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Annual event to bring community, campus activists together

Local to Global Justice will return to ASU's Tempe campus for its 21st annual forum and festival in February


Photo of a mural hung from a staircase featuring silhouttes of three people holding hands in a desert landscape. The mural has the word "solidarity" printed on it.

Local to Global Justice will host a weekend of workshops, spoken word performances, live music and keynote speakers Feb. 25–26.

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February 10, 2022

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

This month, the volunteer organization composed of students, faculty and community members will host a weekend of workshops, spoken word performances, live music and keynote speakers, complete with a community solidarity action focused on educating for justice. The event, sponsored by the School of Social Transformation, will be held Feb. 25–26 at the Farmer Education Building on the Tempe campus, is open to the public and includes free, healthy food.

“This annual free event has long provided a welcoming space to bring community activists together with students and others on campus,” said Beth Blue Swadener, an organizer of the event for the past two decades and a professor at ASU’s School of Social Transformation. 

This year’s theme is "Educating for Justice." Students, community members and education leaders alike are encouraged to register for the event on Friday and Saturday.

“We continue to live in a world that is starkly divided by political affiliation and inequities in education, access to resources, health care and political rights,” said Jennifer Richter, an assistant professor at ASU and an organizer for the event. “The past two years of this pandemic has 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 quest for justice on multiple issues has never been so clear.”

The forum and festival begins the evening of Friday, Feb. 25, at the atrium in the Farmer Education Building with a free Navajo vegan feast catered by Mario Etsitty with a musical performance by the talented artist Oliverio Balcells.

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

The evening will come to a close with an open mic, where attendees are encouraged to share their own poems and stories with the community. 

On Saturday, Feb. 26, the day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration, snacks and a chance to visit some of the many community group tables. Workshops get underway 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 be joining some panels via Zoom. The panels are available to screen virtually through Zoom; links will be sent to those who register for Friday or Saturday.

A free lunch will be catered by Green New American Vegetarian while Jose Ramon Crespo offers keyboard jazz stylings in the atrium. The event will culminate with a plenary panel at 1 p.m. in the Education Lecture Hall, adjacent to the Farmer Education Building.

The intergenerational keynote panel this year features:

  • Carl Grant, Hoefs-Bascom Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an internationally recognized scholar focused on multicultural education and Black intellectual traditions in education. 

  • Channel Powe, Balsz ESD Board past president and a champion for public schools and communities over the last decade.

  • Angeles Maldonado, executive director at the Ybarra-Maldonado Law firm, long-time activist for immigration rights 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 welcome to bring non-perishable food items and personal care products for donation to the mutual aid group NOURISHPhoenix on either day of the event. Any leftover food from the event will be donated to Andre House. 

More detailed program information, registration and background on Local to Global Justice and their past events is available on their website at www.localtoglobal.org. Donations are welcomed to help ensure that this program remains free and open to the public for years to come.

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