PANEL: Voices Unheard in Environmental Justice
with Denise Moreno Ramírez, Sandra Westdahl and Elena Lopez
Watch the discussion on YOUTUBE:
In the early 1980s, high levels of a cancer-causing solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE, were found in the groundwater in south Tucson. For decades, community members have fought to get the TCE plume cleaned up and now another contaminant of emerging concern, PFAS, poses a new threat to the groundwater.
Landmark Stories documents one University of Arizona researcher’s work to listen, share, and preserve the voices of a community fighting for environmental justice.
Join the producer, story animator, and researcher behind the environmental justice documentary for a sneak preview of the film and a discussion on the responsibility filmmakers and scientists have to work collaboratively with communities to amplify and empower unheard voices in science.
Landmark Stories is an award-winning documentary team placed within the national Experiment Station system, a federally supported effort to facilitate and disseminate scientific innovation. Their films help bring science and its impact on communities to broader audiences.
Elena Lopez is a visual communications specialist, designer, and illustrator guided by the simple principle of meaningful service. She is driven to use her creative skills to help tell stories of human advancement.
Elena is a native of the sunny Southwest and grew up in Nogales, Mexico. She discovered her love for design when she acquired her first graphics tablet at age 15. She moved from Nogales to Tucson to work on her Bachelor of Science in Business at the Eller College of Management. She has certifications in business strategy and Spanish interpretation.
Before joining Landmark Stories, Elena served as a multimedia specialist at Arizona Public Media, the NPR/PBS affiliate in Tucson, where she helped solidify the brand, enhance marketing efforts, and develop advertising campaigns. She has extensive experience working in broadcast, online, and social media platforms. She won a regional Edward R. Murrow award and earned an Emmy® nomination for her work on “Pandemic Dreams”—a fully animated short documentary on Arizona Illustrated at Arizona Public Media.
Today, Elena is focused on the future, working with her creative partners, and helping develop innovative documentary films that will make a positive difference in people’s lives.