MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations

Voices from the Earth Volume 1 Number 1
From the President

SRIC Board President Fred Griego

The Staff and Board of Directors of Southwest Research and Information Center welcome you to Voices from the Earth, a fresh and unique journal of environmental views, news and reviews whose goal will be to tell the stories of people's courage, dedication and struggle against injustices in order to maintain a strong, clean and healthy environment. These stories will come from a wide array of individuals who have sacrificed much to fight the social inequalities that have imperiled the lives of their families and communities. Our first story is of a Navajo woman, Rita Capitan, from Crownpoint, a traditional community suffering the ravaging health effects of the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

This inaugural issue of Voices from the Earth also highlights the work and continued commitment of SRIC and its 29 years of dedication to provide timely, accurate and much needed information to communities thoughout the world who are working to protect their natural resources and environment. The struggle for social and environmental justice has always been the focal point of the work of SRIC, whether it has worked to provide clear and understandable professional technical assistance, or enter into litigation on behalf of those in the struggle for the health and future of their peoples. SRIC has, without doubt, stood its ground to seek justice.

The previous 25 years have been marked with the commitment of SRIC's quarterly publication of The Workbook, an award winning resource book for activists, researchers and other in pursuit of positive change (see related articles). Throughout these years, The Workbook has enjoyed a select and loyal readership. As happens to many other publications, the unfortunate burden of increased cost of production has forced SRIC to seek out a more viable alternative to carry forward its message. When Kathy Cone, The Workbook's talented, long-time and much-loved editor, announced her intention to retire earlier this year, SRIC's staff and Board of Directors decided the time was right to turn a new page.

This was a difficult decision for everyone at SRIC and we do not take this action lightly. The realization that The Workbook has been an important part of our institutional life and work here at SRIC has affected us greatly. Simultaneously, we have come to understand the need to change if the organization is to move forward. We hope to retain much of the flavor and content of The Workbook in Voices from the Earth with a new emphasis on ordinary people doing extraordinary work in their communities, practicing democratic ideals like citizen participation, resistance to injustice and inequality, and self-reliance. The Workbook readers will be pleased to know that Voices from the Earth will offer book reviews, resource guides, and news features on topics of national and regional interest.

Occasionally we may have a guest editor who will focus on a specific topic. This issue is edited by former environmental journalist Dede Feldman, who has been working more recently in the important role as a Senator in the New Mexico State Legislature.

As always, we are open to suggestions on what those topics — and articles — should be. Contact us at Info@sric.org or (505) 262-1862. Or simply drop us a line or two — SRIC, PO Box 4524, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Meanwhile, our commitment continues and our hopes are that our new publication will attract a wider readership to provide more information to more people in more communities.

Fred Griego III
President, SRIC Board of Directors

Community Partners
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Table of Contents

"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth…that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamt would have come his way."
– W.H. Murray in The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.

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