Friday, October 04, 2013

Conference in Taos to Examine Food, Agriculture and Empowerment

The Growing Food and Justice Initiative (GFJI)  has scheduled its sixth annual conference for Taos on Oct. 18-20.  The theme of the gathering in Taos, which is cosponsored by the Taos County Economic Development Corp. (TCEDC), is Food is Medicine, Water is Life.

These are two impressive organizations. The mission of the GFJI is to dismantle racism and empower low-income and communities of color through sustainable and local agriculture. The TCEDC's goal is to promote community food security, land tenure and preservation of water rights for communities in northern New Mexico.

Why was Taos selected? While most of us know this community as a destination for skiers, hikers and visitors seeking to experience a different kind of environment and culture, this is also  a very spiritual site.  "This exciting new location offers an exciting opportunity to explore this year’s theme, Food is Medicine, Water is Life, with a variety of local indigenous groups and growers, as well as to reinforce the learning and shar ing from previous gatherings to move toward a vision of “Community/ Unity/ Opportunity/ Equity/ Harmony,”said event organizers.

Several interesting workshops will be offered at the conference, focusing on such themes as
  • Water for Growing Food;
  • Taos Pueblo Moccasin Making; 
  • Traditional Adobe Making & Horno Building; 
  • Water is a Powerful Force - Challenging Struc tural Racism through Community - Based Action; and 
  • The Role of Immigrants, Refugees and Farmworkers in Building Prosperity in Rural America.
Many New Mexicans are among the presenters, including our friend Pam Roy, director of Farm to Table. Pam will help lead the workshop entitled Has Capitol Hill Heard from You? This workshop aims to ensure that all communities are equipped to be heard - loud and clear! - on Capitol Hill. The workshop will be divided into two parts: activity and organizing & social action . Presenters and participants will c ollectively 1) discuss how people in the room have engaged in federal policy in the past, 2) brainstorm ideas for future policy engagement, and 3) work to develop individual "farm and food stories" so that participants are equipped to talk with legislators . 

For more information see the  Schedule of Events  and the  Gathering Program

Buy tickets here ($350 for full conference, $125 for students).  Registration closes on Oct. 16

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