Umoja Community Builders Summer Internship

For the summer of Community Builders 2009 we are focusing and researching the topic of food justice. We discussed the topic of food justice, and the problem of food deserts. When we say food justice we mean each community having the same access to food. When we say food desert we are referring to a lack of grocery stores in a specific area. While researching we noticed that North Lawndale is suffering from a food desert because of a lack of grocery stores in the area. Us thirty- five teenagers decided to find a solution to this problem. In the course of the second week we visited an organization called Green Youth Farm, where other teens learn how to grow organic foods. After researching we have created several questions to produce a survey, which we passed out to the community later on that week. Once during every week, we attend Free Spirit Media to gain knowledge of the process of making a documentary. When we are there we learn to edit footage, produce a soundtrack, and generate texts. What both Community Builders and Green Youth Farm are doing is only two parts to the solution. The last part requires the assistance of the residents in the North Lawndale community to take action.

By: Shanobia Davis and Jasmine Coleman

Friday, July 31, 2009

Final Reflections on the Summer

This summer was a great experience, it is a summer that I will never forget. I met a lot of great people and there were a lot of details that I learned about food deserts. The first detail was that most strawberries and fruit in stores have steroids. Another detail that I learned was that an empty lot can be turned into a community garden. I also learned that there are other gardens in North Lawndale, but people in the community don't know that these gardens exists.

In addition, there were a lot of people I met this summer. There were a range of different people who I learned from, such as....
  • Food Desert Researcher Mari Gallagher, who taught me about there different ways she collected data around Food Deserts.
  • Community Organizer Ray Thompson taught me to look at life in my community a bit differently. "Don't look at a glass as half-emptied but look at it as half-filled. "
  • North Lawndale Community Garder Green Youth Farm taught me a lot about food. It taught me that there are more options than junk foods. They also let met tastes a lot of different fresh herbs and organic berries.

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