LOS ANGELES (June 3, 2013) — Students from eight Los Angeles-area high schools presented research and video projects about environmental and public health issues at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s second annual Youth Research Symposium. Themed “Multicultural Voices of Environmental Justice in LA,” the symposium took place on Saturday, June 1, 2013, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CIVITAS School of Leadership on the Roybal Learning Center campus.
At the event, hundreds of high school students from throughout Los Angeles, including CIVITAS School of Leadership, West Adams Preparatory High School, Roybal Learning Center, Wilson High School, Lincoln High School, and the San Gabriel Valley Student Leadership Network tackled issues such as lack of access to healthy food in low-income communities, the revitalization of the L.A. River, and creating school/community gardens.
The symposium showcased student-led workshops on topics such as organic gardening techniques as well as video projects in Mandarin and Spanish about the revitalization of the L.A. River. “These projects utilize Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) methods to involve students, parents, and community in solving critical environmental, health, and community problems,” said Li’i Furumoto, youth programs manager at APALC.
Students at CIVITAS School of Leadership and the Roybal Learning Center used the symposium as a vehicle to showcase and involve more students, parents, and community members in their vibrant school garden. Annie Lopez, the student body president of CIVITAS SOL, said, “The garden definitely made an impact on our lives, but today through this amazing event we brought into perspective the positive impact our garden can make on the community.”
Special guest speakers Stewart Kwoh, executive director of APALC, and Tim Ngubeni, former director of the UCLA Community Programs office, highlighted the problem of health disparities in low-income communities of color and the need for additional resources to promote equitable neighborhoods.