Local to Global Justice Forum & Festival

Energizing Justice

February 24-25, 2022

Friday, February 24 • 5:30 PM

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

On Friday, February 24th, our evening schedule (starting at 5:30 p.m.) will include a Navajo vegan feast catered by Mario Etsitty, with direct trade Costa Rican coffee donated by Cortez Coffee, as well as musical performances from Carmen and Zarco Guerrero and storytelling and poetry by Joy Young. The evening culminates in an Open Mic for those who wish to share their poetry!

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

Downloadable Event Flyer


Armstrong Hall Rotunda

ASU Tempe Campus

1100 S. McAllister Ave

Tempe, AZ 82851


Free parking available Friday night at LDS Parking Garage (1000 S McAllister Ave)
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.

Carmen and Zarco Guerrero

Carmen and Zarco Guerrero and family have embarked on a musical journey to promote multicultural appreciation through their concerts, drawing their inspiration from the diverse musical legacy of the Americas. Blending the diverse musical idioms of Brazil, Mexico and Latin America, their music expresses the multicultural musical mosaic of Arizona and the Southwest. The Guerreros do much more than entertain, taking time to educate audiences on the history and origins of the music. They also play and compose original songs which address important social issues.


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.

Saturday, February 25 • 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

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

Saturday, February 25th, will be at ASU Tempe Campus. We will have limited morning sessions in Ross-Blakley and Armstrong Hall, lunch catered by Green in the Armstrong Hall Rotunda, an afternoon plenary panel, followed by some hands-on workshops and a closing discussion.

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

Scroll down to view more details about the panels and speakers.


Arizona State University

Tempe Campus

Ross Blakley Hall (RBH) and

Armstrong Hall (AH)

1100 S. McAllister Ave

Tempe, AZ 85281

Free parking available at LDS Parking Garage (1000 S. McAllister Ave) and Rural Parking Structure

9:00 am

Registration and breakfast • Ross-Blakley Hall lobby

9:30-10:20 AM • Session 1

1. Energizing Scholar Activism: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue • Armstrong L1-30

Extended session 9:30 – 10:20

Bekisizwe Ndimande (University of Texas at San Antonio)


  • Flora Farago (Stephen F. Austin State University) 
  • Michelle Salazar Perez (University of North Texas)
  • Jehann El-Bisi (filmmaker, activist, artist, educator, Amherst, MA)

This interactive panel explores ways in which interdisciplinary scholarship can interrupt structural oppression and energize activism in schools, communities, and other social institutions. Panelists will draw from their critical scholarship working with Indigenous communities, children and families in the US Borderlands, and doing anti-bias early childhood work.  This is an extended panel, with speakers presenting for the first session, and discussion for the second session.

2. Building a Liberatory Practice of Harm Reduction across Health Justice Movements • Ross-Blakley Hall 196

Danielle Kabella (ASU) and Aròn Castillo (Trans Queer Pueblo)  

Activists, healing justice practitioners, and liberatory harm reductionists are cultivating a set of strategies for keeping each other and our communities safe from harm and to defend the rights for total body autonomy. By placing care work and relationships at the forefront of this liberatory praxis, we are supporting our communities so that we can live as whole peoples in abundance, joy and safety. Join us in a conversation about breaking barriers of oppression in health systems by bringing access to life-affirming care for diverse racial, gender, LGBT+, socioeconomic, geographic, language and family backgrounds. Individually we discuss: 1) Trans Queer Pueblo’s health justice strategy for connecting migrants, BIPOC and women, LGBT+, femme, trans, non-binary peoples with primary care, traditional healing, and Hormone Replacement Therapy at Clínica Liberación as well as 2) peer-support strategies for overdose prevention and non-coercive access to maintenance therapeutics to improve the lives of peoples who use drugs. Together we explore possibilities for cross-health justice movement alliances for the purpose of building a liberatory practice of harm reduction (as defined by Shira Hassan 2022) toward long-term goals of repair.

3. “The Right to the City”: Reclaiming access to public spaces to reduce climate exposures among those experiencing homelessness • Armstrong Hall L1-12

Zach van Tol (ASU School of Sustainability)

People in the community who lack stable housing conditions face lengthier stints of exposure to high heat and elevated air pollution. These heightened exposures interact with pre-existing conditions, such as illness or substance abuse, to increase overall risk and vulnerability. Despite a surplus of purportedly public spaces—such as parks—policy often works to reinforce a social hierarchy that predicates status (access) on material wealth (i.e., housing status). This talk acts to unveil the significant gap in understanding how policy influences climate exposure among those experiencing homelessness that must be remedied if we truly value the idea of climate justice.

