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Rural Justice Summit
March 29 • 8:30 am — March 30 • 1:00 pmFree
This year’s theme is “Creating a Road Map for Change”. Friday will feature a Welcome by Professor Mario Sifuentez, director of the Center for the Humanities at UC Merced, and a day of tracks focused on farmer justice, youth organizing, immigration, labor, climate, incarceration, and story-telling. Art and music will infuse these conversations with inspiration and empowerment.
The goal with the Rural Justice Summit is to open channels of communication between researchers and community members– including advocates and organizers– about historic and current struggles for access to resources in the Central Valley. After our 2016 launch we realized there is a need to continue to host this summit as a place for both conversations and action, the Rural Justice Summit is now a major annual event. Every year our waiting list is almost as long as our list of attendees. We find ourselves booking larger spaces every year and now for 2019 we are expanding our event to two days. Our core organizing team has also expanded to include the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and Dulce UpFront Arts Collective.
The Summit draws diverse participants from across the State of California and from other states with similar challenges. While our audience is primarily rural Californians, we have had participants from Montana, Colorado and Arizona — states where rural residents are marginalized and immigration policies have a negative impact.
Each year, we focus our strategic conversations around a set of key rural issues that Summit participants have decided need urgent attention. These include immigration reform and response; improving access to clean water for underrepresented rural residents; incarcerations impacts on communities; and building political power and voice in youth communities and through local elections. In 2019 the Summit will also be a key organizing space for the Farmer Justice Collaborative.
With our 2019 theme –Creating a Roadmap for Change — we will be focusing conversations on practical, actionable steps for moving the Valley towards justice. We want to change the narrative of rural California– and in doing so, change the landscape.
NOTE: Friday registration is required, Saturday no registration is required