With leadership from NC Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), CEFS is embarking on a new university/community collaboration to address structural racism and inequities in our food system.  The developing initiative will build on lessons learned from CEFS’ community-based programs in Goldsboro and around the state, prioritizing youth access to food, jobs, careers, and a voice in an equitable food system.  The work is being supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Shorlette Ammons, CEFS’ Community-Based Foods Systems Outreach Coordinator, will lead the initiative in partnership with community leaders.  She says, “The initial phase will focus on the internal work needed to become solid allies with the communities we serve.  For us, that means developing a shared language and framework around structural racism and its impacts on the food system, particularly on young people of color and other marginalized communities.”

csi-publicationBased at NC A&T, Ammons is a 2013 Food Equity Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI). As part of her CSI fellowship, Ammons authored Shining a Light in Dark Places: Raising up the Work of Southern Women of Color in the Food System, which describes the realities of current and past food systems from the perspectives of Southern women of color.

The initiative is currently in the planning stage.  “We want this to be a genuine process where we build trust and shared vision with communities in order to co-create the strategies we need that will lead to long-term change.  We are conveners and engagers as well as learners and sharers in this process,” says Ammons.

Ammons and Tes Thraves, CEFS’ Youth and Community-Based Food Systems Coordinator, recently co-presented a webinar on the evolution of CEFS’ work to address food system inequities and the larger food equity context regionally and nationally.

From the December 2014 E-Newsletter