Monday, August 22, 2011

Henry Got Crops Represented at the National Rooted in Community Conference

By: Clare Hyre

"We had a fun, full, educational week learning about food justice at the University of Pennsylvania," says W.B. Saul student Yona Hudson. This past week over 170 youth from around the country came together at a youth lead, youth empowerment, food justice conference sponsored by UNI (the Urban Nutrition Initiative). There were workshops, on food justice, field trips to local farms, and youth came together to write a unique Youth Food Bill of Rights.
On Thursday, July 28th, twenty plus visitors came to Henry Got Crops! CSA/W.B. Saul High School to get a taste of an urban CSA high school and to tour our fields. We tasted vegetables, pet calves, and spoke with food science teacher Mr. Guy Amaroso about making homemade pesto from HGC basil. “I have gained insight and knowledge in self-expression and leadership within the food movement," Hudson says after leading the field-trip.
A series of workshops were presented by youth and while I attended an interactive workshop on our food systems presented by The Food Project youth from Boston, Massachusetts, Yona attended a workshop "Food Justice vs Food Injustice " and the UNI lead "Food as a Major Agent of Social Change" workshop. On Friday afternoon, Awbury's farm intern Hannah Slipekoff joined me and Tyneshia in leading a workshop on co-ops and facilitated poster-making based around cooperative principles. These posters where brought to the day of action.
On Saturday after a full morning of sign making, chanting and excitement the youth and their chaperones traveled to the Convention Center lawn to celebrate and read the Youth Food Bill of Rights. One representative from each group spoke and Yona read # 2 of the Bill of Rights. It stated "we the youth demand an end to the mistreatment of workers, farmers, animals to the environment, which is caused by our current food system." Seventeen other statements followed and we hope this youth-created document will influence the movement for a healthier and more equitable national food system. Please check it out at and sign your support for the youth and food justice!

Although the transition back to our everyday lives will be hard, RIC provided us with support and enthusiasm to continue doing food justice work at our various sites around the country. Youth exchanged email and phone numbers, regional educators discussed projects to work on together, and we're all preparing for late October to celebrate National Food Week! We're so proud that Weaver's Way could be represented at RIC and excited to introduce more Saul students to it's power at the next conference.

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