Canal Youth for Justice Camp


From July 29th – August 9th, 2013 Planting Justice was honored to be part of the planning and co-facilitating of the Canal Youth for Justice Summer Camp in San Rafael, CA. The camp was made possible through a collaboration between Planting Justice in Oakland, CA with Alcohol Justice and Canal Youth for Justice based in San Rafael. The camp focused on environmental, food, and healing justice through youth organizing and youth power.

Building a School Garden in Novato with the Canal Youth for Justice Camp

Alcohol Justice is a non-profit organization based in the Canal District of San Rafael whose work focuses on resisting the over-distribution of alcohol and alcohol-related marketing in communities of color. Their work also focuses on how alcohol and alcohol-related advertisements target young people, especially youth of color, and how this has deeply negative impacts on our communities’ health and well-being. Through education and direct action campaigns led by young people from San Rafael, Alcohol Justice has been able to have alcopops (drinks containing caffeine, sugar and alcohol, such as 4Loko) banned from local stores and has raised awareness about the negative effects of alcohol in urban and rural communities of color.

Delivering compost to the beds:

<iframe src="//" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href="">navato clips</a> from <a href="">wiley rogers</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p>Mulching the Raised Beds:

Canal Youth for Justice is a grassroots, community-based organization of youth from the Canal area of San Rafael, CA. They are a collective of young people, ages 8 – early 20s, who are leaders for social justice in their community. Over the past few years, they have been able to win campaigns to stop the towing of their parent’s cars, built dozens of community gardens, and hosted popular education spaces throughout Canal. Maite Duran serves as an elder, mentor and space-holder for this group of youth to grow as healers and activists in their community. Planting Justice has been able to co-create multiple projects with this very special group of young activists, and we look forward to continue supporting their efforts to make Canal a more resilient, vibrant and self-determining community.

Learning Plants!:

The 2-week camp consisted of many different activities requested and held by the youth themselves. The group held sacred space everyday, offering prayers and intentions for our time together at our ancestral, collective altar. We prepared and shared nourishing community meals together everyday for lunch. We sung songs and played games to keep our spirits high. We went on multiple field trips around the Bay Area, to the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, Audubon Society in Petaluma, and a day-long trip to Oakland, CA where the youth got to meet and build relationships with youth leaders from Farm Fresh Choice (a program of Berkeley’s Ecology Center) and Phat Beets Produce. We took part in a community bike day, with a large group ride through San Rafael and a workshop on basic bike maintenance. We even got to support a local school by building and planting out a vibrant permaculture garden on their campus!

Sal of the Planting Justice Team Installing Irrigation:

Together we were able to continue learning how to resist the poisoning of our communities through junk food and alcohol, as we built alternatives through community gardens, grassroots medicine, and popular education. And last but not least, we always got to have lots of fun and play games as we celebrated being in community!

Thanks to everyone who came together and supported each other to make this camp possible. Thanks to the staff at Alcohol Justice, to the young leaders from Canal Youth for Justice, and to all the others who help hold, guide and nourish our work together.