School Your Food 2015
Workshops from the Alliance center youth voices, perspectives, and experiences.
The School Your Food convening, 2015
This workshop, held in April of 2015, was the first statewide convening of youth working in food systems change held in CT. The process brought together students, school nutrition directors, farmers, and corporate food delivery service executives to explore the school food system. From this event launched the Grow Hartford 10 Slices of Justice campaign (read more about this partner’s work here) as well as the commitment as an Alliance to bring young food system change makers together as often as we could manage.
Thanks to funding from Aetna’s Cultivating Healthy Communities grant, the Alliance was able to bring program participants together several times throughout the 2016-2018 growing seasons. CRAFT days (the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, a NY based network), inspired by the NY Youth Food Justice Network, created opportunities for Alliance program participants to lead workshops in their gardens/farms for participants in other Alliance partner programs. GVI hosted the first Alliance CRAFT day in August 2016, playing host to over 100 young growers from across CT and within NYC. Attendees learned about the work done on Bridgeport’s only urban farm (the Reservoir Community Farm, tended by GVI) and about professions in the food system; everything from farming to working at a co-op to leading community organizing efforts. It was a hot day, but a good one! After that event, CRAFT days in Willimantic showed us what Certified Community means (learn more about GROW Windham’s Certified Community work here) and in Hartford, showed us what community art spaces can be (learn more about Caja de Arte here).
SFAA Presentation 2019
The Society for Applied Anthropology, an international professional organization for applied anthropologists, hosted a presentation about the Alliance at their annual gathering in Portland, OR. See that presentation here.
USDA Joint Summer Session, 2019
Young representatives from the Alliance were the first youth ever to present at this conference for USDA officials held in Washington DC. This opportunity allowed these teens to discuss not only the impacts of their work in their programs on food access and security in their communities, but also the impacts of that work on their sense of their own power, ability to make change, and leadership skills. These young folks encouraged the USDA to invest in urban agriculture as a means of creating opportunities for young leaders to find their way into adulthood with confidence, power, and clear vision. See the presentation here.
Follow cooking demonstrations, community conversations, and more with our partner program Nourish My Soul through their Youtube channel here.
Youth Participatory Action Research. Youth Participatory Evaluation. What methods is your program using to make sure it centers the thinking and experiences of young participants? Reach out to ICR to learn what more you can do here.
Do you want participants in your program to learn more than how to grow and sell food? Do you aim to have alumni visit long after “graduation”? Reach out to us and we can share curriculum, experiences, and ideas that can help your program achieve your goals. Connect with us here.
“(Our program) cultivates relationships and creates space for youth, community members and food system partners to work together to build a strong community and local food system. With backbone support from ICR, we have worked with similar youth-focused, urban agriculture programs across the state for the past 5 years to strengthen our programs, share ideas, and build momentum for food system change.”
Sally Milius, GROW Windham