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"Words are all I have. My power is not all words and I express my power through words. Words are blessings of consciousness, language is just and not just practical consciousness."

-Arnoldo García-

self portrait

is a community-based poet, musician, visual artist, human rights organizer and a dedicated restorative justice practitioner/trainer. He has migrant roots that stretch from south Texas to the Pacific Northwest and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

 His work has addressed broad issues and struggles for migrant and racial justice, restorative community, against capitalist borders, on landless Chicano/Xicana mexicanidad in the United States, and solidarity with Indigenous land justice movements. His work is influenced by working class and Indigenous artists. Originally from south Texas, Arnoldo was raised in a Mexican-Purépecha-rooted migrant farmworker family and became a farmworker labor rights and education rights activist while in middle school. His experiences in youth and farmworker organizing led him to become active in protecting the rights of the foreign born and the undocumented.

Arnoldo is focusing on creating and performing new social justice music, paintings and writes both poetry and non-fiction essays. He is supporting and training members of school communities and community groups with restorative practices to strengthen relationships rooted in shared values of equity and justice. Arnoldo offers RJ and organizational development trainings in English and Spanish to build intergenerational multiracial leadership for self-determination, racial justice and sustainable community.
Starting in 2011, Arnoldo worked for the restorative justice initiative of the Oakland, California public schools for almost a decade. He worked first as an RJ facilitator in a middle school, where he helped implement the creation of a restorative school community. Then he worked as an RJ Program Manager, providing RJ trainings district-wide to students, parents, teachers, administrators and community partners in English and Spanish. He managed over twelve middle school RJ facilitators and provided equity coaching and support to deepen the restorative practices of school site staff and community. Arnoldo has trained hundreds of school community members in restorative justice every year during his tenure in Oakland schools and he has hosted hundreds of community circles and repair harm/conflict circles with students, parents, teachers and administrators and community partners.

Arnoldo worked for over two decades organizing with grassroots organizations to stop violence and abuse against refugee and migrant workers, families and communities. With the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, he helped organize a community-based human rights action network to document human rights abuse. He was the principal developer of this unique human rights documentation program and worked with technology developers on a model online database. He also helped organized a national dialogue on human rights and socially just immigration and border control policies. He co-authored and edited a series of seminal NNIRR reports documenting human rights abuses committed against immigrants and refugees and calling for socially just policy reforms and changes. 

Arnoldo is also a musician rooted in Mexican and Latin American traditions and a poet, writer and editor. His work has been featured in the online literary journal, La Bloga, and is a featured poet in different cultural and political gatherings. Arnoldo opened the recent international forum “Defending the Displaced: Border Justice and Migrant Rights,” convened by UC Berkeley’s The Othering and Belonging Institute. He is a past recipient of

Arnoldo Garcia Self-portrait[2615].jpg

the Alston—Bannerman Fellowship, in recognition of his contributions and work for racial justice and the “Cesar E. Chavez Leadership Achievement Award,” recognizing his lifelong commitment to community organizing and defense of rights. 


Arnoldo’s poetry is featured in the new book “Painting the Streets: Oakland Uprising in a Time of Rebellion,” documenting the explosion of anti-racist and racial justice graffiti art and paintings by Oakland-based artists that hit the walls and the streets in the outrage and aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd. Arnoldo co-founded Xingao Publications and has helped publish two collections of poetry featuring diverse poets in “XicKorea: words, rants poems together” and “Poets against War and Racism/Poetas contra la guerra y el racism.” He is also the editor and publisher of a forthcoming series of chapbooks that will bring new writing by Chicano, Xicana, Palestinian and Indigenous poets in the U.S. You may continue to read his poetry on the blogs he curates, La carpa del FEO: Fandango in East Oakland and Art of the Commune.

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