Local to Global Justice Forum & Festival

Creators for Change

February 16-17, 2024

Friday, February 16 • 5:00 PM

An evening of poetry, film screening and a vegetarian feast catered by Green New American Vegetarian!

Registration and check-in starts at 5pm on the Patio on the north side of Ed Lecture Hall on the Tempe Campus. Ed Lecture Hall is just north of ASU Gammage Theatre.

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

2024 Forum and Festival
Downloadable Event Flyer


Ed Lecture Hall

ASU Tempe Campus

100 E. Gammage Pkwy

Tempe, AZ 82851

5:30 pm

Vegan dinner - Catered by Green New American Vegetarian

6:30 pm

Welcome and poetry reading by Suzette Shaw • Ed Lecture Hall

7:00 pm

Film Screening. "Queer, Broke, and Amazing" (2023) • Ed Lecture Hall

A documentary that refreshingly challenges the myth of gay affluence and reveals an extraordinary world of resilient, economically struggling LGBTQ+ people who are surviving, thriving, and trying to get everyone free. From the Deep South, Arizona, Navajo Nation, queer coastal meccas of the U.S. and points in-between, the film chronicles the lives of more than 80 queer, broke and amazing activists who may be unsung, but you’ll never forget

Discussion with the filmmakers after screening

H.L.T. Quan

A political theorist, an award winning filmmaker, and an Associate Professor in the School of Social Transformation at ASU. Her research centers on movements for justice, and race, gender & radical thought. Her monograph (2012), Growth Against Democracy is a radical critique of modern development thought and policies. Her current book project, Against Tyranny: Ungovernability and Tools for Democratic Living explores will-full resistance to various forms of governing. Through QUAD Productions, C. A. Griffith and Quan produced/directed short and feature documentaries such as Mountains That Take Wing/Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama: A Conversation on Life, Struggles & Liberation, América’s Home, a film about gentrification and displacement in Puerto Rico, and most recently, Bad Form: Queer, Broke & Amazing – a film about LGBTQ+ people and the struggles for economic justice in the United States.

C.A. Griffith

An award-winning filmmaker with more than three decades of film production experience. Trained in New York’s independent film community, Griffith’s credits include the feature film Juice starring Tupac Shakur, PBS and BBC documentaries such as A Litany For Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (cinematographer), D.A. Pennebaker’s Branford Marsalis: The Music Tells You (camera operator) and Depeche Mode 101 (1st AC), Eyes on the Prize I & II, St. Clair Bourne’s Making ‘Do the Right Thing’ and music videos from Tracy Chapman and Public Enemy to The Rolling Stones.

Saturday, February 17 • 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

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

Saturday, February 17th, will be at ASU Tempe Campus. We will have limited morning sessions in Payne Hall, lunch catered by Mario Etsitty, an afternoon plenary panel, followed by 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

Ed Lecture Hall

100 E. Gammage Pkwy

Tempe, AZ 82851

9:00 am

Registration and breakfast • Location TBD

9:30-10:15 AM • Session 1

1. Healing the Self, Healing the Society: Yoga Nidra Building an Antiracist Toolkit • Payne L1-11

Sarai Richter (They/Them), PhD Student in Sociology at ASU

White supremacy culture exhibits several key features, such as forgetting one’s essence, ego illusions, attraction/aversion duality, and self-identity attachments. In Yoga Nidra, individuals embark on a meditative, sleep-like journey in their minds, utilizing silent intentions to delve into the subconscious and promote self-discovery and personal growth. In this judgment-free space, we initiate the process of healing from within and address internal traumas and biases. Can Yoga Nidra, with its focus on self-exploration without judgment and its potential for positive change, introduce a new tool to anti-racist pedagogy? Could it contribute to societal liberation and foster a more inclusive, just, and equitable world? The facilitator will guide attendees through a short Yoga Nidra session after the presentation and discussion.

2. The Preservation of Art is the Preservation of Humanity • Payne L1-09

Cara Elzie

This workshop would be looking at how art is essential for preserving humanity and pushing us towards a better future. The main thesis of this workshop is: When we lose the cultural connection art provides we lose a piece of the cultural connection to those who have gone before us. Interacting with art allows us to gain an appreciation for, and understanding of, history. It is a living memory that connects us to the past. This connection with the past allows us to make sense of the present, which in turn, gives us the knowledge and understanding needed to move into the future. Without art, we endanger the quality of humanity's future. This connection helps drive us to action and inspires us to continue shaping the world we want to live in, while drawing on the lessons and emotions of the past.

10:30-11:15 AM • Session 2

1. Bridging Worlds: A Fusion of Fiction and Nonfiction • Payne L1-09

Onyekachi Ekeogu

In "Bridging Worlds," I invite writers, readers, and literary enthusiasts to explore the dynamic intersection of fiction and nonfiction. My session aims to dissolve traditional genre boundaries, fostering a space where the creative energy of storytelling is shared and celebrated across both realms. By bringing together authors, editors, and readers, I seek to create a dialogue that enriches and inspires, encouraging a cross-pollination of ideas and techniques.

