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January 2014: “Fledgling activist group connects troubled teens, adults with an eye toward community change”

Posted on January 23, 2014

By Arvin Temkar
Monterey County Weekly
January 23, 2014


When Juan Gomez talks about his hopes for East Salinas, he goes deep. He cites academic works like “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and uses phrases like “decolonize your mind.” He rails about how poor kids funnel from schools to prisons, and advocates for how community building can stem that tide.


This is the regular parlance of a fledgling Salinas group called MILPA (Motivating Individuals for Leadership in Public Advancement), a cadre of organizers and youth aiming to build a social justice movement in East Salinas. The group – they call themselves “a people’s collectivo” – is working in partnership with nonprofit Building Healthy Communities, and has started to establish itself in the fabric of Alisal activism.