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Local to Global Justice Forum & Festival

Educating for Justice

February 25-26, 2022

Friday, February 25 • 6:00 PM

Jen Richter, MC
An evening of music, poetry, and a Navajo vegan feast!
8:00 - 8:30 PM Open Mic

On Friday, February 25th, our evening schedule (starting at 6 p.m.) will include a Navajo vegan feast catered by Mario Etsitty, as well as musical performances from Oliverio Balcels and storytelling and poetry by Joy Young and Johnny Jenkins (JyOba), followed by members of Rising Youth Theater. The evening culminates in an Open Mic for those who wish to share their poetry!

Attendees are welcome to bring non-perishable food items and personal care products for donation to the mutual aid group NOURISHPhoenix.

NOTICE: ASU requires use of masks indoors, except when eating and that will be largely open-air, and social distancing measures will be in place. Masks will be available if needed.


Farmer Atrium

1050 S Forest Mall

Tempe, AZ 82851

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Mario Etsitty

Mario Etsitty

A Navajo chef, artist, educator and activist. He is from Many Farms and has volunteered with Food Not Bombs and other community groups for many years in Phoenix. His catering is familiar to all who have attended Local to Global Justice over the years - with distinctive blue corn tamales, fry bread with vegan toppings and other creative temptations.


Oliverio Balcells

Oliverio Balcells is a multimedia artist whose practice includes painting, music, murals, mosaic art, films, photography, being a teaching artist and a scholar of the ancient Mesoamerican cultures. “I’m interested in social themes like history, culture and symbolism. I’m inspired by color, nature and music. The essence of my artwork expresses the energy and personal passion that is reflected in a song, a painting or a public art project.” Oliverio Balcells received his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the Univa University in Guadalajara, Mexico. He currently lives and works in Tempe, Arizona, USA with his wife and two children. He is constantly doing workshops, composing music, creating films, taking photographs, exhibiting new paintings and traveling for inspiration. You can find out more about him at www.oliveriobalcells.com


Joy Young

Young is a performance and teaching spoken word artist based in Phoenix, AZ. Their performance work has been featured on Slamfind, Button Poetry and Everyday Feminism, at festivals and events, and in colleges and classrooms across the country. Joy was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Phoenix Mayor's Arts Award for literary artist of the year and Best Storyteller, 2019 by the Phoenix New Times. They are a co-founder and co-editor of Prickly Pear Printing– a queer focused indie press that publishes narratives that move beyond trauma with a blend of letterpress and traditional printing methods. Currently, Joy resides in their tiny home with fellow artist and partner, Bri Noonan, and their adorable 85-pound-bearded dog, Fable, while pursuing their MS in Justice Studies at ASU.


Johnny Jenkins (JyOba)

Johnny Jenkins, also known as JyOba! is a collective wisdom theorist, activist, disruptor, and meta-modernist poet aspiring to create, build bridges and inspire respect and equity among people. His creative articulations express the poetic truth of life forces and actions that define everyday experiences. JyOba! has twenty-five years of experience as a grassroots activst and non-profit professional. As a result, his talents have been tapped to advance multiple community-driven movements ranging from animal welfare and LGBTQ+ equality to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. Currently, JyOba! is pursuing a master’s degree in Justice Studies within the School of Social Transformation at the Arizona State University. His research seeks to elicit and learn the collective knowledge and wisdom deployed by marginalized communities to reimagine cultural collectivity. He’s also the proud pet parent of two very bossy mini-schnauzers – Bianca and Izaiah. You are welcome to follow his journey via www.jyoba-project.com.


Rising Youth Theatre

Rising Youth Theatre is a youth leadership organization working at the intersection of art and social justice. We believe that theatre and the arts are powerful tools with which young people can stand up and advocate for themselves and their peers. Artmaking and storytelling are a catalyst for change. Young people work in leadership spaces across all levels of our organization, including the staff, board, and creative spaces. We produce original plays around topics that matter to our community, including, race, mental health, student pushout, and more.

Saturday, February 26 • 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Morning panels followed by lunch and a plenary panel with various speakers!

Saturday, February 26th, will be at ASU Tempe Campus. We will have limited morning sessions in Farmer Building, lunch catered by Green in the Farmer Atrium, and an afternoon plenary panel in Ed Lecture Hall.

Pranic Healers will be available for healing sessions outside of Farmer between Payne Hall and Farmer Hall, 10 AM- 12 PM.

Attendees are welcome to bring non-perishable food items and personal care products for donation to the mutual aid group NOURISHPhoenix

NOTICE: ASU requires use of masks indoors, except when eating and that will be largely open-air, and social distancing measures will be in place. Masks will be available if needed.


