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NEEF Spotlight: Multicultural and Bilingual NPLD Event Young Soccer Players Care for Home Fields

NEEF (National Environmental Education Foundation) writes:

Anahuak Soccer Players

On September 30, youth soccer players from Northeast Los Angeles will give back to the park they spend so much time enjoying when The City Project joins Anahuak Youth Sports Association and others to host a National Public Lands Day celebration in Río de Los Angeles State Park. For the second year running, The City Project and Anahuak are teaming up for the simple joys of playing in the park, educational workshops, and other fun and healthy activities. Local youth, their families, friends, and other volunteers will clean up the 40-acre park and enjoy a variety of educational workshops and other fun activities.

“National Public Lands Day gives young people an opportunity to take ownership of caring for the park they use for soccer and other recreation,” says Tim Mok of The City Project, explaining that the day closely aligns to the group’s goal of promoting equal access to parks and greenspaces for communities of color and low income communities. “It’s a great way to engage the local community in healthy play while caring for the land.”

Anahuak Players and Volunteers

The event will feature materials and presentations in Spanish and in English—a unique aspect that Mok says helps people feel they belong in parks, and the parks belong to them. Planned educational workshops include an art station and an opportunity for young people to reflect on how they feel about parks and why they are important. They’ll also enjoy a comic book from Take Action Comics that tells the story of how the community won the struggle to create the park and Sonia Sotomayor middle and high schools, and stop a big box project on the site. New this year, the National Park Service, an NPLD federal partner, will bring its LA Ranger Troca to the event. This mobile visitor center for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area aims to make parks and recreation more accessible to the people and encourage the community to stay active. The travelling park exhibit offers Frisbees, hoola hoops, basketballs, and even an obstacle course. Visitors can also use microscopes to inspect smaller parts of nature, grab a pair of binoculars to study area birds, or play the scat game to test their knowledge of urban wildlife.

“Anahuak is not about building good soccer players, but about building good citizens,” say Anahuak founder Raúl Macías, explaining how being part of National Public Lands Day supports the group’s mission.

Members of the Anahuak Community

After attracting more than 75 youth players, parents, siblings, and coaches as volunteers last year—NEEF’s first bilingual and multicultural National Public Lands Day event—organizers are aiming for at least 100 volunteers for National Public Lands Day 2017.

There will be lunch, a presentation honoring of members of the Anahuak family who are immigrants and dreamers, an awards ceremony for volunteers, and a CA State Parks ranger talk, among other activities planned for the day.

Learn more about The City Project here.
Visit NEEF here.

Pride We are all immigrants and dreamers The City Project @ 18 Guatemala NuMu LACMA PST LA/LA #DACA

Artist Stefan Benchoam and Tomás García, LACMA Assistant Vice President, celebrate the arrival of NuMu for PST LA/LA at the reception “A Universal History of Infamy.” NuMu is the Guatemala contemporary art museum. The NuMu display honors composer Joaquín Orellana, featuring his work Ramajes de una Marimba Imaginaria. Pacific Standard Time honors Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

NuMu by artists Jessica Kairé and Stefan Benchoam

My son Tomás and I thanked and hugged Director Alejandro Iñárritu for telling stories of immigrants crossing the border in his virtual reality performance Carne y Arena.

September 15 is Guatemalan Independence Day.

September 15 is the 18th Anniversary of The City Project.

I am an immigrant. My family came from Guatemala to the US when I was four.

Ana María Tejeda, proud of her grandson Tomás and NuMu at LACMA.

Justice for crimes against humanity in Guatemala . . .


Healing, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Great Outdoors at Home and Away – CNN

Ballona Creek Baldwin Hills Parklands

Natural areas in the United States have long symbolized national heritage, protected valuable natural resources and provided areas of recreation and respite. But for whom?

Evidence shows that white populations disproportionately access public lands for outdoor recreation. The second National Park Service Comprehensive Survey of the American Public, carried out by the University of Wyoming and published in 2011, found that only about one in five visitors to a national park site is nonwhite, and only about one in 10 is Hispanic.

This lack of diversity in outdoor recreation extends to the leadership of the park system and the outdoor industry at large. “The outdoor sector is probably the most homogenous field that exists today,” said Angelou Ezeilo, founder and CEO of the Greening Youth Foundation.

