There are parts of Growing Power that are easy to see and to understand their impact. For example; the people we employ, the healthy food we grow and the gardens we plant. But there is another part of our mission that might be harder to see, but we believe it is a vital part of what we do. It's called the Growing Food and Justice for all Initiative (GFJI).
Growing Power is a national non-profit organization supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, safe and affordable food. We do this by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach, and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems. Those systems help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner.
I started Growing Power 20 years ago. As farmer, founder and CEO I travel all over the country and even the world, talking about urban agriculture. I have over 50 years of experience in sustainable agriculture. But I am also committed to dismantling racism in the food system. That’s why we started the Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative.
GFJI is a network of activists who are working toward a just food system and world. It works to develop a shared language and common understanding of the historical roots of racism in the United States and how it has impacted our food system. GFJI is leading a critical path toward creating new organizational structures that can end hunger and poverty in our communities.
This year, the 6th annual GFJI Gathering was held in Taos, New Mexico. It was called "Food is Medicine, Water is Life”. It was a wonderful learning experience, I actually just got back to Milwaukee. The Gathering was held October 17th-20th. This year, we were excited to partner with the Taos County Economic Development Corporation. TCEDC was founded in 1987 by Directors Pati Martinson and Terrie Bad Hand. To date, more than 6,000 community members have received job and skills training, education and critical services through the business organizations of the Taos Business Park, where TCEDC is located.
More than 200 people attended this year’s Gathering. We hope they left with the necessary skills and resources to make their communities a healthier place. Not just for some, but for all. Please watch the video to learn more. Thanks for your support.