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the panelists & visions for the future


Audrey Waight, 

CSUF Geography Undergrad


Nourishing Compassion in Food

Human animals, non-human animals and planet Earth are all interconnected in the web of life. This is especially highlighted during a time of crisis – where we see that our food is more political now than it has ever been. The global spread of zoonotic diseases is a consequence of humanity’s enslavement and consumption of other animals. More specifically, meat-packing facilities are hot spots for infectious diseases – opening the portal to lethal consequences. Migrant workers, who occupy a large majority of the agriculture sector in the U.S, are placed in vulnerable positions within these industries and are treated as disposable. These systems interlock the oppression of human animals and non-human animals in the name of profit. We must envision a future of a compassionate, just, and eco-conscious food system that deconstructs colonization and puts the power in the hands of the people.

Foundational texts:

The Immigrant-Food Nexus: Borders, Labor, and Identity in North America by Julian Agyeman and Sydney Giacalone

The Biomass Distribution on Earth by Yinon M. Bar-Ona , Rob Phillips, and Ron Miloa

The Sustainability Secret by Keegan Kuhn and Kip Anderson

What Lies Beneath: The Underestimate of Existential Climate Risk by David Spratt and Ian Dunlop


Aline Gregorio, Geography Professor


Re-thinking our economy

A vision about economic recovery must address the fact that our contemporary economy is lethal and its most dire consequences omnipresent in geographies of oppression. Our toxic economic relations have disconnected us from the vital hands and natural resources sustaining our everyday lives. Globalization must change. Relations with our global neighbors must be converted into more equitable and sustainable partnerships and our connections based on cooperation, not exploitation. Our economic future must conserve and cherish our most valuable assets: human beings and nature’s regenerative systems. Shocks of scarcity are bound to happen in a finite planet and thriving societies must be self-sufficient in essential goods. Circular economies, safety nets, collaborative international political and scientific institutions are a way forward.

Foundational texts: 

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. Climate by Naomi Klein

A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World by Wade Davis


Ruben Lopez

Geography Professor

Environmental degradation

& Human Health

The current pandemic is a human-caused disaster and not a natural disaster. Classifying the pandemic as a natural disaster removes the onus of responsibility from humanity and locks humanity into a cycle of victimhood. This pandemic, like anthropogenic climate change and deforestation, are influenced by human action. Scientists have been predicting a pandemic like the current one caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus for decades based on growing dysfunctional human interaction with the environment. The power in acknowledging the influence humanity has had on creating the optimal conditions for this pandemic to occur is the realization that humanity also then has the potential to establish a more balanced relationship to the environment thereby possibly limiting chances for a future pandemic.

Foundational texts:

Spillover: Animal infections and the next human pandemic by David Quammen

Spillover — Zika, Ebola & Beyond. PBS Documentary, 2016

answering your questions


Moises Plascencia

Anthropology Professor

Food Sovereignty


Humanity's connection of seeds and soil has been a paradoxical development.  While agriculture has increased the carrying capacity and vitality of humanity, technological developments of the Green and Gene Revolutions created layers of disconnect to food production and the many challenges of the global food system. For many individuals in Western Nations, food is masked with layers of corporate branding, coming from everywhere and nowhere and grown by no one.  Food does not come from farms of Manuel, Oliver, or Adiel, but is “brought to you by” Nestle, Pepsico, or General Mills. These labels never tell us the truth of the social, ecological, and economic ramifications of industrialized agriculture. We are at a pinnacle point in human history where the very system that led to the advancement of our civilizations (i.e., agriculture) and mastery of the land will be the factors that could lead to collapse - agriculture is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions and the driver of tropical deforestation.  Covid-19 is exacerbating these challenges, but also providing opportunity for people to reconnect, reenergize, and reinvigorate ecological connection. 

Foundational Texts:

Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Lands & Communities by Gary Paul Nabghan

Agroecology: The Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems by Stephen Gliessman 

Eating Culture: The Anthropological Guide to Food by Gillian Crowther 

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond


Amber Gonzalez

Ethnic Studies Professor


Transformation & Activism

This Earth Day I find myself grappling with many fundamental questions, one being: What truths has this bio-political pandemic exposed?  BIPOC are disproportionately affected, but pervasive marginalization and deprivation was created long before COVID-19. We are living in a moment that beseeches us to reflect on what we will no longer tolerate, what we must discard, and to identify what we yearn for. We must step into our power and create something else. But first, we must imagine. What are the ideas, beliefs, and ways of being that will propel us forward? 

