The Santa Barbara City Walk will allow UCSB students and community members to explore often-overlooked areas of the city tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Participants will meet at the Manzanita bus loop, then visit the farmer’s market, explore neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area, listen to a lecture from environmental stewardship group A Rocha and enjoy a free barbecue lunch. According to event planners, the route is designed so participants can address controversial local issues including homelessness, education inequality, gang activity and environmental degradation.
Jaret Ornelas, A.S. community labor coordinator of the Intervarsity Social Justice Chair, said La Casa de la Raza will contribute to tomorrow’s events. Also known as the Cesar Chavez Center, the non-profit activist group advocates for the Latin@ community.
“[La Casa de la Raza] provides tutoring for the kids and after school programs,” Ornelas said. “We are also going to have a speaker from Pueblo. They’re going to talk about economic issues like how in Santa Barbara you can have these multimillion dollar mansions and further down the street you’ll find nine people living in a crowded apartment.”
Alumna and event organizer Katerina Ford said the walk is a unique chance for Isla Vista-locked students to tour the greater Santa Barbara area.
“For some students who don’t have a car and are tied to Isla Vista and State Street — like I was a few years ago — it gives them a chance to see other parts of Santa Barbara and neighborhoods in Goleta they don’t know,” Ford said. “They also get to experience local restaurants and see more of the city.”
The program will also address the reality and severity of vagrancy in Santa Barbara.
“There will also be somebody who does homeless outreach speaking about homeless issues,” Ornelas said. “How in this town it’s so rich yet people die on the street for want of a blanket.”
Elizabeth Villa, a second-year philosophy major, said she is excited to participate.
“It’s pretty exciting because I remember coming in last year to UCSB and I was trying to research on what there was to this area,” Villa said. “Not just the downtown, but how the neighborhood here was. So far I haven’t really discovered much so this seems like a pretty good opportunity. And they have a light breakfast!”
The city walk also includes a scavenger hunt with local restaurant gift certificates as prizes.
Students interested in attending can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at the main A.S. Office or any residence hall.