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.