Annual event to bring community and campus activists together

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February 10, 2022

Since 2001, Local to Global Justice has educated ASU students and the broader community about justice issues while promoting diversity, free speech, and freedom of academic discussion.

This month, the voluntary organization comprised of students, faculty and community members will host a weekend of workshops, spoken word performances, live music and guest speakers, as well as a community solidarity action focused on education for Justice. The event, sponsored by the School of Social Transformation, will be held February 25-26 at the Farmer Education Building on the Tempe campus, is open to the public and includes free healthy food.

Local to Global Justice will host a weekend of workshops, spoken word performances, live music and keynote speakers on February 25-26.
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“This free annual event has long provided a welcoming space to bring community activists together with students and others on campus,” said Beth Blue Swadenorganizer of the event for two decades and professor at ASU’s School of Social Transformation.

This year’s theme is “Educating for Justice”. Students, community members and education officials are encouraged to register for the event at Friday and Saturday.

“We continue to live in a world deeply divided by political affiliation and inequalities in education, access to resources, health care and political rights,” said Jennifer Richer, assistant professor at ASU and organizer of the event. “The last two years of this pandemic have further exacerbated many inequalities in our communities and highlighted the need for collective action to address racial, environmental and other injustices. In these times, the role of education – formal, informal and community-focused – in the pursuit of justice on multiple issues has never been clearer.

The forum and festival begins on the evening of Friday, February 25 in the atrium of the Farmer Education Building with a free Navajo vegan feast hosted by Mario Etsitty with a musical performance by the talented artist Olivier Balcells.

There will be performances of storytelling and poetry by Joy Young, a spoken word artist and currently a graduate student in the Justice Studies program; Johnny Jenkins (also known as JyOba), a grassroots local and professional nonprofit activist and graduate student in Justice Studies; and Rising Youth Theatera youth leadership and social justice organization.

The evening will end with an open mic, where participants are encouraged to share their own poems and stories with the community.

On Saturday, February 26, the day will start at 9:30 a.m. with registration, snacks and a chance to visit some of the many community group tables. Workshops start at 10 a.m.

Interactive sessions include “Accessing Justice,” with David Jaulus and Veronica Lukasinski; “Accessing Alternative Pathways for Early Education”, a panel discussion moderated by Richard Starling; and “Community Colleges as Sites of Justice and Community Transformation,” with Lauren Kater and Justine Hecht.

Additionally, Pranic Healers will offer embodied experiences in an outdoor location, and international presenters will join select panels via Zoom. Panels are available to be projected virtually via Zoom; links will be sent to those who sign up for Friday Where Saturday.

A complimentary lunch will be served by Green New American Vegetarian while Jose Ramon Crespo provides jazz keyboard styles in the atrium. The event will conclude with a plenary panel at 1 p.m. in the Education Conference Room, adjacent to the Farmer Education Building.

This year’s intergenerational expert panel includes:

  • Carl Grant, Hoefs-Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an internationally renowned researcher specializing in multicultural education and black intellectual traditions in education.

  • Channel Powe, former chairman of the Balsz ESD Board and public school and community champion for the past decade.

  • Angeles Maldonado, executive director of the Ybarra-Maldonado law firm, longtime immigration rights activist and founder of the Institute for Border Crit Theory.

  • Isabel Mavrides-Calderon, a 17-year-old disability rights activist who focuses her work on campaigning against ableism and for policy change and accessibility.

Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food and personal care products to donate to the NOURISHPhoenix self-help group on both days of the event. Any leftover food from the event will be donated to Andre House.

More detailed information about the program, registration and background of Local to Global Justice and their past events can be found on their website at www.localtoglobal.org. Donations are welcome to help ensure this program remains free and open to the public for years to come.

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