Oscar Gutierrez is a community organizer and PhD student in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His research is at the intersections of Queer Latinx Studies, Critical Geography and Environmental Humanities. Currently his work focuses on environmental justice movements in Southeast Los Angeles, which is where was born and raised. Growing up in the environmental justice movement in Los Angeles, he quickly took note of the multigenerational aspects that contributed toward reproductive resistance in the community. His dissertation project entitled, “Geographies of Odor: (Un)mapping Queer Landscapes of Environmental Justice in Southeast Los Angeles” looks at Latinx relationships to industrial sites and labor to understand how notions of race, class, gender and sexuality have reshaped the social and political movement. He is currently working through archives from the early ‘90s that piece together the work of queer and women of color who established legacies of resistance in the community. In his most recent chapter titled, “Landing,” published in What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be? The 7th Fire. Edited by Melissa K. Nelson, et al. (Forthcoming, University of Chicago) he establishes a conversation on mourning and land-based daily living practices that defy settler colonial industrial projects. His intimate relationships to his community aim to create an understanding of how environmental justice moves beyond health and political dynamics, but also deal greatly with how low-income communities of color are understood at a larger scale.
Oscar is an alumnus of the Marina Pando Social Justice Research Collaborative (MP-SJRC), an environmental justice research program at East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) where he built collaborative community-based research on land-use and local indigenous collaboratives. His commitments to environmental justice scholarship come from his ongoing work in his community. Oscar currently serves as a member of the board of directors at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), a California based environmental health and justice organization where he has been a member and organizer for over a decade.
Fellow at a Glance
University of California San Diego