CURYJ and the Pacific Institute Release a “Foto-Novela” to Lift Youth’s Stories of Justice, Safety, and Displacement

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No More Violence: Oakland’s Youth Propose Peace-Development Strategy

forgotton-voices-coverMay 2, 2014, Oakland, CA: Living in neighborhoods compounded by violence and simultaneous gentrification, Oakland youth – with the support of the Pacific Institute and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) – have released the “foto-novela” Forgotten Voices to share their experiences and vision for creating opportunities for men of color. The foto-novela, available in both English and Spanish, comes out of the organizations’ Youth Empowerment Zone Project which aims to build the leadership capacity of young people directly impacted by proposed gang injunction ordinances in Oakland’s Fruitvale District.

“Forgotten Voices is compelling documentation of how to build healthy communities and bottom-up power. These aren’t top-down ordinances, but solutions from the ground up that reflect the patterns in youths’ shared experiences,” said Ruben Leal, a community organizer with CURYJ.

In a community where violence prevention strategies have criminalized the very youth the policies are meant to protect, the Youth Empowerment Zone Project created Community Research positions for the young men of color listed in Oakland’s gang injunction ordinances, recognizing them as thought leaders on youth violence prevention and community safety issues. Together and with the support of seasoned community activists and researchers, these “Hood Reporters” have created a comic-book-style short story which features photos taken by the youth and dialogue they have written to identify issues of concern in their communities, document community conditions, and generate solutions to create healthier communities.

 “Until now, there hasn’t been a story behind the faces and the root cause of violence in Oakland,” said George Galvis, co-founder and director of CURYJ. “We believe that neighborhoods affected by ‘turf violence’ can be transformed by the young people most impacted by that violence. Using participatory research tools like hand-drawn mapping, picture-taking, and peer-to-peer interviews, we have called on some of East Oakland’s street leaders to help develop a comprehensive peace-development strategy.”

Reducing youth violence will be key for Oakland to build healthy communities over the long term. By developing a youth-led vision in East Oakland that identifies specific improvements for existing violence prevention programs and services as well as broader policy and systems changes needed to support young people’s development, the Youth Empowerment Zone Project has provided these young men with the relevant resources, support, and opportunities to become positive forces for change in their communities.

“We need to begin to be innovative and creative about how we think about these issues to really address root causes of violence and the stability in communities most impacted by gang injunctions,” said Catalina Garzón of the Pacific Institute. “Gentrification and the increasing housing costs are destabilizing communities. Increased policing has been counterproductive by criminalizing our youth. It’s about healing – not about punishment – because what’s valued is sustaining community and family ties.”

Forgotten Voices is a tool that communities can use to build community power by lifting up the knowledge of those directly affected by violence, building a shared analysis of the root causes of violence based on lived experiences, and generating policy solutions that address these root causes.

Download the foto-novela Forgotten Voices in English (PDF).

Descarga el foto-novela Voces Olvidadas en Español (PDF).

Download the foto-novela Forgotten Voices in English and Spanish (PDF).

To learn more about getting involved in the next stages of the Empowerment Zone, contact George Galvis, georgegalvis (at) gmail.com, (510) 689-7350.

Gearing Up for Action: A Curriculum Guide for Freight Transport Justice

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Curriculum Guide in English and Spanish Supports Communities Grappling with Freight Transport Issues

Published: June 6, 2013
Authors: Ariana de Leña, Catalina Garzón
Pages: 114

The Pacific Institute’s revised Gearing Up for Action: A Curriculum Guide for Freight Transport Justice (en español, Preparándose para la Acción) is an important advocacy tool to build the power and capacity of communities to participate in decision making around freight transport issues. The activities have been designed to help community leaders engage groups of community members to learn more about freight transport and connect it to their own lives. The goal of our freight transport justice work is to reduce the adverse health impacts of freight transportation on low-income neighborhoods of color closest to freight transport hubs, and to increase the share of the benefits that residents of these communities enjoy.

The user-friendly curriculum guide helps communities grappling with freight transport issues share their experiences, explore the root causes of freight transport impacts, identify those responsible for dealing with these causes, and develop a plan for advocacy to advance their solutions. With activities from “Icebreakers” and “Energizers” to “Freight Transport Human Bingo” and “Putting Our Stories on the Map,” Gearing Up for Action engages people in a way that builds community and gives people tools to make change.

The project began in 2009, when the Institute’s Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Program began sharing the popular-education-style training, research, and advocacy tools for freight transportation justice that we had developed over five years with organizations and coalitions in other freight transport corridors and major hubs in the United States. The first edition of Gearing Up for Action came out in October 2010 to an enthusiastic reception, and the 2013 update is available now in both in English and Spanish.

