and attendees identified common challenges that they should address moving forward and how to improve collaboration. The panelists included Katherine Cushing (CommUniverCity’s Executive Director), Imelda Rodriguez (CommUniverCity’s Community Director) and Michael Gonzalez (City of San Jose Environmental Services). This event  was hosted by SJSU and the Environmental Justice & the Common Good Initiative at Santa Clara University.

    CommUniverCity Model Slides 09.10.2020

  • September 1st, 2020

    Testimony on the Food Systems and Public Comment Relating to Item 10: Food, Restaurants, Agriculture, and Health Access Initiative

    The South Bay Food Justice Collaborative's  submitted a comment to  contribute to SCC board of supervisors meeting agenda item #10 regarding the Food, Agriculture and Health Access Initiative (FAHAI) Referral and a report back that took place online on september 1st, part of this agenda packet.  Christopher Bacon worked with an intern Katherine Omalley on this policy doc, and also collaborated with colleagues from La Mesa Verde, Second Harvest Food Bank, Stanford and others with the goal to build more equity into the emergency food security response and also try to build back a more sustainable food system


  • August 12 and 14, 2020

    Research team presented at the Modesto General Plan meeting.

    Research team Iris Stewart- Frey, Chloe Gentile-Montgomery and Meghan Adams presented a few maps and ideas regarding data and communities at two meetings that TRT and Catholic Charities convened on August 12 and 14 for Modesto Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities.

    08,2020 Modesto Research Contribution to Community Action Plan

    Image: Mapping of wells and nitrate contamination 2010-2020

  • June 24, 2020

    ONLINE: Environmental justice concerns in the northern Central Valley region.

    On June 24th, 2020 TheThe Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative at SCU, jointly with the Tuolumne River Trust (Modesto Office)  and the Environmental Justice Program of Catholic Charities (Stockton) and collaborators at Stanford University and UC Berkeley hosted a listening session for community environmental justice concerns in the northern Central Valley region.  Over 60 representatives of 22 community and local government organizations and six academic institutions participated. Panel presentations on community-academic partnerships for environmental justice were followed by discussions in breakout groups that covered  six topics: Food access in the context of Covid-19, safe access to parks/open space, sustainable water and climate justice planning, affordable housing & sustainable transportation, air quality and economics & green jobs especially under Covid-19. Common emerging themes were the need for financial support, collaboration, and expertise, the need to follow-up with networking and collaborative effort with the goal of developing long-term partnerships. 

    June24 Worshop Notes EJConcerns Central Valley

    June24Workshop Slides EJConcerns Central Valley

    Image: Modesto City Entrance


  • April 3, 2020

    ONLINE: Workshop on real-time campaigns in EJ: Amah Mutsun fight against mining at Juristac

    The Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative at SCU, jointly with collaborators at San Jose State and Stanford Universities, hosted an online workshop with about 60 participants from 11 universities, including SCU, SJSU, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, USF, and more, as well as the City of San Jose and the Community Water Center. A focal topic of the gathering was a workshop by Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, and Michelle Glowa (UC Santa Cruz) on the role of real-time campaigns in environmental justice teaching and research. Chairman Lopez shared updates on the Campaign to Protect Juristac, historically tribal lands in southern Santa Clara County under siege by the potential granting of a mining permit. The gathering inspired participants to expand regional networking on environmental justice, and share teaching and research expertise in support of the campaign. In addition, the Northern California Environmental Justice Network followed up with a joint letter to the Santa Clara County Planning commission urging the protection of the Juristac lands. The letter was signed by 80 members from various Northern California Institutions. Another letter from the Santa Clara University Community was signed by 369 supporters.

    Workshop Agenda:Real-time campaigns as a teaching tool in EJ

    Condensed Workshop Notes 04032020

    Letter of Support Juristac NorCalEJ Network

    Juristac Support Letter SCU

    >>watch the video

    Image: Valentin Lopez


  • March 6, 2020

    Jahi Chappell - Food Justice

    Jahi Chappell, author of Beginning to End Hunger (UC Press), and recently-appointed Executive Director of Food First, presented recent research and future prospects for food systems change at scales ranging from cities to international policy fora convened by the United Nations, drawing on his study in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He also shared lessons for how university researchers can collaborate productively and respectfully with communities, which helped to inform the Initiative’s ongoing work with the emerging South Bay Food Justice Collaborative. Chappell’s talk was co-sponsored by SCU’s Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Leavey School of Business.
    Image: Jahi Chappell

    >>watch the video

  • March 6, 2020

    Food Justice in the South Bay Half Day Workshop

    The EJ and Common Good Initiative's emerging food justice program collaborated with the University of California Cooperative Extension and community-based food justice groups, including Fresh Approach, La Mesa Verde, Valle Verde, and Veggielution, to organize a half-day workshop at SCU. The workshop brought together 38 South Bay organizations working on food justice, farming, and public health issues for learning, dialogue, and exploration of potential research and social change partnerships to leverage collective impact. Participants shared their work and learned from food justice leaders in the wider Bay Area.

    Photo Credit: Isabel Medina, Fresh Approach

    >> read the South Bay Food Justice Workshop Agenda
    >> read the South Bay Food Justice workshop Executive Summary