Roots of Resistance! 2020

On January 25th we held our Roots of Resistance conference at the college of the sequoias, in Visalia. Our mission for the conference was not only to bring attention to current issues that plague our central valley families but also to pay tribute to the environmental justice movement and all the good it has done over the years. 2020 Marks CCEJN’s 20th-year anniversary, we could not find a better way to celebrate than to hold our Roots of Resistance conference.

Over the last twenty years, Central California Environmental Justice Network has worked tirelessly with rural low-income communities who are the most vulnerable to health impacts from degrading air quality, high water contamination, and exposure to pesticides. Progress has been made, but there is still a long way towards environmental justice for all.

so we made sure to invite everyone who has been part of the procces and those are currently helping us strive for change. Environmental justice is an infinitely intersecting space so work in the central valley is done with a diverse group. This diversity was well represented in our break out groups, presenters from coalitions like Central Valley Air Coalition (CVAQ) and Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC), regulators from departments such as Department of Pesticide Regulation and California Air Resources Board, and partner organizations like Comite Civico del Valle and Center on Race Poverty and the Environment (CRPE) all shared their experience. We hold deep gratitude to the presenters who came and helped us spread the message of EJ and also helped us celebrate our 20 years of fighting for a better tomorrow. The reason we fight is for our communities, so we made sure to invite them also!

Community members from Kern arriving to roots of resistance

Nothing would get done without our brave community leaders. They take time out of their day to fight for their community so we can breathe and live easier in our central valley. CCEJN had bus pickups from Madera, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Delano for our VIP attendees… COMMUNITY LEADERS!!

“Environmental Justice curriculum” breakout groups discussing the benefits of teaching EJ to our future leaders, KIDS!

Attendees of the conference took advantage of our amazing breakout sessions where we discussed important topics for our community. Topics ranged from Our new Environmental justice curriculum, Oil and Gas, climate change, air quality in the Central Valley, and so much more! each workshop was engaging and easy to understand, with topics for those who are very familiar with Environmental justice and those who are just looking for ways to get involved. There were even workshops for our young leaders!

Rosana Esparza makes a quilt of environmental justice issues drawn by participants

We appreciate all of our partners and attendees who joined us in celebrating our 20 years of fighting for environmental justice in Califonia. From current regulators to future leaders we are all in this together, and we will reach a better tomorrow together as well.