2. Panel: Higher Education and Activism in Texas and Colombia • Payne L1-11

Ame Min-Venditti

Community Relationships with Water, Autonomy & Identity in Bogotá

We completed 3 interconnected research projects in 3 localities in the south of Bogotá: Ciudad Bolívar, San Cristobal, and Usme. Using participatory mapping, interviewing, photovoice, geospatial analysis, and water sampling we centered holistic community research questions related to risk, urbanization, and autonomy. In particular, this presentation will focus on the photovoice study and associated interviews and focus group data.

Flora Farago & Bekisizwe Ndimande

Resilience & Resistance amidst Anti-DEI Policies in Academia

A growing number of legislation in the United States has been introduced and passed to limit diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at public universities. For instance, in Texas, per Senate Bill 17, as of January 1st, 2024, DEI offices, programs, and training at public universities in Texas are outlawed. The imperative to foster resilience and resistance among scholars is essential to sustaining efforts to contribute to just scholarship and higher ed. spaces. This fireside chat will explore the following questions: What are the personal and professional challenges that scholars face in the context of anti-DEI policies? How can scholars support each other in building resilience and countering anti-DEI policies? What are some specific strategies for scholars to maintain resilience and continue their scholarship?

11:30 AM -12:15 PM • Session 3

1. Creating Healing from Crisis through Connection, Embodiment and Narratives • Payne L1-09

Ame Min-Venditti, Lulu Castro, Orlene Carlos, Khampha Stempel; Sophie Neems; & Lívia Cruz

How do our physical movement(s) create and strengthen communities of resistance? How do our embodied interactions affect ourselves, each other, our more-than-human kin and our relationships with place? Through our bodies we sense, know, and share life. This hybrid workshop will be a generative space for interactive and movement-based collective inquiry. We aim to gather diverse practitioners interested in exploratory, playful engagement and radical proprioception. Through this process, we act to resist the contradictions that form our current crisis contexts.

2. Cease Fire Now! Arizona voices on Gaza • Payne L1-11

Students for Justice in Palestine

How do we fight injustice in Gaza? Where do we begin to address the colossal loss of life and trauma for Palestinian civilians not responsible for this violence? What tactics have been used to silence/redirect the narrative? Students for Justice in Palestine tirelessly bring light to the abuses and history of settler colonial occupation threatening Palestinians. For their efforts, SJP students face malicious attempts to discredit the organization/students and thus silence the Palestinian cause. Preposterous accusations hurled by legislators, university staff, and the general public rely on completely false allegations;

Arizona students themselves have faced threats for daring to speak up and fight for justice. In the end, these rhetorical tactics distract from addressing the very real terror and danger faced by families in Gaza. SJP students from both NAU and ASU will discuss the propaganda and intimidation tactics they have endured and provide real ways we can call for ceasefire and support truth-based conversations about Palestine.

Art Experiences • 11:00 AM -1:30 PM • Location TBD

Cultural Coalition

Cultural Coalition connects communities and generations to ancestral knowledge and practices through artistic cultural preservation and programs that celebrate Chicano, Latiné, and Indigenous heritages. This year they will provide activities for children, including mask-making, from 11am to 1:30pm.

City with hand rising for justice

Twin Flames: George Floyd Uprising from Minneapolis to Phoenix

A unique partnership between the ASU museum, the university and the community, “Twin Flames” is a community-led exhibition that showcases a selection of the thousands of offerings laid by mourners and protesters at George Floyd Square, collected by a group of community caretakers and cataloged by the George Floyd Global Memorial team.

Guided tour for up to 40 participants starting at 1pm Saturday

Lunch • 12:15-1:30 PM • Location TBD

Vegan lunch catered by Mario Etsitty of Rez Catering

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 pumpkin mole with kidney beans, roasted corn salsa, pumpkin fry bread, and chipotle brownies.

Gloria Martinez-Granados

A Phoenix, Arizona multimedia based artist, born in Guanajuato, Mexico. Creating with traditional indigenous practices and adding a contemporary approach. Through this process, she develops themes around identity, dreams, place, home, & land.

Suzette Shaw

A Downtown Los Angeles Skid Row resident who writes, talks and advocates from a woman’s perspective. She advocates for a shift in the paradigm towards the dismantling of systemic policies and practices which have perpetuated the trauma of the oppressed.

3:00-3:30 pM • closing discussion and clean up

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 Association, School of Social Transformation, CVS Health, Tempe Farmer’s Market, and Cortez Coffee.

L2GJ 2023-2024 organizing team: Christine Leavitt, Julianne Culey, Sultana Afrin, Zachary Van Tol, Richard Starling, Eric Rudnick, Ankit Sura, Veronica Lukasinski, Sujey Vega, and Beth Swadener.