Arizona State University

Tempe Campus

H.B. Farmer Education Building

1050 S Forest Mall

Tempe, AZ 85281

10:00-10:50 AM • Session 1

1. From Global to Local: Student Voice and School Participatory Budgeting • Farmer 204

Tara Bartlett and Daniel Schugurensky, ASU

Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which communities make decisions on how to spend a portion of a public budget. It started in Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 1989. In the last three decades it has become a global trend, and currently it is implemented in over 11,000 cities in all continents.  A variation of this process is school participatory budgeting (SPB), a pedagogical practice that simultaneously nurtures civic learning, student engagement, and school democracy. SPB also addresses the civic learning opportunity gap, which poses long-term implications for democracy, justice, and inclusivity by creating uneven agency and power structures in different levels of civic and political participation, electoral engagement, influence on policy, political representation, and capacity for self-governance. In this presentation we will describe distinct SPB processes taking place in three Arizona cities, including community-based initiatives, inclusive approaches (especially for students with disabilities) and the use of emergency relief funds to address educational disparities spotlighted by the pandemic. Drawing on theoretical underpinnings of participatory democracy and a YPAR (youth participatory action research) approach, we describe our use of mixed methods in data collection and analysis. Additionally, we examine issues related to the design, implementation, and evaluation of these SPB processes.

2. Accessing Education • Farmer 130

Eugenics and Radical Democratic Citizenship

David Jaulus, ASU

Education is fundamentally eugenicist in character. Its values of who’s and what experiences, knowledges and bodies fit neatly into a white-privileged framework of who/what the ideal student should be. Because bodies who are socially debilitated do not fit the mold of the “traditional” student, higher education organizations like ASU routinely fail to provide access to these debilitated and often racialized bodies. My talk explores the “mapping access project” at ASU as a non-reformist reform meant to open educational access, at least in the physical sense, to more historically marginalized people and hold ASU to its stated values related to equity and inclusion.

Health Equity and Educational Capacity

Veronica Lukasinski, ASU

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated and amplified the many social and health disparities impacting communities throughout the United States. When exploring justice issues permeating education, our attention must also turn to health equity as it deeply impacts educational capacity. Informed by experiences while providing social services and facilitating groups in local jails in Salt Lake City and working as a paraeducator with a Title I school, health challenges impose substantial barriers to educational capacity. Education has an unequivocal and reciprocal link with health as educational attainment is recognized as a social determinant of health, while poor health profoundly impacts individual capacity for meaningful educational engagement. Thus, discussion on mutually benefitting interventions and programming is essential in the pursuit of educational justice. Promising practices include school-based community health centers and food banks, and 2-Gen programming.

3. Advocating for Justice and Democracy (2 session panel) • Farmer 218

This special 2-session (10-10:50 and 11-11:50 a.m) panel will delve into the innovative ways that can be used to share stories and bring communities together to advocate for social and environmental justice. Please feel free to attend any, or all, of these presentations! Featured groups and presenters include:

Nurturing Youth Leadership for Social Action (Virtual Presentation)

Amrut Bang, NIRMAN 

NIRMAN is a youth leadership development initiative inspired by Dr. Abhay Bang and Dr.Rani Bang to facilitate the Search for Purpose among Indian Youth and nurture them as Social Contributors. NIRMAN sensitizes young minds to different burning social challenges and equips them for effective action while simultaneously investing in youth’s own flourishing.  Since its inception in 2006, NIRMAN has trained ~2000 young students/professionals from 21 states of India. The online youth development resources created by NIRMAN have garnered 8 million+ views.  This talk will elaborate upon NIRMAN’s experience regarding the need to nurture a pro-social purpose among the youth, how can a youth development program do that and assess itself, and some examples of young change makers who are the alumni of NIRMAN.  


DemocracyLab (Virtual Presentation) 

Mark Frischmuth, DemocracyLab 

DemocracyLab empowers everyone with the privileges of time and talent to become change agents. Our platform and programs connect tech-for-good projects with skilled volunteers and socially and environmentally responsible companies. We help projects launch, volunteers to advance their careers, and companies to build cultures of purpose. 


Design Science Studio 

Nicolas Alcala, Design Science Studio 

We will talk about the power of story and art to change history and how, from the Design Science Studio, we are empowering creators from all around the world to come up with new myths for the regenerative world we are building, that will nurture environmental and social accountability.