- We can learn from activist collectives like Red Nation and their Red Deal. 

- We can work on healing and (re)connecting with ourselves, our families and our communities.

- Participate in mutual aid projects. 


- We can boycott, divest, strike. Who do you bank with? Where do you shop?

Foundational Texts:

Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa

Sister Outsider by Audre Lourde

Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown

Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis


Jose Trinidad Castaneda

Climate Justice Organizer

Climate Policy & Action

* Coming soon *

Re-Imagining Our World: Student Edition

Impactful Actions


- support local producers

- plant something to eat

- buy organic, if possible

- eat more plants (and less

animal products)!


- buy less, go zero waste

- choose companies with verifiable ethical/sustainability commitments

- boycott those with none

- divest big oil


- support safety nets: Medicare for all, living wages, public transit, safe working conditions, low income housing, etc. People's  bail out 

- support/engage in climate action!


mobilize for social and environmental justice

- have powerful conversations - connect to yourself and others

- support and learn from indigenous peoples

Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It

Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It

Governments around the world are busily exploiting the coronavirus crisis to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks. “I've spent two decades studying the transformations that take place under the cover of disaster,” writes Naomi Klein. “I’ve learned that one thing we can count on is this: During moments of cataclysmic change, the previously unthinkable suddenly becomes reality.” In recent decades, that change has mainly been for the worst — but this has not always been the case. And it need not continue to be in the future. This video is about the ways the still-unfolding Covid-19 crisis is already remaking our sense of the possible. The Trump administration and other governments around the world are busily exploiting the crisis to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is moving to repeal financial regulations that were introduced after the last major financial meltdown, as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. China, for its part, is indicating that it will relax environmental standards to stimulate its economy, which would wipe out the one major benefit the crisis has produced so far: a marked drop in that country’s lethal air pollution. But this is not the whole story. In the United States, we have also seen organizing at the city and state levels win important victories to suspend evictions during the pandemic. Ireland has announced six weeks of emergency unemployment payments for all workers who suddenly find themselves out of work, including self-employed workers. And despite U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden’s claims during the recent debate that the pandemic has nothing to do with Medicare for All, many Americans are suddenly realizing that the absence of a functioning safety net exacerbates vulnerabilities to the virus on many fronts. This crisis — like earlier ones — could well be the catalyst to shower aid on the wealthiest interests in society, including those most responsible for our current vulnerabilities, while offering next to nothing to the most workers, wiping out small family savings and shuttering small businesses. But as this video shows, many are already pushing back — and that story hasn’t been written yet. Subscribe to our channel:
How wildlife trade is linked to coronavirus

How wildlife trade is linked to coronavirus

And why the disease first appeared in China. NOTE: As our expert Peter Li points out in the video, “The majority of the people in China do not eat wildlife animals. Those people who consume these wildlife animals are the rich and the powerful –a small minority.” This video explains how the people of China are themselves victims of the conditions that led to coronavirus. The virus is affecting many different countries and cultures, and there is never justification for xenophobia or racism. You can find further reading on this on Vox: As of early March 2020, a new coronavirus, called COVID-19, is in more than 70 countries and has killed more than 3,100 people, the vast majority in China. That's where the virus emerged back in December 2019. This isn't a new phenomenon for China; in 2003, the SARS virus also emerged there, and under similar circumstances, before spreading around the world and killing nearly 800. Both SARS and COVID-19 are in the "coronavirus" family, and both appear to have emerged from animals in China's notorious wildlife markets. Experts had long predicted that these markets, known to be potential sources of disease, would enable another outbreak. The markets, and the wildlife trade that supports them, are the underlying problem of these pandemics; until China solves that problem, more are likely to emerge. Follow our reporting on coronavirus on Our updated guide to Covid-19: 11 questions about the coronavirus outbreak, answered: Why washing your hands is so important: Watch our Netflix episode "The next pandemic, explained" Further reading: Peter Li: Peter Daszak, EcoAlliance: WildAid: On the animal source: Support Vox by joining the Video Lab at or making a one-time contribution here: Note: The headline has been updated. Previous headline: Why new diseases keep appearing in China Note: A previous version of this video incorrectly colored Crimea as part of Russia on the map. While it has been occupied by Russian forces since 2014, it is still legally a territory of Ukraine. We've corrected the error. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out Subscribe to our channel and don't forget to turn on notifications: Watch our full video catalog: Follow Vox on Facebook: Or Twitter:
Yuval Noah Harari on COVID-19's Impact on Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari on COVID-19's Impact on Humankind

