Photo from Visitors Center in Banff National Park in Alberta's Rockies

B o r d e r l a n d s Digest

Reading, Writing, and photography

about Justice and the Environment

in North America

Craig Rock, editor, borderlandsdigest352@gmail.com

What is this Borderlands Digest?

And Where did this site come from?

This site is designed for teachers, journalists, community organizers and others who are focused on improving the quality of life in their communities. Stories, poems, and photographs center on the environment and people along the culturally diverse communities of North America.

Most writings and photos will be about regions and issues that I have researched, lived in, or traveled to over the last 50 years. My job experience, education and volunteer work point me in the direction of issues connected to the environment, criminal justice, and immigration. More recently, I directed or co-directed community history exhibits about diverse groups who settled the American West (see display below). Before that, I was a history and civics teacher with a focus on student service learning in a semi rural Nevada tourist town. I went into teaching after eight years as a death penalty defense investigator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Earlier in my career, I worked with college students as the national campus coordinator for the human rights group Amnesty International USA. I was hired for that job because of my volunteer work as the International News Page Editor for the Daily Californian, the student newspaper at the University of California at Berkeley. The focus my work there was writing about human rights issues and publishing articles by students and diverse Berkeley writers.

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I served four years in the army before earning a political science degree at the University of Wisconsin (UWM). I took graduate course work in American history and education with a focus on integrating social studies with language arts. As you will see from my photography, I travel mostly in the western United States and Canada. I invite your participation in this Borderlands Digest. I can be reached via the above email.

Examples of Exhibit Work

Exhibits on Japanese American Farmers near San Luis Obispo CA

Historical photos of the Japanese American internment during WWII were gathered from the Library of Congress along with personal stories and photos from local residents telling the stories of these American farming families on California's Central Coast. Three exhibits made up this year-long effort that included stories of the area's white population, some who protected their neighbor's land during internment, and some who did not.

Nuclear Weapon Testing in the Southwest

Art work, panel discussion, personal stories and historic posters told the story of people who lived downwind from the Nevada Test Site in Utah, Nevada, and other states. Nuclear testing took place at the site between 1951 and 1992, both in the atmosphere and underground. Two other panel discussions that made up this art show at the Left of Center Art Gallery in Las Vegas were about (1) Black civil rights movement in that city and (2) the fight for decent wages in the casino industry.

Filipino Americans on California's Central Coast

These Americans took the place of Chinese and Japanese Americans who at the time faced exclusion from the "American" dream. The labor camp locations shown above and map art work were the result of research and collaboration between the exhibit curators and an exhibit design expert. The local Filipino community and Cal Poly students worked together in telling these stories. A website created by Cal Poly students about the Filipino American community can be seen by clicking here.

Borderlands Digest

Reading, Writing and Photography about

Justice, the Environment, Chaos,

and Cooperation in North America

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