From the Grassroots

Linda Alvarez and Liz Ross, founders of Vegan Advocacy Initiative, with Nassim Nobari and Chema Hernández Gil, founders of Seed the Commons

(L-R) Linda Alvarez and Liz Ross, founders of Vegan Advocacy Initiative, with Nassim Nobari and Chema Hernández Gil, founders of Seed the Commons.

Last month Seed the Commons founders Chema Hernández Gil and Nassim Nobari attended the POC: Food Justice, Advocacy and Animal Rights conference organized by Vegan Advocacy Initiative in Los Angeles, where we were honored to receive the People’s Award of $500. This is an award by POC for POC; created to support the work of vegan organizations led by people of color. Back in San Francisco and motivated by our strengthened sense of community, we’re now hard at work to organize the best People’s Harvest Forum yet.

The People’s Harvest Forum is a three-day event where we learn about the central role that our food system plays in today’s social and environmental issues, hear about grassroots activism from around the world, and discuss ways that we can help build just and sustainable alternatives to our corporate-dominated food system. We’ve had incredible speakers from different walks, including youth and farmworker organizers, urban food growers, politicians, academics and veganic farmers, allowing for a cross-pollination of ideas and movements. This year will be no different: we are proud to bring you another groundbreaking forum with these amazing speakers. An integral part of the forum is a field trip, where we can see firsthand how some of the ideas discussed at the forum are implemented in the real world. Our field trip this year will be to the community gardens of Collective Roots, a food justice organization in East Palo Alto.

Field trip to the Gil Tract at the first People's Harvest Forum

Field trip to the Gil Tract at the first People’s Harvest Forum

Silicon Valley is home to an incredible concentration of wealth, and yet right in the heart of it, a high percentage of people lack the very basics such as healthy food and shelter. According to its superintendent, more than half the children in East Palo Alto’s school district are homeless. In this context, Collective Roots notes that “East Palo Alto and its residents have a rich history of agriculture and food independence. East Palo Alto is home to many first generation immigrants (70% of East Palo Altans speak a language other than English at home), who often grew up depending on land in their home countries for nourishment. Collective Roots seeks to reinvigorate this important connection to the land to improve the economic independence, health, and community connectedness of East Palo Alto.”

We will take a tour of their gardens where we’ll learn about the needs that these address, how they are organized and how they’ve benefited the community. We’ll then head over to a brand new project: an empty greenhouse in East Palo Alto where Seed the Commons aims to start growing food in 2018. Participants will have the opportunity of applying what they’ve learned over the weekend about food injustice, permaculture and more, to imagine how to turn the space into a vibrant veganic garden and hub for local food sovereignty.

From the People’s Award to the People’s Harvest Forum, it’s all about growing power from the grassroots. Join us!

RSVP here.
Buy your tickets.
Support the People’s Harvest Forum and our greenhouse project.

A new vista of possibilities

A new vista of possibilities