Vallejo residents, activists and community members from around the state joined CFJC and the Intercommunal Institute for Research and Social Change (IIRSC) for an evening of discussing social change and food justice. There was an all-star panel containing Kelly Carlisle (Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project), Eric Holt-Jimenez (Food First), David Hilliard (IIRSC), Stan Oden (IIRSC) and Rita LeRoy (Loma Vista Farms).
Below are the questions asked by participants. For answers to some of these questions, please listen to the full podcast below. Please share your personal responses to any of the questions by emailing Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to post them online.
Questions and Comments by Participants
- We have political prisoners, prisoners of war, & exiles. How do we go about convincing our communities to take steps to revolutionary action despite the rise of life long enslavement in prison or worse[?]
- Have you heard of the 36hour campaign were every 36hours a Black life is lost to state violence[?] How [can we] address these realities [within] the food justice movement[?]
- Comment for Stan: students are bored – the message is the same, but the conditions are different. Even education has been privatized. Added to additional post-traumatic oppression syndrome [sic]. How do you suggest we address this with youth[?]
- Rita: Where do we go in Vallejo or the surrounding community to get “organic” produce [at] a lower cost than the supermarket? What [are the] other farms in the area?
- I was 17 years old when I joined the Black Panther Party because I saw the injustice of people in Vallejo. How do we get the youth to get angry at the system and not their own brothers? Black youth are killing each other at a record pace. It’s prison or the grave.
- If we have found a lot to start a community garden, who do we speak to to find about if it’s available for use? (in Vallejo)
- Are the organic intellectuals invisible or are they targets of the oppressors[?] [H]ow is this thwarted[?]
- Where should we go to buy foods that will not kill us[?]
- Question for Kelly: you said you wished that you get the ‘Real Housewives’ and ‘NBA Housewives’ etc. to tell people we should eat right [sic]. Why not the NBA players? And HOW do we do this? Men have just as important a role to play.
- I need all of you to help me, help my community/district. Luv you/thank you![sic] – Kesha Cromartie
- To: Mr. David (1) You called on the Filipino community. Have you heard any response yet? (2) What’s your strategic plan that may involve Filipino participation? Maybe ask panelists on how they think we can be successfully engaging community?
- I’m from L.A. and SoCal has been in a drought for over half a decade. The Ogalala aquifer is at a record low. Food cannot be discussed without working water. Some “experts” predict water will be more crucial than oil. Panel: What would you do to raise awareness about water? To Raise ACTION? H20 + drought [sic]
- What policies [and] legislative action have you worked on?
- What are some of the ways you are gonna contact and connect with the people in this community?[sic] Will you be post[ing] jobs and offering classes or programs for healthy eating, resumes, writing [and] GED[?]
- David Hilliard[:] Food Justice vs Charity [-] Will you teach the difference[?]
- David: Can organizations outside of Solano County meet with the Institute to learn from your history?
- Can the panel address how the food & pharma establishment want to keep us unhealthy — & to remedy: Pesticides, Mass produced food, Health costs from the bad practices of gov’t & industry, Starting with kids, parents [sic]
- To Panel… What advise can you give us on implementing what we have learned tonight in our own communities[?] To go further, what advice can you give on building unity among diverse community organizations[?]
- Some school districts spend approx 6 million dollars on food [with] system corp[orations] like Sysco. Can the Institute help influence Districts to localize their food and put money back in community?
- What are we as a nation entitled to? How does this relate to age, gender, ethnicity? How do we stop the bashing of the Boomer generations as being the root of our economic collapse. The young are being influenced into believing that our choices in benefits are entitlements they feel are robbing them of a prosperous future [sic]
- Rita: How can I get involved with the farming here in Vallejo? Especially with Loma Vista? Can I get help to start a garden in my neighborhood, and backyard?
- Comment: Very informative. Please do this more often. Willing to volunteer. [sic]
- This is great. I wish and pray for much success for this organization. – Benjamin Norman
- How do you plan on reaching the influentials here in Vallejo to change the mindset that is resisting change?
- CONNECTING DOTS!! Thank you for this great talk. I want to bring up w/ FOOD JUSTICE to not forget about NATIVE Americans – and what the FOOD situation looks like on RESERVATIONS – As we build URBAN FOOD JUSTICE movements – how can we build bridges and/or extend ourselves + our own resources to the RESERVATIONS – upon a recent visit to Northern Cheyenne land in Lame Deer, Montana – I learned that there is only one extremely high prices market on their reservation w/ low quality foods. They have to drive 160 miles if they want to buy organic veggies and fruits. I was alarmed though not surprised – and I envision a collaborative future where we can build bridges btwn the food issues in poor urban communities – to the reservations. ALSO – overlapping youth experience in both areas (ex: kids from OAKLAND – visit the reservations – and kids from Res. visit Oakland) [sic
- I get the feeling that there needs to be a youth led collaboration that starts in the community garden, but also outside of the farm in forms of creativity. The form of hip hop through facilitating curriculum that models healthy, sustainable, living. Where young populations are cared and nurtured, legions will follow where mass leadership exists. Consistent visibility & accessibility in the areas that are effected. It is a process that is patient and upon persistence and dedication to our core values will we see change. ¡Localize or else! <3 Feed the people <3 Break Bread [sic]
- What’s the unified agenda?
- We know there is a movement and we know the message, but HOW do we engage those who don’t know? How do we show the sense of urgency??