“La Chispa de Salem,” or “the Salem Spark” was an environmental justice coalition at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, 2017-2020. It was committed to a wide range of activities:
1) Organizing and delivering workshops for Willamette Academy, a college-access program, primarily serving Latinx youth.
2)Preparing content for and hosting Worldviews Wednesday, a 49-segment podcast for a local radio station (Sept. 2017-Aug. 2018).
3)Co-creating and supporting the Students Organizing for Access to Resources (SOAR) Center, especially the food pantry and clothing share.
4)Cultivating community and shared learning environments via horizontal relationships.
5)Supporting a local, bilingual community garden.
6)Addressing urgent social and environmental problems, all of which emphasize place, experiential learning, and student agency.
7) Generating a Spanish/English zine to communicate earthquake hazards in Salem, OR.
This largely student-led, multidisciplinary coalition was committed to uncovering and uprooting environmental racism, addressing the inequities of environmental privilege, and advocating for
environmental, climate, and energy justice.
For more information:
Catalina M. de Onís
University of Colorado Denver
Department of Communication
The Green Fund, Willamette University
On the web: