Trini (Tlazohteotl) Rodriguez is a soft-spoken woman of Mexican indigenous Huichol ancestry, whose voice you sometimes have to lean in to hear. But behind her quiet ways is the force of a lifelong fighter for social change: She has been a bilingual-bicultural teacher, editor for a national bilingual newspaper in defense of undocumented workers and for 17 years served as executive director of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in Sylmar, an organization she and husband Luis J. Rodriguez, a former poet laureate of Los Angeles, co-founded in 2001.

Tia Chucha’s has become a nexus for learning and engagement, especially for underserved areas of the northeastern San Fernando Valley. One of its popular outreach programs is a book club unlike many others: It aims for reading, and the discussion around books, to help spur a more just and kind society.

“In our area, there are few places where folks can engage in critical discussions outside of institutions of higher education,” says Rodriguez. “Tia Chucha’s monthly book club is meant to engage community members with literature that reflects their stories and challenges systems of oppression, in a safe environment.”

What, for you, defines social justice?