The purpose of Los Jardines Institute, (LJI), translated as The Gardens Institute, is to build and support healthy and sustainable communities and workplaces. We do this by creating opportunities, activities, and campaigns that promote multi-generational sharing and learning to build a people’s movement based on environmental, economic, and social justice. The Institute honors land-based and grassroots ways of knowing in the places where we live, work, play, pray, and go to school.
Los Jardines Institute is a critical founding partner of NMPEC due to LJI’s cultural, social and political significance in the organizing movement in New Mexico and Nationally. LJI is an important thread in the continuity over the 50 year legacy of environmental justice organizing in the Southwest and in grassroots communities in New Mexico. This includes our leadership participating in the first National People of Color Leadership Summit in 1991, the co-authorship of the widely used Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing and Environmental Justice Principles and signatories of national policy platforms. LJI serves as a cultural, social and political education site for hundreds of members of our communities and groups. LJI hosts political and historical organizational trainings for emerging youth, frontline and grassroots organizations. The institute component serves as a physical space to gather and discuss community issues, imagine local and sustainable systems and politicize ourselves and our organizations. Our community center and urban farm serve as key spaces and wisdom for healing and liberation work, especially in the time of global pandemics and endemics such as COVID and climate change. LJI engages in state and national coalition building, networking, and supporting campaigns across the spectrum of environmental, climate and economic issues. We bridge organizers and communities across generations, geographies and cultures to foster intergenerational and intercultural movements that go beyond borders to build power and unite around our diversity.
Los Jardines Institute coordinates the NM Justice40 Coalition – composed of over 60 participating grassroots and Indigenous organizations across the state. The coalition intentionally includes aligned groups that have a track record of working together in environmental and community agriculture spaces as well as members whose participation connects the coalition to new movement spaces and builds bridges across sectors. Sectors we are intentionally engaging include climate & energy groups, those fighting pollution and harmful development in their communities, sustainable agriculture and food & land stewards, as well as those focused on community health. Coalition members will be invited to join as member-owners in the co-op and to help recruit from their community bases.