A Video Recap: 2nd Annual Rural Justice Summit

Leonor Hurtado | 05.11.2017

On March 22, 2017, 160 people attended the 2nd Rural Justice Summit at UC Merced. The reach of this summit is growing, and it is bringing together researchers and advocates in a dialogue about historic and current struggles for access to resources in rural California.

The Rural Justice Summit is a collaboration between the California Institute for Rural StudiesUC MercedCommunity Alliance for Agroecology, and the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. The historic obligation of the land grant universities to serve the public interest was addressed. Participants discussed the need to conduct community-based research, navigate the politics of social change, and build bridges between theory and action.

Below, you will find several videos with highlights from the summit.



In this video, Don Villarejo, CIRS Founder and independent researcher gave the summit’s keynote, entitled: “How Evidenced-Based Research Strengthens Organizing for Social Justice” and shared several examples from his own experience.


In this video of the “Democratization of Knowledge Forum” at the Summit, Antonio shares his experience and provides an analysis on the legitimacy of direct action to protect public resources.


In this video of the “Democratization of Knowledge Forum” at the Summit, Liz Carlisle tells the remarkable story of a group of Montana farmers who defied corporate agribusiness by launching a unique sustainable food movement.


In this video of the “Democratization of Knowledge Forum” at the Summit, Eric Holt-Giménez shares his work experience with peasants as together, they realized that simply being right is not enough. Peasants demonstrated scientifically that agroecology was more resistant and resilient than conventional agriculture. However, to impact policy, they needed to organize politically as well.


In this video of the “Democratization of Knowledge Forum” at the Summit, Gail Myers, Anthropologist and co-founder of Farms to Grow Inc, argues that the role of the University is to stand behind the knowledge and practices of the keepers and innovators of generational knowledge in agroecology.

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