History and Scope of the Growing Food and Justice Initiative
The organizing of the GFJI reflects the need for innovative and genuine leadership in the development of a sustainable, community-based food systems movement. The founding members of the initiative are the practitioners of sustainable food systems work: mainly farmers, marketers and other workers who are building new, local systems. Some are familiar with coalition and advocacy work at the national and international levels, while others are new to large-scale initiatives. This initiative strives to outreach to other parallel social justice movements and build solidarity and multidisciplinary support, in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of building “Beloved Community”.
Our Vision: The vision for this initiative is to establish a powerful network of individuals, organizations and community based entities all working toward a food secure and just world.
- Every neighborhood in low-income communities and communities of color has full access to fresh, healthy, local, affordable, culturally appropriate food every day through a variety of retail channels ranging from farmer’s markets to locally-owned small corner stores and supermarkets.
- In every neighborhood in low-income communities and communities of color the residents of the neighborhood own and operate the small businesses that produce, distribute and sell the fresh, healthy food consumed in the neighborhood.
- Through ownership and operation of the local food system, every neighborhood in low-income communities and communities of color provides opportunity for its children to develop business skills and leadership capacity offering hope that each child, every family and the community itself can achieve its self-determined destiny.
For more information: www.growingfoodandjustice.org
Intensive Leadership and Facilitator Training
Designed to build a community of leaders and provide intensive training and dialogue for participants to facilitate anti-racist food justice in their own programs and communities. We use the title Facilitator instead of Organizer very intentionally, and will discuss the long term development process that anti-racism work requires and the need for leadership development and empowerment. Another goal of ILFT is to build regional GFJI “network chapters” that we call a LEG (Local Empowerment Group). LEG’s create space for others who are dedicated to facilitating change to connect and develop a supportive local and national/international community to exchange ideas, strategies and continue training in anti-racism to specifically address how achieving food justice can lead to the end of systemic and institutional racism.
During our trainings we will explore:
- examples of institutional and structural racism and how it operates;
- practical applications of facilitating change and becoming a change agent, including some personal identification to understand the kind of facilitator you are
- opportunities to explore the individual role in the anti-racism process of your work with the opportunity to strategize with others to develop an action plan for next steps for implementation
If you are interested in hosting an ILFT training in your city email info [at] growingfoodandjustice [dot] org.
Types of Committees that are involved with GFJI:
- Fundraising: Listing potential sources of funds, planning which funders to approach, grant writing, etc.
- Membership/Partnership/Outreach: Developing a membership/partnership policy, setting fees for membership, making sure that our efforts can reach all people interested in dismantling racism (and other related “isms”) in a sustainable and socially just food system, etc.
- Communications: Develop website, do surveys, work closely with other committees (particularly Education) to have relevant and up-to-date materials available for the purpose of dismantling racism in a sustainable and socially just food system, etc.
- Conference/dismantling racism/training of trainers (TOT): Developing conference scenario and logistics, developing dismantling racism trainings at all levels, developing a training of trainers program so that the initiative has well qualified trainers in all geographical areas that might require them, etc.
- Education: Developing and making easily accessible any material that relates to the mission and vision of the initiative, working closely with the Communications committee, etc.