The creation of this curriculum guide was a shared effort across many hands, hearts, and minds. The Pacific Institute’s Community Strategies Program deeply thanks the dedicated community leaders and organizations who contributed to the activities and materials included in this guide:

Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS); Neighborhood House of North Richmond (NHNR); West County Toxics Coalition (WCTC); West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP); and Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative (DDDC).

Download the Curriculum Guide:
in English – Gearing Up for Action
in SpanishPreparándose para la Acción

 

 

 

Preparándose para la Acción

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Publicado: 06 de junio 2013
Autores: Ariana de Lena, Garzón Catalina
Páginas: 114

Preparándose para la Acción: Una Guía Curricular para Lograr Justicia en el Transporte de Carga del Pacific Institute ha sido revisada siendo una importante herramienta de abogacía para construir el poder y la capacidad de comunidades para participar en la toma de decisiones en cuanto a temas del transporte de carga. Las actividades han sido diseñadas para ayudar a los líderes comunitarios en involucrar a grupos de miembros de la comunidad para aprender sobre el transporte de carga conectándolo a sus propias vidas. La meta de nuestro trabajo de justicia del transporte de carga es reducir los impactos adversos a la salud que el transporte de carga tiene en vecindarios de bajo recursos y de color que están cerca de centros de transporte de carga, y para aumentar los beneficios que residentes de estas comunidades pueden disfrutar.

La guía curricular es fácil de utilizar y ayuda a comunidades lidiando con problemas del transporte de carga a compartir sus experiencias, explorando las raíces de los impactos que el transporte de carga causa, identificando aquellos responsables de lidiar con estas causas, y desarrollando un plan de abogacía que avanza sus soluciones. Con actividades desde “Rompimientos de Hielo” y “Energizantes” a “Bingo Humano de Transporte de Carga” y “Colocación de Nuestras Historias en el Mapa,” Preparándose para la Acción involucra a las personas en una manera que construye comunidad y da herramientas a la gente para hacer cambios.

Descarga la Guía Curricular: Preparándose para la Acción

Dinámica del Agua Subterránea en el Tramo Limítrofe del Río Colorado

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Profundidad al agua subterránea en el tramo limítrofe, dic., 2009.

Publicado: 23 Mayo, 2013
Authors: Michael Cohen
Pages: 65

El Río Colorado, derivado y canalizado, así como intensivamente controlado, sólo en raras ocasiones (<10 por ciento de los días) lleva suficiente agua para fluir al menos 32 km más allá de la Presa Morelos, la última presa sobre el río, cerca de la frontera California/Arizona/Baja California. El corredor limítrofe del río – el tramo de aproximadamente 36 km de Andrade a San Luis que separa Baja California de Arizona – es generalmente considerado la parte más alta del remanente del delta del Río Colorado, con algunas de las zonas más extensas de álamos y sauces nativos que quedan en el bajo Río Colorado y una de las pocas áreas donde el río aún tiene, ocasionalmente, agua suficiente para sobrepasar sus márgenes y alcanzar su planicie aluvial. Por este motivo, durante más de una década, se ha generado un enorme interés en la restauración del tramo limítrofe. En años recientes, sin embargo, ha habido una creciente preocupación de que el deterioro en las condiciones del agua subterránea en la parte baja del tramo limítrofe, coarte el éxito de los esfuerzos de restauración.

Dinámica del Agua Subterránea en el Tramo Limítrofe del Río Colorado proporciona una clara descripción de, y una explicación para, las condiciones cambiantes del agua subterránea en el tramo limítrofe del Río Colorado y las zonas adyacentes y determina, hasta donde sea posible, el impacto que la extracción por bombeo de agua subterránea tiene en estas condiciones de sobre extracción.

Este estudio indica que, incluso después del periodo excepcionalmente seco de 2005-2009, cuando en el 90 por ciento de los días los flujos superficiales no alcanzaban a llegar al medidor aguas abajo del tramo limítrofe, más de un tercio del canal en el corredor limítrofe todavía mostraba conectividad con el manto freático, y aproximadamente dos tercios del tramo limítrofe todavía tenía un nivel freático al alcance de las raíces de álamos y sauces. La caída en picada del nivel freático en el extremo aguas abajo del tramo limítrofe indica que los últimos 8 km del río en el corredor limítrofe pudieran no reaccionar a los esfuerzos para restaurar el hábitat ripario, por lo menos no sin un compromiso a largo plazo de riego suplementario; aunque las áreas aguas arriba parecen estar a salvo del reciente abatimiento del nivel freático y se beneficiarían de restauración, como la que ha propuesto la reciente Acta 319.

