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Center for Social Justice Launches at CSU Bakersfield

The Center for Social Justice will have its California State University, Bakersfield launch on Wednesday, April 8th at 6:00 pm in the Dezember Reading Room at the Walter Stiern Library. The launch represents the work that began a year ago to develop a collaborative working relationship between California State University, Bakersfield and Bakersfield College around identifying community-based participatory research projects. These projects identify issues in the community where a team of researchers will work with community members to identify the appropriate data and develop solutions to address the problems. The Center will provide an opportunity for faculty, students, and community members to work together to improve life in the area.

At the Bakersfield College launch that took place on March 18th, two projects were presented. The first reviewed the relationship between home ownership as it relates to community stability and voting. The second looked at the history and data behind voting in the city of Visalia, and reviewed the current redistricting process currently going on within city boundaries. Both presentations focused on variables that affect the propensity to vote within a disenfranchised Latino community.

The CSUB launch will also feature two presentations. One will focus on alternatives to expulsion and suspension in the public school system. Currently, Kern High School District has one of the highest suspension and expulsion rates in California and it is important to identify alternative measures to stem the tide of the school to prison pipeline. The second presentation will look at the issue of food deserts in one of the richest farm areas in the United States.

As a way of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement - while acknowledging events in Ferguson, Missouri - current research partners will present a panel discussion on April 17th at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The session is entitled, The Failure of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s: The Structural Roots behind Inequality & Political Exclusion in California’s San Joaquin Valley and will identify how community well-being and health effects civic participation and voting in the Kern County and San Joaquin Valley region. Participants who will be attending include: Mark Martinez and Bruce Friedman, California State University Bakersfield; Dolores Huerta, Dolores Huerta Foundation; Cornelio (Corny) Rodriguez and Gerald Cantu, Bakersfield College; Thomas Webster, PEAK Foundation; and Jesus Garcia, La Cresta Demographic Consultants.

For more information about the Center for Social Justice, contact Mark Martinez, Political Sciences, CSUB – 654-2352; Bruce Friedman, Social Work, CSUB – 654-2798; Cornelio Rodriguez, BC – 395-4597; or Oliver Rosales, BC – 720-2065.

For More Information

Contact CSUB Public Affairs
(661) 654-2136