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Erica Fernandez

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Erica Fernandez put Cesar Chavez's words into action to protect her community, proving that “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. And you cannot oppress a people who are not afraid anymore. We are the future, and the future is ours.”

Beginning in Oxnard, CA, Erica used the power of PROTEST to rally against a large energy corporation that planned to erect a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline around affluent California coastal communities and through Oxnard, primarily occupied by monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants. Not only would the LNG pipeline cut through the agricultural land vital to the economy of Oxnard, it would bring millions of tons of pollutants to one of the most beautiful areas in California.

Erica emigrated with her family to the farming community of Oxnard from Mexico when she was 12 years old. She soon developed a strong bond with the community based on common experiences and relationships with groups and individuals in Oxnard. After learning that the wealthiest mining corporation in the world planned to develop an LNG pipeline from 13 miles offshore to the mainland, she became concerned. When Erica learned that the company’s plan— based on the politics of wealthier surrounding communities —involved the construction of a major pipeline through Oxnard, she knew she had to act. What the video to learn about her victory.

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