As the population of the United States continues to rapidly diversify, experts say, the face of the outdoor community has predominantly stayed the same: male, white and wealthy. According to the 2011 national park survey, the demographic composition of visitors to public lands hasn’t changed since the previous survey in 2000. . . .

Green spaces bring numerous health benefits. Nancy Wells, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University, explained that experiences in nature can lead to decreased blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, assist with direct attention fatigue, and increase cognitive function. Nature might even buffer the impact of stress, Wells said. . . .

Read the full CNN story . . .

We agree. We support diversifying access to and support for public lands and waters. We work hand in hand with Next 100, GreenLatinos, indigenous people, and others to support monuments for all, Every Kid in a Park, and Transit to Trails, and more.

We also need green access in the neighborhoods where we live, learn, work, play, pray, and age. Soccer in the park, safe bike paths, and physical education in schools are just as important to provide the health benefits of the great outdoors on a daily basis. Occasional trips to far away mountains, beaches, and rivers are fun, healthy, and educational – and go hand in hand with diversity, inclusion, and green justice at home.

National Monuments for All! Public Comments and Congressional Testimony
The San Gabriel Mountains: A Symbol of Environmental Justice and Health Equity
Whitewashing the L.A. River: Displacement and Equitable Greening
Physical Education Works! UC Berkeley

Corral Canyon Santa Monica Mountains

9/11 US Sponsored Military Coup Overthrew Democratically Elected Government of Chile

Days before many Latin American nations celebrate Independence Day September 15.

Santiago de Chile Ministerio de Justicia

Remembering the disappeared, the murdered, the kidnapped and tortured New York Times . . .

Justice for Guatemalan Victims of Crimes against Humanity by US

I am an immigrant. Soy inmigrante. Carne y Arena Iñárritu LACMA #DACA

I am an immigrant. I came with my family from Guatemala when I was four to the US. My dad was deported. My uncle came without papers. Julio joined the Air Force, he became a citizen, and we received green cards. Immigrants and Dreamers have served on The City Project team. The City Project condemns this administration’s assault on Dreamers and DACA.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu virtual reality project Carne y Arena at LACMA explores the human condition of immigrants and refugees. “Their life stories haunted me, so I invited some of them to collaborate with me in the project,” Iñárritu says. “My intention was to . . . claim the space to allow the visitor to go through a direct experience walking in the immigrants’ feet, under their skin, and into their hearts.” “Las historias de sus vidas me perseguían, así que invité a algunos de ellos a colaborar conmigo en el proyecto,” cuenta Iñárritu. “Mi propósito era . . . reivindicar un espacio que permita al visitante vivir la experiencia directa de caminar con los pies de la persona inmigrante, ponerse en su piel y llegar hasta su corazón.”

Court Upholds Right of Human Experiment Victims in Guatemala to Seek Justice v Johns Hopkins U., Rockefeller Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb

The court agrees the experiments are illegal and unethical. No one wants to pay.

U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis upholds the right of the people to seek access to justice through the courts in Giron Alvarez v Johns Hopkins University (Aug. 30, 2017).

Judge Garbis ruled previously the human experiments against Guatemalan people are illegal, in violation of customary international law prohibiting medical experiments on human subjects without consent under Abdullahi v. Pfizer, Inc., 562 F.3d 163, 187 (2d Cir. 2009).

A federal judge in Baltimore has allowed a $1 billion lawsuit to move forward against the Johns Hopkins University and others involved in a 1940s government experiment that infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and other venereal diseases.

The lawsuit [is] filed on behalf on 842 victims and their family members [before] U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis.

After requiring the plaintiffs’ attorneys to outline more specifically how and when the victims were infected, the judge allowed claims by direct victims, spouses, children, grandchildren, wrongful death and estate plaintiffs to stand. He dismissed part of the suit seeking damages under Guatemalan law.

Ryan Perlin, of Bekman, Marder and Adkins, the Baltimore-based firm representing the victims, called the decision “a significant win for our clients.”

“This allows those claims to proceed and allow those people to get their day in court,” he said.The U.S. government deliberately infected experiment subjects with syphilis, gonorrhea and chancroid to study ways to treat sexually transmitted diseases and prevent them from spreading in the 1940s. The “Guatemala Experiment” . . . was secret until a historian discovered evidence of it in 2010, at which point the United States formally apologized.

The suit seeks to hold Hopkins responsible because its doctors held key roles on the panels that reviewed and approved federal spending for the experiments. It alleges five senior Hopkins doctors were involved. . . .

“We feel profound sympathy for the individuals and families impacted, and reiterate that this 1940’s study in Guatemala was funded and conducted by the U.S. Government, not by Johns Hopkins,” Hopkins spokeswoman Kim Hoppe said in a statement. “We will continue to vigorously defend the lawsuit.”

The lawsuit also names the nonprofit Rockefeller Foundation and drug maker Giron Aalvarez v Johns Hopkins 20170830 as defendants. Attorneys representing the foundation and the New York-based company did not respond to requests for comment Thursday. . . .

The lawsuit claims three employees and board members, including a then-U.S. surgeon general, were involved in the experiments. . . .

One [victim] was injected while in prison with what he was told were “vitamins,” the plaintiffs wrote. Another, as a 7-year-old, was told to line up at school, where he and other students were injected with something “to protect the children against diseases,” the suit said.

Others died from the disease, and many unknowingly infected their spouses or children with it. Some didn’t realize they’d been part of an experiment until . . . 2012, the suit says. . . .

Read the complete story in the Baltimore Sun . . .

The City Project and UC Irvine Law School International Human Rights Clinic seeks justice for Guatemalan people against the US for crimes against humanity representing the Archdiocese of Guatemala Human Rights Office before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights . . .

US lacks moral authority to criticize corruption in Guatemala when pardoning sheriff signals Trump will pardon corrupt cronies too

“Mr. Velásquez is a critical voice calling out corruption and upholding the rule of law,” the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, said on Monday. “He has the full support of the United States and the international community.” Setting off a showdown in court and people marching in the streets, the president of Guatemala ordered Iván Velásquez, the head of a UN anticorruption panel, expelled after the panel began moving against him. New York Times.

Seeking Justice for Guatemalan People against the US . . .

La Viña Trails Open Historic Millard Canyon Altadena Crest Trails Community Victory

Paul Ayers reports:

I am very happy to announce that the long legal slog to open the long-promised La Viña Trails is almost over.  The trail easement agreement below covering La Viña East and West Trails was recorded Wednesday, 8/23/2017.  This agreement is important not only because it sets the basic routes for the trails but because it also defines the boundaries of the land that will be transferred to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy pursuant to a 2012 settlement.

In 2008 the County won a judgment establishing 20 foot trail easements on either side of La Viña The document recorded on Wednesday sets the routes for these easements. The West Trail generally follows the eastern edge of the area labeled “West SMMC Parcels,” and the East Trail follows the western edge of the area labeled “East SMMC Parcels.”  In 2012 pursuant to a settlement in the Kruells law suit, La Viña Homeowners Association agreed to give SMMC title to (1) the entirety of a 40 acre parcel to the north of the development [the North SMMC Parcel], (2) all of the HOA lands to the west of the east edge of the West Trail easement [West SMMC Parcels] and (3) all of the HOA lands to the east of the west edge of the East Trail easement [East SMMC Parcels].  These transfers should be ordered by a judge at an October hearing.

Finishing the lay out and construction of the trails should begin in the spring.  I will probably start leading introductory hikes on the routes in November.”

“Our single goal is to keep historic Millard Canyon and the Altadena Crest Trail open for all the people of the Los Angeles region to enjoy. That is public space. This gated enclave has no business cutting off access to a public trail,” said The City Project’s Robert García in 2005. “It’s a question of human rights. It’s a question of the public trust. Bottom line, we want the trails open for all.”

Read about community victories in court to keep La Viña trails open in 2008 and 2009 and 2005.


Hands Off the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, and #MonumentsforAll

Representatives Judy Chu, Jimmy Gomez, Adam Schiff, and Brad Sherman, and El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero

Members of Congress with San Gabriel Mountains Forever (SGMF) held a press conference at L.A. Historic Park August 22 to support our San Gabriel Mountains Monument and other monuments and waters for all. Any reduction of our protected lands and waters is a threat to public health, the environment, and Native American sovereignty.

Visit The City Project’s work with diverse allies Monuments for All.

The City Project is a part of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Coalition.


Emotional and moving.

Madras, Oregon