Back to top

The Evolving Environmental Movement in Southern California: Equity, Justice, and Access

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
10:00am - 12:30pm PDT
Center for Healthy Communities
1000 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
Add to Calendar

Southern California is the epicenter for the next generation of environmental leaders. This convening will bring together leaders who have worked in coalition with other organizations on a broad set of issues connecting the environment to health, access, and community livability. Led by people of color working in disadvantaged communities facing the impacts of pollution and significant health disparities, these organizations and coalitions have won numerous victories in building resilient, sustainable communities with access to clean water, local parks, restored watersheds, clean air, and healthy communities. They offer a new vision for Southern California, yet their story is mostly unknown. You’ll learn how they work in partnership across organizations to secure progressive policies, legislation, and funding using "inside-outside" strategies for thriving, resilient communities. You’ll also have an opportunity to connect and learn from other funders supporting this work.



Jon Christensen (Moderator), Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA

Jon Christensen is an adjunct assistant professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the Department of History, and the Center for Digital Humanities, a founder of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies; and a senior fellow in UCLA’s cityLAB. He is a partner and strategic adviser at Stamen Design, a National Design Award-winning interactive design and technology firm specializing in mapping, data visualization, and strategic communications. And a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, and commentator on radio and television. He is also co-chair of Liberty Hill Foundation’s Environmental Justice Donor Circle and a member of Southern California Grantmakers. 

Belinda Faustinos, Executive Director, Nature for All

In May 2011, Belinda Faustinos retired as Executive Officer of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and three major joint powers agencies, where she had served since June 2002. She served for 17 years as the Chief Deputy Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority where she worked closely with the National Park Service. Her current activities include serving as the Speaker appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and as the Senate Pro Tem alternate to the California Coastal Commission and as a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointee on two local citizen oversight boards and as a board member for several nonprofit organizations. 



Hop Hopkins, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Sierra Club

Hop Hopkins works to ensure that Sierra Club campaigns and programs protect those most affected by climate change and environmental degradation, including low income and communities of color. He leads efforts to promote an equal voice in democracy and provide equitable solutions that support working people, marginalized communities and youth, and promote economic justice. As Director and Senior Manager, Hopkins supports Sierra Club’s Labor and Economic Justice, Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships, Sierra Student Coalition and Democracy Programs. He sharpened his intersectional analysis organizing initially as an HIV/AIDS organizer and anti-globalization activist, then as a participant in the School for Organizers at the Labor Community Strategy Center, moving on to become the Lead Organizer at the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT), serving as Program Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps as well as serving on the boards of the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice and the Western States Center.

Miguel Luna, Community Organizer

Miguel Luna is a principal at DakeLuna Consultants, a community-based firm working on local and regional conservation and watershed issues. He's also the founder of Urban Semillas, a Los Angeles-base community organization established to educate and empower underserved Spanish-speaking communities on social and environmental justice issues. He develops and deploys educational courses that works with minority and underserved high-school students. Luna specializes in cultivating relationships with and between community-based organizations, businesses, elected officials, environmental organizations, academia, governmental agencies, and individual stakeholders at the grass-roots level.


Barbara Romero, Deputy Mayor of City Services, City of Los Angeles

A native Angelena born and raised in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, Barbara Romero was appointed Deputy Mayor of City Services by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in March 2015. In this role, she oversees the work of fifteen departments, including those directing billions of dollars in public investment, such as public works, transportation, recreation and parks, and water and power. She steers the implementation of key mayoral priorities that are resulting in progress toward immigration protection, purposeful aging, revitalization of the Los Angeles River, and safer, cleaner streets.Romero spent a decade working for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) as its Chief of Urban Projects and Watershed Planning. There, she served as liaison to local, state, and federal legislators on park planning issues, helping craft park legislation and funding strategies, and managing millions of dollars in urban park projects.

Bruce Saito, Director, California Conservation Corps

Bruce Saito’s career with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) goes back to 1977 and the Corps’ earliest days. After graduating from San Francisco State University, he spent nearly a decade with the CCC, joining the program as a supervisor/instructor at the Bret Hart Training Academy in Calaveras County, then moving to the Santa Clara (Agnews) Center where he served for 2 years. Promoted to a Conservationist II, he worked at the CCC San Gabriel Center, then moved to the LA Urban Center, eventually serving as director of the CCC’s first non-residential center.  After a stop at the Camarillo Center, he joined with Martha Diepenbrock to establish the LA Conservation Corps in 1986. Saito became LA Corps executive director in 1995, and devoted nearly 30 years to the LA Corps, the largest local nonprofit urban in the nation.


SCG Members: No cost to participate
Non-Members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG members and grantmakers eligible for SCG membership.

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.