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

The Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative

The Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative (MP-SJRC) is an opportunity for first generation undergraduate students of color to have a supportive environment in which to conduct social justice oriented research. This summer program provides a week-long intensive training focused on developing a collaborative project and includes a series of workshops regarding: formulating research questions, choosing ethical and appropriate methods for data collection and systematic analysis of results. In addition we provided one-on-one support to each researcher for six weeks as they gather information, read scholarly texts and craft their research summaries, reports and presentations.

Honoring the Legacy, Marina Uranga Pando

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

Our Program Manager, Floridalma Boj-Lopez

Floridalma Boj-Lopez has been a member of East Yard for six years. She completed her PhD studies from USC in American Studies and Ethnicity and her individual research focuses on the Guatemalan Mayan community in Los Angeles. Her experience as a scholar and community member led her to develop the Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative with a specific emphasis on growing the ability of community organizations to conduct research that supports their campaigns and movements.

“A community led program shows us that leaders are all around us, they can be our neighbors, our siblings, our parents, our teachers, but more importantly ourselves. We all have it within ourselves to create an environment in which we can live life to the fullest.”

Karla Perez
MP-SJRC Researcher, Long Beach Member,
and current Youth Organizer 

One of our fundamental beliefs is that research skills are meant to be used in the service of collective well-being. Participants have the capacity to bridge the data our movements need with the voices that academia tends to leave out. It is the scholars who have emerged out of social justice organizing that are capable of recognizing the expertise already present among youth and elders who as community residents live with the everyday impact of these issues.

We hosted our 1st Annual Grassroots Research Symposium on August 7, 2015 at our EYCEJ Community Room, where the 1st cohort presented their research projects with community, friends and family members. Since 2015, we have been able to host the symposium for four more years with presentations from four MPSJR cohorts on wide-ranging and impactful research that helps shape East Yard’s campaigns and programming. 

To learn more about each cohort, and read their research summaries, please visit the following links: 

Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative Projects 2015

Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative Projects 2016

Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative Projects 2017

Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative Projects 2018

Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative Projects 2019

This is all possible due to donors that are invested in authentic community power, just like you. If you are interested in supporting another year of MP-SJRC, please contact us or hit the donate button.