We are a group of four organizers who came together in 2015 to create a zine about food justice movement that believes youth power is critical to intergenerational movement building. Read it here: http://issuu.com/whyhunger/docs/youth_food_justice_zine/1
Meet Ayisah, Victoria, Beatriz, and Miyuki.
I am a African American/Native American student who has an affinity for helping people. Growing up I traveled to many places and visited different cultures like the Lakota Natives in South Dakota & Mayans in Guatemala and learned a lot from them. Visiting and seeing how poor the Lakota lived on their own land unable to grow their own food and how the Mayan kids had to skip going to school just to try and sell things with their parents to tourist to make money was one way I found my love of helping people.
In high school I started the Native American Club to bring awareness and show the students modern versions of the Natives. After high school I joined AmeriCorps NCCC and did various service projects around the country for 10 months like building houses, working in a children’s hospital with terminally ill kids, land restoration and disaster relief.
I then came home and worked at the DC based national food justice/agro-policy organization called the Rural Coalition for 3 years. During my time there I helped deliver sign on letters to congress, planned events and tended to the ins and outs of the DC office. While working for Rural Coalition I also came in contact with Rooted In Community and went to a few of their summer summits. Rooted In Community (RIC) is a youth food justice leadership organization that works to help youth become food justice leaders in their communities.
I currently work with RIC and go to school and am studying to become a social justice journalist.
I started to become more active in the Food Movement in 2012 while I was working with “Food, What!?” a youth empowerment and Food Justice non-profit organization that works with low-income or “at risk” youth in Santa Cruz County. I had been somewhat involved in Environmental Justice on the local level, but when I joined “Food, What!?” I saw another issue that I wanted to tackle and that was Farmworker Justice. I chose to tackle Farmworker Issues is because my mom is a farmworker and growing up in the fields I got to see, and continue to see, injustices being committed against my mom and farmworkers in general. Finally acknowledging the corruption occurring in my community I decided to pursue a career as a Labor Lawyer and specialize on farmworker issues. I am currently attending University of California – Santa Cruz where I’m majoring in Community Studies with a focus in Farmworker Justice and planning on continuing to law school in two years.
Aside from my career path I also had the opportunity to inter in 2013 with the Student/Farmworker Alliance in Immokalee, Florida who work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an organization organized by tomato pickers that has gained many victories against corporations like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Whole Foods, Burger King, etc. and getting them to sign on to the Fair Food Program that gives tomato pickers an increase in wages and better working conditions. It was great firsthand experience to see how a successful organization of farmworkers works and the many accomplishments that they have gained. Returning to California I was inspired and powered up to start the movement in my home town as well.
I then was given the opportunity in October of 2013 to speak at the Youth Conference in Montana about Farmworker Justice through “Food, What!?” and Rooted in Community. It was a great experience to talk with other youth who don’t necessarily see farmworkers in their community, but are connected to farmworkers as being consumers of their labor. Along with speaking at events I also present workshop on Farmworker Justice to students as young as 1st graders and high school students, as well as, adults. I have also helped to organize the first ever Central Coast Farmworker Appreciation Day organized by youth for farmworkers. I continue to advocate and organize around Farmworker Justice and continue to work with other movements around Food, racism, feminism and many more.
I’m a queer, nomadic, multi-racial/lingual female mixed-media artist activist and healer who uses common or discarded objects, personal anecdotes, public spaces and performance to make accessible art that brings non-mainstream identities and ideas into maximum visibility. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2012, I traveled for 14 months to fifteen countries documenting the intersections of art and activism in queer/trans communities in blog posts and zines while making performance art. The eight zines created on this trip can be read at queerscribe.com as well as three other zines I’ve made since then. I’m currently living in Quito, Ecuador but I’ve also found “home” in Taipei, Beijing, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. You can follow my travels at heymiyuki.wordpress.com and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are we doing?
We’re making a zine that lifts up the voices of youth food justice activists as well as intergenerational narratives around youth power within the context of the United States.