Announcing the 2013 Research Justice Training Academy

What: DataCenter is pleased to invite Bay Area Environmental Justice organizations to join us for two full packed days of training and strategizing to build research capacity and create more successful grassroots organizing campaigns. The Research Justice Training Academy provides is a unique and intensive capacity-building program that combines various forms of learning in a safe, supportive, and stimulating setting.

Who should attend:  Community members and leaders, EJ organizers and environmental health and justice advocates every day community s/heroes who live and know the realities of environmental injustice firsthand — and wish to develop a proactive, strategic approach to research, and  strengthen the impact of their organizing efforts.

Note: It is not designed to teach individual participants “how-to”  as done in traditional research courses, nor focus on a single specific research methodology or technique. Rather, the Academy presents a powerful opportunity for participants to affirm their lived expertise, critically analyze the power structure of research and information, and employ community-driven research strategy that is aligned with the larger social change strategy of the organization.

When: February 20-21, 2013, 9am-5pm

Where: The California Endowment, 1111 Broadway Street, Downtown Oakland

Guest presenters will include Human Impact Partners, an organization  that helps organizations and public agencies who working with low-income communities to understand and take action around policies and projects that affect community health, and help them use this information to take action.

About the Training Academy

This annual Research Justice Academy is generously supported by the Environment Program of The San Francisco Foundation, and therefore free-of-charge for qualifying Bay Area Environmental Justice organizations. Organizations that do not qualify may still register for a fee. The subsidized sliding fee scale is $240-385.

Under $500,000 = $240 registration fee

$500,001 – $1m = $325 registration fee

$1m and up = $385 registration fee

Each organization is encouraged to send a minimum of two participants to better ensure that knowledge and skills are transferred back to the organization. Breakfast and lunch will also be included.The DataCenter believes that research is a key element in the struggle for environmental justice. Research helps ensure that communities can effectively access knowledge, turning that knowledge into informed, calculated and strategic action to build their own political power to create positive social change – while remaining grounded in the strength of their own culture and community. This Academy is a unique and intensive capacity-building program that combines various forms of learning in a safe, supportive, and stimulating setting for organizers and environmental health and justice advocates at the forefront of the Environmental Justice movement.

The annual Research Justice Training Academy began in 2007 and is designed to:

  • Increase the effectiveness of community-based organizations working to improve environmental health in low income communities in the Bay Area;
  • Build research capacity and support critical data-collection skills;
  • Facilitate equitable research collaborations between low-income communities and research institutions;
  • Train organizers and community members to design and conduct their own research;
  •  Give organizers hands-on training in research project planning, investigative campaign research and social science documentation and research methods.

The Training Academy is informed and advised by on-the-ground actors in Environmental Justice movements, including Bradley Angel, co-founder and Executive Director of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice; David Jaber, Principal of inNative; Antonio Diaz, Organizational Director of People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER); Annie Loya, Executive Director of Youth United for Community Action (YUCA); and Jessie Buendia, Coordinator of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Community Benefits Program.

Not located in the SF Bay Area? Support the 2013 Research Justice Academy! In times when so much is at stake, we ask you to make a donation so that we can make this valuable training available for more under-resourced organizations!  We have demand from out-of-state organizers who cannot afford the travel, but you can help us take the training to your town with your support! Click here to donate.

All Academy participants will receive:

  • A resource binder and accompanying tools to replicate trainings with their staff and community.
  • A one hour, pro-bono consultation following the Academy with experienced DataCenter staff to help facilitate the implementation of all the tools and skills that will be acquired during the Academy.
Maricela Mares Alatorre of Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Kettleman City makes a case for community surveys at the 2012 Academy

Past participants in the Academy include the Asian Pacific Islander Environmental Network, Winnemem Wintu tribe, Youth United for Community Action, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Rose Foundation, PODER, Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative, the Pacific Institute and more!

What they are saying:

“Research seems less painful and there are numerous sources to use to find the information you need.  I will use this in helping my staff do research for their campaigns.”

“It will definitely improve the way I approach policy makers.  I will be better prepared.”

“There were a lot of resources provided…and how those resources can be used for our community and specific EJ Issues of our community.  I can use the info in future campaigns and recruitment efforts.”

How to Apply


If your organization is community-based with a history in grassroots capacity-building and leadership development, we hope you will take advantage of this valuable opportunity to expand your strategic research capacity and, thus, strengthen your Environmental Justice campaigns.

Please complete the online Research Justice Training Academy Application form by January 03, 2013.

Space is limited, so please fill out your application ASAP! You will hear from us if you have been accepted before January 15, 2013.

For further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Puck Lo, Lead Consultant for the 2013 Research Justice Training Academy at

Interested in us bringing the Academy to you? We customize the Academy for various communities, sectors and issues organizing for social justice! Call  Jay Donahue at 510-835-4692, ext. 307.