East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice info@eycej.org 323.263.2113

Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative Giving Tuesday 2022


The Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative (MP-SJRC) provides first-generation undergraduate students of color a space to have a supportive environment in which to conduct social justice-oriented research. The program is a week-long intensive training focused on developing a collaborative project and includes a series of workshops on formulating research questions, choosing ethical and appropriate methods for data collection, and systematic analysis of results. Students also receive one-on-one support from researchers throughout the collaborative as they gather information, read scholarly texts, and craft their research summaries, reports, and presentations. The projects are selected by researchers based on the issues East Yard members are impacted by, and support community-based solutions that are guided through their research and their fellow community leaders already on the ground doing the work.

The research collaborative was named in honor of Marina Uranga Pando, a community elder, and leader at East Yard. She was charismatic, powerful, and courageous in all aspects of her life and in the fight against environmental racism. She transformed the organization, helped coordinate monthly membership meetings, prepared youth outreach at Bell Gardens High School, cared for La Cosecha Colectiva seedlings, and advocated for zero emissions through public comment at public agency hearings. She was committed to the environmental justice movement in life and continues to serve as the guiding spirit behind this program. Marina Pando, Presente!

In 2019, the research collaborative was paused due to limited capacity and the pandemic changing our lives. In that time, Project Director ​​Floridalma Boj-Lopez, along with the East Yard team and Board Members have had an opportunity to reflect on restructuring the program to continue supporting the growth of students and their goals.

We are calling on our community, allies, and supporters to join us in meeting our goal of raising $25,000 to fully fund the next cohort of researchers. The campaign starts on 11/29 and will end on 12/31 so anyone can support at any level. There is no limit to what we can accomplish together when we invest in youth and in our communities.


To learn more about the history of the program and the impact it has had on previous participants, watch our interview with Project Director ​​Floridalma Boj-Lopez.

Jocelyn has been an East Yard member for years and in that time, has grown immensely as an individual and as an organizer. Watch as they reflect on the role the Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative had in their growth and why community spaces like this are vital.