10:30-11:20 AM • Session 2

1. Youth Panel: Activism Without the Binary • Ross-Blakley Hall 196

Ledge Russ (they/she), Dawn Shim (they/she) & Kanix Gallo (he/him)(Dawn and Kanix are student leaders of Support Equality AZ Schools) 

As community justice movements often revolve around and impact young people the most, we as young people have become a rallying cry for progression. Alongside sweeping national and local movements, young people have always emerged as a tapestry of lived experiences with a connecting thread of optimism. This youth keynote panel  with a collaboration between the high school student-run initiative Support Equality AZ Schools and young queer visionaries will unpack pervasive assumptions regarding the binaries that we build around ourselves and our advocacy which reflect black and white thinking and generalizations. Through a collaborative and interactive discussion we will envision a structure of people-driven advocacy that swaps the binaries for a spectrum.

2. Creating the Energy Justice for All Workshop • Armstrong Hall L1-12

Melanie Beikman, Arizona Interfaith Power & Light

Arizona Interfaith Power & Light is organizing with congregations and non-profits to teach energy justice and hear how people are coping with rising temperatures and rising energy bills. To make the bold shift to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, everyone will need to be involved.  AZIPL is working with teams across socio-economic levels, to encourage adoption of available household energy efficiency programs and explore ways to lower energy bills, in the process creating a climate constituency who can advocate for energy justice in low-income and frontline communities. Join us for a demonstration and discussion of this evolving project.

3. Shame, Guilt, Accountability, and Collective Transformation? • Armstrong Hall L1-14

Vern Lukasinski, Justice Studies, ASU

Psychological research has provided insights into the influence of shame versus guilt in producing behavioral change. By and large, these ideas have been siloed to interventions for individual actions in therapeutic settings, and the emphasis on individualism has been profoundly exploited by capitalist interests. These often intentionally isolating practices have produced overwhelming and debilitating amounts of shame burdening our communities, which ensures collective exhaustion and corresponding docility. If our communities continue to operate uninformed by psychological research and historical contexts, collective actions toward wicked issues, such as climate justice, will continue to be unreliable, fragile, and ineffective. This session will introduce basic frameworks for accountability and transformative justice, contextualize systemic and corporate exploitation, and invite discourse for collectively imagined, transformed, and just futures.

Lunch • 11:30-12:45 PM • Armstrong Hall Rotunda, main floor

Vegan lunch catered by Green New American Vegetarian

Live music from Bobby Johnson (DJ)

Bobby Johnson (AKA bobby2083)

A producer, performer, and multi instrumentalist with a varied catalog of styles and genres. He started in his teens with underground punk band Tweeker Chic, and eventually formed the progressive punk/metal act Naudhiz. After spending some time in bands, Bobby opted to explore his own sounds in his solo project. This was a sharp departure from the heavy guitars and pounding blast beats from his punk/metal days. The solo project kept some of that punk spirit but explored mellow beats and abstract textural soundscapes. Bobby also provided production for the collaborative act ‘Sour Grapes’ and released a self-titled album for that project. Additionally, he did beats and production for underground Hip-Hop/Neo Soul artist Wyld tha Bard on the collaborative album Earworms. Bobby will undoubtedly return with more original music, but is now exploring DJing and musical curation for various events.

1:00-2:30 Plenary Panel

Armstrong Hall L1-30

Dr. Jen Richter

School for the Future of Innovation in Society/ School of Social Transformation, ASU. Jen is a scholar-activist who works at the intersections of environmental justice and energy policies, focusing on how to make energy transitions more just and equitable. She has been co-director of Local to Global Justice since 2016.

Mariia Vitrukh

PhD candidate, Education Policy: Mariia Vitrukh is a doctoral candidate in Education Policy and Evaluation at Arizona State University. Her dissertation (to be defended just after the event) includes Ukrainian students' embodied learning experiences in the context of the war in Ukraine. Mariia uses qualitative methods, somatic practices, and arts-based research to explore embodied experiences of forced migration

Dr. Jorge Morales

PhD Sustainable Energy, ASU/ Chispa: Jorge is a mexican, queer, settler, and chabochi (mestize) scholar whose work has focused on understanding the role of engagement and participation in energy transition efforts. Jorge’s work analyzes solar photovoltaic projects in the Ralámuli Nation in Chihuahua, México to reflect on the pitfalls and successes of these projects and offer solutions to realize a just energy transition. Jorge currently lives in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, and they are collaborating with local organizations that fight for environmental justice.

