Learn, Connect, Engage: Grassroots Organizing at the Just Food Conference


File 1650Interested in making a difference in your local food system? Want to influence meaningful policy change? Look no further – on Saturday, April 5th, the Just Food Conference will offer an all-day intensive workshop dedicated to teaching both new and seasoned community organizers who want to use grassroots organizing to engage in the political process. Grassroots organizing is one of many intensives providing a deeper dive on community organizing, urban agriculture, and seasonal cooking.

“Sometimes people who want to be part of change feel they don’t have the tools to effectively engage in policy,” says Qiana Mickie, Just Food CSA Program Associate and experienced Community Advocate.

Qiana is one of the presenters for the intensive workshop, and she has a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the table. She first got involved with Just Food in 2011, when she took a Community Advocacy Training. After the training, Qiana became heavily involved in food justice, using her passion and skills to help influence policy change, especially the recently passed Farm Bill.

Along with presenters Gabraelle Lane, Policy Organizer of Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network and Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, and Lindsay Scalera, Grassroots Organizer of Michigan Voices for Good Food PolicyNational Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Qiana hopes to provide participants with an interactive and transformative learning experience, in which she and the other presenters connect with attendees and share their experiences and knowledge with one another.

“I personally learned the power and strength of grassroots organizing from doing it myself – by constantly engaging and involving myself in issues that were important to me. It’s essential for people to gain tools for effective strategy in whatever they are doing,” she says of the upcoming workshop.

Participants can expect to develop common language, common ground, and common practice. Discussions will touch upon current and upcoming policy changes. According to Qiana, now is an especially crucial time for many federal and local food justice issues. 

“Now that the Farm Bill has finally passed, we’re moving into the implementation phase. We advocated for certain things in the bill, and now is the time to make sure things get done the right way, and that our communities are impacted in a positive, powerful, meaningful way,” she says.

In addition to the Farm Bill and federal food policy, local policy change is positively key right now.

“Having newly elected officials in NYC is the perfect opportunity to move forward on most pressing food issues and needs,” Qiana points out.

From the Ground Up: Grassroots Organizing for Good Food Policy” addresses the essential question: How do we effectively engage diverse grassroots communities in advocacy work for good form and food policies?

To find out, join Qiana Mickie, Gabraelle Lane, and Lindsay Scalera at this interactive all-day intensive workshop: click here to purchase your ticket.