watch the full recorded webinar

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

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