James Corden connects with historian, philosopher and author Yuval Noah Harari for a video chat and the two talk about the potential society-shifting impact of COVID-19 on an international, national and institutional level. And Yuval describes why humankind must be vigilant of how technology could ultimately strip everyone of any form of privacy. More Late Late Show: Subscribe: Watch Full Episodes: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Watch The Late Late Show with James Corden weeknights at 12:35 AM ET/11:35 PM CT. Only on CBS. Get new episodes of shows you love across devices the next day, stream live TV, and watch full seasons of CBS fan favorites anytime, anywhere with CBS All Access. Try it free! --- Each week night, THE LATE LATE SHOW with JAMES CORDEN throws the ultimate late night after party with a mix of celebrity guests, edgy musical acts, games and sketches. Corden differentiates his show by offering viewers a peek behind-the-scenes into the green room, bringing all of his guests out at once and lending his musical and acting talents to various sketches. Additionally, bandleader Reggie Watts and the house band provide original, improvised music throughout the show. Since Corden took the reigns as host in March 2015, he has quickly become known for generating buzzworthy viral videos, such as Carpool Karaoke."
Circular Economy: definition & examples | Sustainability Environment

Circular Economy: definition & examples | Sustainability Environment

In this whiteboard animation video, I explain what we mean by circular economy, I go through all the things we can do to go from our current economy to a circular economy and I use many examples. If you enjoy this video please subscribe The Circular Economy: A User's Guide by William McDonough & Michael Braungart Tea kettle example in this video: Cradle to Cradle: 00:00 Intro 00:33 Definition of circular economy 01:40 Technical materials 03:44 Biological materials 04:14 Substitution & dematerialization examples 05:34 Book recommendation & ending ▶ Update on Interface and dematerialization (4:51): although Interface offers the service of leasing the product, it should be clarified that the demand for this is still quite small in 2020 and the company still sells a lot of its carpet. The growing interest in society in circular economy is helping them increase the take back rates. Instead of saying that "Interface is in charge of maintaining and repairing the product", it would be more accurate to say they take the responsibility for maintenance and take back in cooperation with specialized cleaning companies and their installation partners when the product is purchased under their take back program ReEntry® in place since 1995. Examples: copper and lithium as a limited resources, substitution of lithium-ion batteries with sodium-ion batteries, the company Interface as an example of dematerialization with its modular carpet). Circular economy is only one step toward sustainability and sustainable development. ** I create engaging sustainability videos to learn & teach. More sustainability videos on & Help us create more videos like this by becoming a patron: Subscribe to receive the latest videos: Mailing list: Videos are created by Alexandre Magnin using years of experience drawing and working as a sustainability consultant with businesses and communities: Twitter: Facebook: ** When my son was 3 years old and asking his mummy what was this “circular economy” thing she was working on, here is what she told him: it is when everything is healthy food for something else. So simple and sweet. I love it! In other words, it means running the economy like nature runs its own business: plants use carbon dioxide and nutrients to grow and produce oxygen. Animals use oxygen and create carbon dioxide and nutrients. Nothing is wasted. It is a closed loop system. Circular economy is generally opposed to the linear economy (take-make-waste) we have been running for many years. Some people also use the term cradle to cradle as opposed to cradle to grave." We can split into two categories the things that we need to run into closed loops: technical and biological materials. Two transition strategies can be very helpful as we are trying to create a circular economy: substitution and dematerialization. Substitution is about using different resources to achieve the same goal. For instance, the world is running out of lithium so unless we can recycle lithium batteries more efficiently, Sodium-Ion batteries might be a better option for car manufacturers in the future. Dematerialization refers to using less of a resource to serve the same economic function in society. For instance, Interface is the world's largest designer and maker of commercial modular carpet. But they don’t sell the carpet anymore, their customers buy the service of having carpet on their floor. Interface is in charge of maintaining and repairing the carpet and they do that very efficiently because it is their specialty and they control the entire process. Using tiles, they can replace only the ones that need replacing. The old tiles go back to the factory to be recycled where new tiles are made with 98% recycled or bio-based content. How is that for almost circular?
Capitalism Is The Disease: Mike Davis on the Coronavirus Crisis

