This fall, our crew had some awesome opportunities to connect with other youth, adult allies and community change-agents from around our region and the world!
Thanks to generous scholarships from the Bioneers Youth Leadership Program, nine of our crew members were able to attend the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, October 17-19. This was an eye-opening and inspirational experience for all of us and offered a unique opportunity to build deeper relationships with each other and others in our region.
"My favorite part about the conference was getting to meet so many different youth from all around California, as well as the world. Meeting youth from programs like Urban Tilth, United Roots, Ceres Community, Urban Campesino, and how they are making a difference and trying to change their communities for the better." ~ Thairie
"This year Bioneers has really affected my life and the way I work in the social justice movement. The two workshops that affected me the most were the Healing for Women of Color Through Art and the Youth of Color workshops. They helped me to relight a spark in me that has been slowly going out." ~ Vicky
"Whenever I left the conference, I always felt so inspired. It made me feel like I can change the world." ~ Aakash
"Coming out of Bioneers, I feel ready to go and fight the battle at hand. It won't be easy or short, but I will make change. It's not for me or my friends, it's for those who come after me." ~ Uriel
"I must say, it was perhaps the most eye-opening and fun experience in my adolescence." ~ Lucas
"It was beautiful to find adults and having an equal stage and having an opportunity as a young person. I loved the youth tent and the magical energy of us young people. We discussed our passions and struggles; we all had inputs. This experience will take me onward to my passions and struggle. I'm happy to be living in a world that believes in change." ~ Miguel
When we weren't listening to ground-breaking leaders drop knowledge -- such as 13-year old indigenous environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez of Earth Guardians or Indigenous rights revolutionary Clayton Thomas-Muller of Idle No More -- or jammin' to the lyrical genius of artists like Climbing PoeTree, we were connecting and cooking (FoodWhat style!) around a campfire at China Camp State Park. We had such a great time!
|Art As Activism|
Four of our crew -- Lucas, Miguel, Thairie and Roanna -- also attended Bioneers' Just Us For Food Justice youth program before the start of the main conference. This day brought together more than thirty youth and adult allies from food and farming projects around the Bay Area to meet, share, learn, develop leadership skills and work together. The day was facilitated by Gerardo and Maya of Rooted in Community and kindly hosted by the Ceres Project, a youth empowerment program that provides healthy meals to people in the community with serious illnesses.
BROWER YOUTH AWARDS
On October 21st, we bounced to San Francisco to check out the Brower Youth Awards! at the beautiful Nourse Theatre.
What an inspiration to hear the six young environmental leaders from around the country tell the stories of the incredible work they're doing, making strides in the environmental movement. From building community resilience through the creation of solar-powered infrastructure in Highland Park, Michigan to creating a model for sustainable food security in Upper Mustang, Nepal, these young leaders blew us away! Check out more of their stories here.