Lee el reporte Dinámica del Agua Subterránea en el Tramo Limítrofe del Río Colorado (PDF).

Groundwater Dynamics in the Colorado River Limitrophe

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Este reporte también está disponible en español, aquí.

Depth to Groundwater in the Limitrophe Reach, December 2009

Published: May 23, 2013
Authors: Michael Cohen
Pages: 76

The Colorado River, diverted and channelized and intensively managed, only rarely has enough water to flow even 20 miles past Morelos Dam, the last dam on the river, near the California/Arizona/Baja California border. The river’s limitrophe reach – the roughly 22.5 mile stretch from Andrade to San Luis that separates Baja California from Arizona – is generally considered the uppermost extent of the remnant Colorado River delta, with some of the most extensive stands of native cottonwoods and willows left on the lower Colorado River and one of the few areas where the river still occasionally has enough water to exceed its banks and reach its floodplain. Because of this, there has been intense restoration interest in the limitrophe reach for more than a decade. In recent years, however, concern has grown that deteriorating groundwater conditions in the lower portion of the limitrophe will limit the success of restoration efforts.

Groundwater Dynamics in the Colorado River Limitrophe describes and explains the changing groundwater conditions in and adjacent to the Colorado River’s limitrophe reach, and analyzes the impact of groundwater pumping on these overdraft conditions. The key question underlying this study asks how changing groundwater conditions in the limitrophe could affect the sustainability of planned habitat restoration projects.

This study indicates that, even after the exceptionally dry period of 2005-2009, when surface flows failed to reach the gage at the downstream end of the limitrophe on 90 percent of days, more than a third of the channel through the limitrophe still exhibited connectivity with the water table, and roughly two-thirds of the limitrophe still had a water table that remained within the reach of the roots of cottonwoods and willows. The plunging water table at the downstream end of the limitrophe suggests that the final five miles of the river within the limitrophe may not respond to efforts to restore riparian habitat, at least not without a long-term commitment to supplemental irrigation, but areas upstream appear well-insulated from the recent drawdown and would benefit from restoration activity, such as that proposed by the recent Minute 319.

Download the report (PDF).

Lee el reporte Dinámica del Agua Subterránea en el Tramo Limítrofe del Río Colorado (PDF).

Download the Appendix (PDF).

Measuring What Matters

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Published: May 2009
Authors: Eli Moore, Swati Prakash, Catalina Garzon, Cristina Hernandez, Leonard McNeil, Carla Perez, Courtney Smith, Amy Vanderwarker, Carmen Violich
Pages: 108

Published by the Pacific Institute and seven local partner organizations, Measuring What Matters: Neighborhood Research for Economic and Environmental Health and Justice in Richmond, North Richmond, and San Pablo quantifies how serious, avoidable problems have become chronic and offers solutions for a better, more equitable way of life in West County.

The West County Indicators Project was launched in 2006 to work with local residents and organizations to build power to achieve a vision for healthy communities in West Contra Costa County. The individuals and groups who have worked on the issues in the resulting report have produced action plans to identify and address the concerns they feel most impact their quality of life and health. The bottom line is that a healthy community requires environmental and economic justice.

Read the full report.

Read the Summary of Findings.

Read the report in Spanish/Español.

Report At A Glance:

 

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Tomando en Cuenta lo Importante

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Published: May 2009
Authors: Eli Moore, Swati Prakash, Catalina Garzon, Cristina Hernandez, Leonard McNeil, Carla Perez, Courtney Smith, Amy Vanderwarker, Carmen Violich

Publicado por Pacific Institute junto con siete organizaciones locales, Tomando en Cuenta Lo Importante: Investigación Vecinal para la Salud y Justicia Económica y Ambiental en Richmond, North Richmond, y San Pablo cuantifica cómo estos serios y evitables problemas se han vuelto crónicos y ofrece soluciones para un mejor y más equitativo modo de vida en el Oeste del Condado.

El Proyecto de Indicadores del Oeste del Condado fue lanzado en el 2006 para trabajar junto con residentes y organizaciones locales para fomentar poder para crear una visión de comunidades saludables en el Oeste del Condado Contra Costa. Los individuos y grupos quienes han trabajado en los temas del reporte han elaborado planes de acción para identificar y dirigir las preocupaciones que ellos sienten más impactan su calidad de salud y vida.  El punto fundamental es que una comunidad saludable requiere una justicia económica y ambiental.

Lee el informe completo (PDF).
Lee la introducción y resumen de resultados (PDF).

Lee el informe en inglés.

Secciones del Informe:

 

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