Lettuce Turnip For Justice!

Written by Melissa Tang, BEETS Program Manager 
What exactly is food? If food doesn’t nurture you as a person then it’s really not food. Yet there’s a lot of things being sold in grocery and corner stores that claim to be food but have no nourishment. 7.14.16-PieRanch-BEETS_IMG_20160714_134525510_HDRThat’s why the BEETS have been eagerly waiting for the the Rooted in Community (RIC) California Youth Food Justice Summit at Pie Ranch. On July 14th, youth from Northern California came together to teach one another about food justice issues and to have a lot of fun!
The event started with an opening ceremony with Val Lopez of the Amah Mutson tribe. Then the BEETS got a chance to explore different workshops held by other youth groups. There were over 10 workshops so it was hard to choose! The first stop was the screen printing and youthzine workshop led by Project EAT. Here we created re-usuable bags out of old t-shirts or created a bandana and screen printed a design made by the youth of Project EAT. 7.14.16-SFW_PieRanch_IMG_20160714_1336204177.14.16-SFW_PieRanch_IMG_20160714_133603299
Then we took a tour of Pie Ranch and were delighted by the many farm animals like pigs, cows, chickens and goats. 7.14.16-PieRanch-BEETS_20160714_143307In the afternoon, the BEETS stopped by the workshop led by Project EAT at Tennyson High School where we made flower crowns to take home. Some other workshops that the BEETS attended were Food as Activism where we explored how different social movements used food to bring about change, like the Black Panthers. 7.14.16-PieRanch-BEETS_20160714_152052All youth came together at the power healing circle where youth had an open mic to share their stories of how they got involved with food justice and to speak what’s on their mind. Many courageous youth stepped up to the mic in front of 100+ people to share their stories of resilience and what they want to see in the future. Some our BEETS stepped out of their comfort zone to speak up. One shared that the summit and that working for CommunityGrows has taught her that she doesn’t have to be a product of her environment, and that she can be someone who helps to bring about change. This was inspirational, powerful and moving! 7.14.16-PieRanch-BEETS_IMG_20160714_105611799_HDROur evening ended with food of course! A delicious tamale dinner with salad and dessert completed our journey to Pie Ranch. With a nourished mind, body, and soul, we hopped back in the van and drove back home. Thank you to all but a special shout out to Pie Ranch and Food What!? for organizing and to Boys and Girls Club at Willie Mays for sharing transportation with us. 7.14.16-PieRanch-BEETS_IMG_20160714_174339570_TOP7.14.16-PieRanch-BEETS_IMG_20160714_180045104_HDR