Workshops Train Students in Environmental Justice

  • Stevie Ruiz sitting with Jimmy Ramos and Tomás Figueroa in a library, Felipe Lepe sitting across from them.

    CSUN Chicana/o studies professor Stevie Ruiz, far right, Tomás Figueroa, a marketing and Chicana/o studies major, and Jimmy Ramos, an urban studies and planning and Chicana/o studies major, sit with Felipe Lepe, coordinator with Santa Monica Mountains National Park Service. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

  • Tomás Figueroa stands in front of a powerpoint as Jimmy Ramos stands to the side and several students listen to them speak.

    Jimmy Ramos and Tomás Figueroa discuss building a garden. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

  • Stevie Ruiz sits in front of the students while Jimmy Ramos and Tomás Figueroa stand off to the side as he speaks.

    Stevie Ruiz, Jimmy Ramos and Tomás Figueroa discuss environmental justice with workshop attendees. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

Throughout the summer, CSUN Chicana/o studies professor Stevie Ruiz and a team of current and former students have been holding workshops to train high school students and college-age young adults on environmental justice — what it is and how to use it to better serve their communities. Ruiz hosted the last workshop of the summer, “Environmental Justice Community Action Lab,” on Friday, Aug. 9, on the CSUN campus.

A $15,000 grant from California Humanities, an independent nonprofit organization and partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, made the workshops possible. Ruiz and his team of four taught workshop attendees that acts of environmental justice can range from reusing plastic containers in order to save money to planting trees for cultural traditions — and the best place to start is to go out into the community and learn from the oral histories of its residents. Each workshop drew approximately 20 attendees, with the last one bringing in 23.

, , ,