The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Team Monthly Picks

The JEDI team makes monthly content recommendations to create dialogue with those interested in following along. If you prefer not to purchase recommended books, please check first with members of the JEDI team to borrow their copies, or check your local libraries! 

November 2022 Selections

- in honor of Native American Heritage Month -

"Image of book cover for Fresh Banana Leaves by Jessica Hernandez"

Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Landscapes through Indigenous Science by Dr. Jessica Hernandez is my feature for this month! This book is on my reading list, and I was excited to read about the complex and beautiful connections between land, environmental justice, community, and healing, through the lens of indigeneity. I think this book is an essential read especially for the protection of Mother Earth and our people.

– Dr. D’Anne Duncan, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Learner Success


"Image of book cover for Prison Writings by Leonard Peltier"

Last week, I was fortunate enough to visit Puerto Rico as a part of the SACNAS conference – a trip that was transformational for me in many ways. In our monthly picks, we are often sharing what we’ve learned through different mediums most often through reading. One form of learning that is often underappreciated in the academic world is learning through oral histories. On the trip, a Puerto Rican student and her cousin shared with us the story of Pedro Albizu Campos. Albizu Campos was a Puerto Rican Black man who fought for Puerto Rican independence and human rights. Because of his political position, Pedro Albizu Campos was imprisoned and tortured by the U.S. government.

In hearing this story, I could not shake the parallels that I saw with American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier. In Peltier’s book, Prison Writings, the book tells of the political repression by the U.S. government for his commitment to indigenous sovereignty and liberation. These similarities reinforced to me that the struggles for liberation and justice are so intimately interconnected regardless of the physical distance or the cultural differences. I encourage you to learn about both men and the movements they stood for and to continue the practice of learning through oral histories. 

 – Zachary Smith, Diversity and Outreach Program Manager


"Image of Crystal Wahpepah"

To celebrate the Native American Heritage Month, I want to introduce Wahpepah’s Kitchen — Chef Crystal Wahpepah’s restaurant serving indigenous cuisine in East Oakland in 2021. Chef Crystal uses native ingredients to pass the food and knowledge onto the communities. Chef Crystal does not only take us “through experiencing food, to acknowledge that we live on stolen land”; she also adds her lived experience, as a Kickapoo Native American and also African American from East Oakland, to her inspirational food creation. 

Visit Wahpepah’s Kitchen:
3301 East 12th St., Suite #133, Oakland, CA, 94601

– Shinyi Hsieh, Rosenberg-Hill Graduate Research Fellow, 2022-2023


"Image of Chrystos"

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, I would like to share a poem titled “I Walk in the History of My People” by Menominee writer and two-spirit activist, Chrystos. In this poem, Chrystos discusses the history of their ancestors and the pain that their body holds in reponse to this history and trauma. The last line in particular stands out to me: "My knee is wounded / see / How I Am Still Walking".

– Jessica Ip, Diversity Programs and Events Coordinator


Past Selections

Last updated November 1, 2022.