Capitalism Is The Disease: Mike Davis on the Coronavirus Crisis

An online teach-in with Mike Davis Please join an online teach-in with renowned activist-scholar Mike Davis, author of numerous books, including The Monster at Our Door, In Praise of Barbarians, and the forthcoming Set the Night on Fire. Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 5:00 PM Eastern Sponsored by Haymarket Books and Verso Books Fifteen years ago, in his prescient book, The Monster At Our Door, Mike Davis warned that a viral catastrophe was being cooked up in the toxic vat built by the combined dangers of global capitalist production, ecological devastation, and the intentional, politically motivated neglect of public services the world over. As coronavirus continues to spread, largely unabated, we are witnessing both profound acts of solidarity among working people, and the grotesque depths to which the ruling class is willing to sink for the sake of maintaining their profits. And these are only the early days of what will likely become a medical Katrina. The pandemic has shown that capitalist globalization is biologically unsustainable in the absence of a truly international public health infrastructure, and we can say for sure that such an infrastructure will never exist until peoples’ movements break the power of Big Pharma and for-profit health care. Doing so will demand an independent socialist design for human survival well beyond even a Second New Deal. In this virtual teach-in, Mike Davis will offer his appraisal of the crisis so far, discuss the urgent need for international solidarity to end this (and future) pandemics, and take questions from our digital audience. Further info: Read Mike Davis’s latest on the Coronavirus at Jacobin, “Mike Davis on Coronavirus: “In a Plague Year” Haymarket Books @haymarketbooks Subscribe to Haymarket Books on YouTube to find out about other upcoming virtual events. Ten Free Ebooks from Haymarket Books Verso Books @versobooks Take 80% OFF all eBooks, and 40% off all print books when ordering directly from Five Free Quarantine Ebooks from Verso
The destruction of the Amazon, explained

The destruction of the Amazon, explained

The 2019 fires were just the tip of the iceberg. This is Part 1 of Vox Atlas: The Amazon, a three-part series about the world's largest rainforest, why it's in jeopardy, and the people trying to save it. Watch all three parts right here on YouTube. Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Become a Video Lab member! The Amazon rainforest has been reduced by about 17% since the 1970s. Cattle ranchers, loggers, and farmers are mostly to blame for the deforestation, but the demand driving them comes from all around the world. Brazil's economy depends on agriculture, especially beef and soy, which is grown on cleared land in the Amazon. Today, president Jair Bolsonaro, is weakening the environmental protections there in order to give agriculture more power. This came to a head when, in summer 2019, more than 30,000 wildfires burned in the Amazon, sparking worldwide outrage. Here are some sources I found particularly helpful while reporting for this story: Nepstad, et al. 2014 Umair Irfan, Vox: The Intercept: Vox Atlas demonstrates where conflicts occur on a map and the ways in which foreign policy shapes a region. Watch all the episodes here: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out Watch our full video catalog: Follow Vox on Facebook: Or Twitter: Watch our full video catalog: Follow Vox on Facebook: Or Twitter:
The diet that helps fight climate change

The diet that helps fight climate change

You don’t have to go vegan to fight climate change. Research shows that small changes to our diets can make big differences. Climate Lab is produced by the University of California in partnership with Vox. Hosted by conservation scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan, the videos explore the surprising elements of our lives that contribute to climate change and the groundbreaking work being done to fight back. Featuring conversations with experts, scientists, thought leaders and activists, the series demystifies topics like nuclear power, food waste and online shopping to make them more approachable and actionable for those who want to do their part. Sanjayan is an alum of UC Santa Cruz, a Visiting Researcher at UCLA and the CEO of Conservation International. Prior episodes at or visit for more Subscribe to our channel! And check out the University of California’s channels: The University of California is a pioneer on climate research, renewable energy and environmental sustainability. UC is dedicated to providing scalable solutions to help the world bend the curve on climate change. UC research is also paving the way for the university to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. Read more about our commitment at Follow UC on Facebook: Or on Twitter: is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app. Check out Vox’s full video catalog: Follow Vox on Twitter: Or on Facebook:

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