Dr. Nora Timmerman

Associate Teaching Professor, Coordinator, Community-University Public Inquiry (CUPI), Sustainable Communities Program, Northern Arizona University. Dr. Nora Timmerman is a teacher/scholar, parent, organizer, gardener, dancer, and desert rat who works as Associate Teaching Professor in Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University. She loves queer, liberatory politics and works at the intersections of activism & organizing, ecological justice, and education.

2:45-3:45 pM • afternoon workshops

1. Sacred Earth: Common Ground Storytelling • Armstrong Hall L1-12

Doug Bland, Arizona Interfaith Power & Light

We use personal experience and storytelling to bridge the political / cultural / religious divides that alienate us.  “Citizen artists” present (a poem, dance, song, photography, etc) on the theme of “sacred Earth.”  Then we divide into story circles to tell three minute stories of times when we found ourselves standing on Holy Ground—any place or time when we felt deeply CONNECTED to ourselves, our neighbors, nature or the Divine.  By the end of the storytelling event we’ve sparked our imaginations, discovered our common connection with the Earth, dispelled animosity, transcended divisions and discovered common ground.

2. Community-led Science: Building an open source "virtual noise" to detect ambient pollutants • Armstrong L1-14

Workshop team: Lindsay Smith, Maria Torres, Octavio Mucino, Ben Gansky, and Matias García

Join us to learn how to build a “virtual nose” to detect ambient chemicals in your environment.  DIY chemical sensors have been used by environmental movements throughout the US to document the presence and levels of health-harming chemicals.  Our team also works with human rights groups to adapt these open-source virtual noses for families in Mexico searching for missing loved ones.  At the workshop, we will briefly discuss the technology and its uses and work as a group to build a virtual nose. You’ll leave with the know-how to use open-source guides to adapt and build your own chemical sensor to address the environmental and justice

3. Students are our NOW, not only our futures • Armstrong Hall L1-30

Students Are Our NOW, Not Only Our Futures  (Armstrong Hall L1-30)

Facilitator: Hayden Nguyen (he/him), Support Equality AZ Schools

Young people are at the forefront of some of the most pressing issues in the US and beyond today. This is especially apparent within queer and trans justice movements, in which young LGBTQ folk are not only hit by (our current all-time high of) legislative blows but also within intersectional issues of poverty, mental health, and reproductive justice. Yet there is a disproportionate lack of visibility of young people at the table weighing into decisions that we are on the front lines of. As a community initiative entirely organized, run and operated by highschoolers for other young people, we will explore venues of youth-directed, people-driven change and the history of institutional powers that have made it difficult to do so.

4. Becoming JustBodies: Exploring Abolition and Emancipation through Play & Creative Expression • Ross-Blakley Hall 196

Facilitators: Seneca Beth Miller (she/her) & James Amutabi Haines (he/him/they/them) 

We call on co-conspirators focused on the co-creation of a world in which all bodies and their cultures are respected, protected, supported and celebrated. We call on future dreamers dedicated to imagining, visioning, strategizing, and acting toward liberatory transformation. We call on you to join us for an embodied workshop exploring abolition, radical-self love, and freedom dreaming, through experiential practices such as theater of the oppressed, art, and mindfulness. We embark on our abolitionist exploration with the questions: What do we notice and know about the world we currently share? “What can we imagine for ourselves and the world?” (Kaba, 2021, p.5). What possibilities become real by embracing our creative power? In order to become JustBodies, we must break norms, say and do things others believe are impossible, and comprehend “…that the origin of emancipatory possibility and human solidarity resides in our bodies” (Darder & Mirón, 2006, p. 16).

4:00-4:30 pM • closing discussion and clean up

Armstrong Hall L1-30

It requires many volunteers to make this free annual event happen - please support us with some assistance as we clean up and pack up for another year - thanks!

Thank you to all our sponsors and donors: Undergraduate Student Organization, Graduate and Professional Student Organization, School of Social Transformation, CVS Health, Tempe Farmer’s Market, and Cortez Coffee.

L2GJ 2022-2023 organizing team: Christine Leavitt, Julianne Culey, Sultana Afrin, Richard Starling, Eric Rudnick, Ankit Sura, Veronica Lukasinski, Sujey Vega, Beth Swadener, and Jen Richter.