Vega the Mother Cow and MooSense 

Sailesh Rao, Climate Healers  

Vega, Cow and Climate Healer, burst upon the world scene at the UN Climate Change meeting, COP-26 in Glasgow, Scotland. With her unique brand of sense making from the perspective of an expectant Mother Cow who is trying to wean her human child after 10,000 years of suckling on her inflamed teats (MooSense), she uses humor and story telling to get her salient points across. MooSense is the sense making of a diligent, strong, honest, down to earth and persistent Mother Cow who solves problems in a straightforward manner. Over the past two months, she has been exposing the deception and lies employed by Big Farma and the establishment to keep the vast majority of humans enslaved in their current destructive way of life. Her overall message to humanity is very simple: eat plants, plant trees, love animals and heal the planet. 

Gathering Stories for Intergenerational Climate Justice 

Shirley Rose and Jen Richter, ASU 

Fighting the inequitable effects of climate change requires intergenerational communication and the sharing stories about environmental change over the course of our lives on this planet.  We will collectively reflect on the personal effects of climate change on our lives, and hold open a space for intentional reflection and sharing of stories between generations and experiences with changing climates.  Be prepared to reflect on and share your own experience with environmental change! 

4. Get Courage Now! Mobilizing Activism and Engagement (Virtual Presentation) • Farmer 210

Gary Krane, Get Courage Now!

My presentation will first lay out the abundant historic evidence as to why robust and growing nonviolent resistance is our last “best hope” strategy for saving what might still be savable of not only our Mother, but also for creating real democracy, for ending our grotesque wealth inequality, and most urgently today for preventing an inadvertent nuclear war.   While sustainability and mitigation projects could be helpful in the long run if we get “a long run,” and winning elections and lawsuits are absolutely essential for any progress, these strategies have been entirely insufficient without the handmaiden of nonviolent resistance. I explain how our team intends to massively increase the success rate of nonviolent civil resistance (NVR) strategy-based campaigns to 80%. We’ll do this by systematically identifying, and then minimizing or removing people’s individual barriers to committing to such morally courageous campaigns. We will accomplish this by developing the first free open-source software tools that can catalyze moral courage at scale, so that NVR campaigns can recruit & commit the numbers they realistically need to win.  These new tools combine three proven motivators into a “courage catalyzing, courage unleashing ladder of engagement” to motivate potential “on the fence” hesitant volunteers to become frontline resistors or at least resistor-supporters.  This ladder consists of a sequence of proven & free behavioral drivers: inspiring resistor interview videos, a crowd-acting/conditional commitment motivator, and a risk-reducing choice architecture. We invite you to help us. 


11:00-11:50 AM • Session 2

1. The Role of Higher Education in Educating for Justice (Farmer 210)

Community Colleges as Sites of Justice and Transformation

Lauren Kater, ASU

Community colleges offer the most widely accessible opportunities for higher education given their affordability, presence in local communities, and support for students who are not deemed ‘college-ready.’ Though community colleges are not immune to the racist, sexist, and ableist power dynamics of higher education, their unique mission and ability to respond to local community needs invite the good trouble that Rep. John Lewis advocated for as a path toward justice. This talk will highlight the good trouble that community college students, faculty, and staff are causing, especially in relation to food and housing insecurity, the impacts of COVID-19, and improving outcomes across historically underserved groups. By centering student and faculty advocacy, we will explore the ways in which federal policy and local governing bodies can and should follow the expertise of students on the path toward justice in higher education.


Abolitionist Pedagogies: Teaching to Transgress in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Justine Hecht, Justice Studies Phd Student, ASU

This engaging dialogue will explore the relationship between Abolitionist Pedagogies and Pedagogies of the Oppressed, taking into consideration the work of Dylan Rodríguez, Paulo Freire, and bell hooks. We begin from the premise that the prison industrial complex has come to shape even the most mundane aspects of our daily lives, including the act of teaching. As such, what do abolitionist pedagogies teach us about the possibilities of transgression within the college learning environment? How can college professors embody these lessons so as to illuminate the possibilities not only for a more just education, but also for a more just future? What challenges do teaching in the age of mass incarceration, alongside the attacks on Critical Race Theory, bring and how can we collectively overcome them?


2. Engaging Communities for Justice and Activism (Farmer 216)

GLSEN Phoenix

Madelaine Adelman, GLSEN Phoenix

GLSEN Phoenix is a local chapter of a national organization that believes every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. Our research and experience have shown that there are four major ways that schools can cultivate a safe and supportive environment for all of their students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression: 1) developing supportive educators, 2) advocating for comprehensive policies, 3) promoting inclusive curriculum, and 4) supporting student GSA Clubs. Through our trainings and resources for educators, students, and community members, we seek to empower and organize local communities around creating safer schools for all.


Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC)

Marissa Calderon and Gloria McGinty, Chicanos Por La Causa Youth and Community Services 

The CPLC Youth & Community Services pillar of programs provides critical safety net services to vulnerable communities thru a social justice lens, including the promotion of family and youth prevention services using a whole-child whole family approach thru various multigenerational community centers targeting at-hope communities including youth in the Phoenix Metro area. It’s Amanecer Prevention Program for youth and adults, partnering with its sister program in Tucson, the Nahui Ollin Wellness Program, facilitates youth-lead prevention and harm reduction group meetings centered on “La Cultura Cura” (the culture cures), grounded in an indigenous approach thru an evidence-based curriculum.

3. How Do We Foster Justice and Inclusion in Education?  (Farmer 204)
A Pre-College Perspective

Andrew Adrian, Desert Marigold Waldorf School

Patricia Barton, Arizona Montessori Teacher Education Program

Willard White, Phoenix Friends Middle School

“The problem is that our world and our education remain focused exclusively on external, materialistic values. We are not concerned enough with our inner values. Those who grow up with this kind of education live a materialistic life and eventually the whole society becomes materialistic. But this culture is not sufficient to tackle our human problems” (The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu).  We will discuss the following questions: What changes are needed in our educational system that will bring humanity into a more holistic relationship with all life on the planet?

4. Relax to a Better You (Farmer 130)

Carol Crooker, Pranic Transformations

“I can’t, I’m too busy. I’m studying, working, dealing with a crisis, ___________(fill in the blank).”  Sound familiar? You’re grinding along, never getting a chance to truly relax and MISSING OUT on some of the JOYS in life. You’ve tried massage, YouTube meditations, and intense work outs, but the results wore off too quickly.  What if there was a way to RELAX where the EFFECTS LAST and you become more FOCUSSED, EFFICIENT and a BETTER DECISION-MAKER? Join us to learn how.

Lunch • 12-12:50 PM • Farmer Atrium

Vegan lunch catered by Green New American Vegetarian


NOTICE: ASU requires use of masks indoors, except when eating and that will be largely open-air, and social distancing measures will be in place. Masks will be available if needed.



Jose Ramon Crespo

Jose Ramon is a Mexican musician and Composer. He started playing classical piano at age of 12. Although his music career has been touched by electronic, salsa and new age music, when he moved to The United States of America, he was introduced to jazz, creating a benchmark in his style. After his last music production, Ramon has been performing as solo musician, duet and trio in Mexico and the United States. In 2012, Ramon became a Music Theory and Piano Teacher for the Phoenix Conservatory, where he discovered his passion forteaching. Since then, Ramon has been teaching private classes in his own music studio, and currently he is working on his new album.

1:00-2:30 PM

Education Lecture Hall (EDC) 117


NOTICE: ASU requires use of masks indoors, except when eating and that will be largely open-air, and social distancing measures will be in place. Masks will be available if needed.

Plenary Panel

Beth Blue Swadener, Moderator

Carl A. Grant

Carl A. Grant is Hoefs-Bascom Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and former Chair of the Afro American Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has spent over 40 years researching, teaching, thinking, and writing about some of the key enduring issues in multicultural education and social justice. He written/edited more than 50 books and written numerous articles and is former President of the National Association for Multicultural Education. Most recently, he published the book James Baldwin and the American Schoolhouse (Routledge).


Channel Powe

Channel Powe, has been a champion for communities, public schools, families and children for over a decade. In her role as Balsz ESD Board President, Ms. Powe led the Board in a national search for a new superintendent during a global pandemic and America's racial reckoning. Serendipitously, the district appointed the first African-American woman to serve in that position on Juneteenth 2020. That same year Powe led the board in the adoption of an equity-based five-year strategic plan and forged a partnership between Balsz ESD and 1619 Project Advocates of Arizona to offer The 1619 Project as supplemental curriculum in classrooms while training teachers to present the lessons. Currently, Ms. Powe is an education, political and equity and inclusion consultant. She's a keynote, Progressive Governance Academy Lead Trainer and Desert Botanical Garden Monarch Council member. Channel Powe’s vision and expertise in empowering and training those who seek systemic, sustainable, universal change.


Angeles Maldonado

Angeles Maldonado, PhD, Executive Director, Ybarra-Maldonado Law firm and long-time activist for immigrant rights and researcher on Borderlands CRT (critical race theory)


Isabel Mavrides-Calderon

Isabel is a 17 year-old disability rights activist who focuses her work on campaigning for policy change, anti-ableism, and accessibility. Recently she has hosted campaigns for disability rights bills with the American Civil Liberties Union and The Center For Disability Rights. She was also an accessibility consultant for protests such as The Australian Climate Strike, and the head organizer of the CVS vs. DOE protests which successfully lead to the take down of the case which threatened to gut section 504. Isabel is currently publishing a peer-reviewed research paper on accessibility policy in education in a COVID-19 world.