California Institute for Rural Studies

Rural Justice Summit

Rural justice summit

The Rural Justice Summit is a forum for community members, students, artists, advocates and researchers to come together to explore common challenges, compare barriers faced and seek solutions.

We are a constellation of artists, organizers, activists, researchers, and accomplices who imagine a radical realignment of rural life that moves us towards equity, access, participation and rights for all rural people.

Hi! We are so glad you are here. The Rural Justice Summit is going back home in Merced this year! We are intentionally elevating Black and Brown love across the planning and vision of the Summit. We are excited to see you there! As part of that knowing that the most impacted and continuously impacted by COVID-19 are Black and Brown people, we will continue masking at this event. Masks are required for everyone joining us this year. COVID-19 tests will also be available for community members who want to get tested.

¡Hola! Estamos muy contentos de que estés aquí. ¡La Cumbre de Justicia Rural regresa a casa en Merced este año! Estamos elevando intencionalmente el amor de Negros y Morenos a través de la planificación y la visión de la Cumbre. ¡Estamos emocionados de verte allí! Gran parte de saber que aquellas comunidades impactadas por COVID-19, son comunidades Afrodescendientes y Morenos, continuaremos usando nuestros cubre bocas. Todas las personas que se unan a la cumbre necesitarán usar cubre bocas. Pruebas de COVID-19 también estarán disponibles para las personas que las necesiten.

Hydration is super important, please bring your water bottle. We will have hydration stations available.

Hay que mantenerse hidratados, por favor trae tu botella de agua. Tendremos estaciones disponibles para que llenes tu botella de agua.


Photos courtesy of Dulce Upfront and Photographer: Samuel Contreras

2021 Rural Justice Summit MC’s Michael Yamamura (left) and Miranda Hernandez (right) alongside Keynote Speaker Eugene Vange (middle). Artwork by Diana Morales:

Past Summits

2021 Rural Justice Summit flyer

Cristel Jensen
Community Driven Strategist

Cristel is CIRS’ new organizational backbone, helping us with administrative systems and coordinating the Rural Justice Summit team. Cristel grew up surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra Gorda in San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato, Mexico. Cristel immigrated to the US seven years ago and while culture shock is still challenging to navigate, she doesn’t forget the indigeneity that was stolen from her ancestors during colonization in Mexico and claims, without shame, her mestizaje. In her work, Cristel centers the stories of rural life in California that is radically transformed as systems of oppression and extraction give way to systems which are life-affirming. As a Community- Driven Strategist with the California Institute for Rural Studies, Cristel is sensitive to many types of knowledge, equitable and reflective of the rich cultural landscapes of rural California.