Detroit Food Justice Taskforce Kickoff! ( September 2010)

The Detroit Food Justice Taskforce kicked off Saturday, September 25th, at the D’ Town Farm Harvest Festival. Guests enjoyed a healthy cooking demonstration and lunch while learning about this food justice initiative in the city. A twenty-six (26) foot geodesic dome housed a live-media kitchen and interactive displays illustrating the connection between food, environment, and media. This lively exhibit showcased some of the most innovative practices in collaboration, environmentally sound design and social justice.

The Detroit Food Justice Task Force is working toward building a food justice movement for a food secure Detroit which not only enhances alliances, collaborations, and cross-education, but deals honestly with the issues of racism and classism that exists within the movement.

The Detroit Food Justice Taskforce received a year long planning grant from Kresge Foundation to help promote its role in supporting the Detroit Food Policy and Detroit Food Policy Council. The purpose of the Detroit Food Justice Taskforce is to work directly with community members around improving food access and security and contributing to community sustainability through the expansion of urban agriculture production and job creation. The Detroit Food Justice Taskforce is a collaborative, community based, justice focused, & action oriented group based in Detroit. The group has adopted the Environmental Justice Principles of Working Together as guiding values and invites all residents and organizations to be engaged in its work, planning and community development.

The taskforce includes: East Michigan Environmental Action Council, City of Detroit Planning Commission, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Creative Community Pathways, Corktown Community Kitchen/ Detroit Evolution Lab, Earthworks Urban Farm, Great Lakes Bioneers - Detroit, Sierra Club - Environmental Justice, People’s Water Board Coalition Detroit, Building Movement Project, Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, and Mt. Elliott Maker space.

The Detroit Food Justice Task Force kickoff was part of an exciting day full of activities celebrating community sustainability.

Themed “Food Is Life – Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Detroiters”, the 4th Annual D’ Town Farm Harvest Festival took place on the model 2 acre organic urban farm of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN). The DBCFSN annual harvest festival featured something for everyone. Adults and children participated in valuable and timely learn shops on food and healthy lifestyles. Families enjoyed touring D-Town Farm’s operation which includes organic vegetable plots, mushroom beds, two bee hives, a hoop house for year round food production, and a composting operation.

This year’s keynote address, “Promoting Healthy Communities via Food Access”, was given by Andrea King Collier. She is an award-winning writer on issues of education, health, wellness, and food access. Collier has also worked on media campaigns and initiatives on health issues, social determinants of health and health disparities, as well as communications programs around school-based health centers, social justice in health, and community asset building. She is also a W.K. Kellogg Food and Society Policy fellow with a focus on food access for underserved communities.

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