May 18, 2012 We wanted to take the time to share some information about what tamales y bicicletas has been up to recently!
~ Youth Leadership & Cultural Empowerment ~
Over the years, we have invested a lot of energy in supporting the voice and power of young people. We are now seeing their hard work and leadership make an impact (see all of the presentations and community education they have done below!) so we will continue to deepen our strategies in this arena.
Once again, this summer we are preparing a team of young people to attend the 4 elementos environmental leadership institute through our partnership with camp menogyn in the boundary waters canoe area. If you are interested in learning more about this outdoor opportunity please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently the camp is looking for latino youth to become a part of the experience (application process required), we are also looking for latino mentors who want to attend the 7 day camp experience to serve as support guides and anyone with camping equipment can donate to our cause. During this immersion experience at the boundary waters we support our youth in practicing the skills they will need to create more unified and healthy community such as problem-solving, conflict resolution, assets based thinking, and cultural empowerment.
Our saber comer justicia/food justice educators have wrapped up an intense 9-month training on food justice, localizing food systems, urban agriculture, and culturally based approach and we send a big congratulations to Jonathan, Reyna, Gabi, and Jesus! Below is a list of all the amazing workshops they led, tabled at, or participated in. For the next month we will focus on evaluating the work these accomplished young people have done and we will share results and continue to look for funding to help them develop into their next stage of leadership.
Keep an eye out for our annual urban solution to pollution event where we will be hosting a slew of workshops on environmental justice, biking, access to healthy and culturally relevant foods!
~ A Latino voice on food, the environment & transportation ~ Over the past few months we kicked our partnership building into high gear and became active in various partnerships and events to help bring a more visible latino voice on environmental justice, sustainable transportation, and access to healthy foods initiatives.
We actively took part of the city of minneapolis’ first annual community connections conference titled “better communities through neighborhoods” hosted by the neighborhood and community relations department. At the event we tabled and shared information about our work with community members, conference participants, and with city council member cam gordon and city council member robert lilligren. Food justice educators reyna and jonathan also had the opportunity to meet with senator jeff hayden and express their interest in working together with our state legislators to help build the capacity of latino urban farmers. You can see photos of our tabling skills on our FB account!
We then joined forces with the minnesota asian/american health coalition for their second annual health equity day at the state capitol. Tamales y Bicicletas was invited to participate in a panel of local and national groups who represented Asian, African, Black, American Andian, Latino, and LGBTQ+ communities working to promote healthiness in variety of ways. We focused our presentation on the theme of “un-occupying” our food system to decolonize our diets and reclaim our indigenous and culturally based nutritional systems and lifestyles. During this day, senator Jeff Hayden and representative Bobby Joe Champion heard directly from the communities impacted by inequities in our communities and gained energy from our testimonies to continue advocating for equity based public policy.
In that same month our food justice educators – Reyna and Jonathan – made it a point to participate in the 7th annual twin cities sustainable communities conference whose theme was “linking citizens and cities for sustainable communities.” Our emerging leaders got to hear insightful presentations and conversations by experts in a variety of sustainability topics including envisioning Minneapolis and St. Paul in 2030 through an energy systems lens by former public utilities commission chair Ellen Anderson; an earth friendly transportation angle by Barb Thoman executive director of the transit for livable communities; and engaging the food system by long-time local food activist Ken Meter.
Tamales y Bicicletas also had the opportunity to work more closely with gardening matters and participated in their annual community garden spring resource fair titled "nourishing neighborhoods, connecting communities." through an effort led by the Zenteotl Project and their founder Deborah Ramos, Tamales y Bicicletas joined in an effort to bring more awareness and cultural competency to the local food movement to be more inclusive and responsive to the needs and assets of the Latino community. This took the shape of a co-presentation facilitated by Mariano Espinoza titled “sembrando semillas para nuestro futuro colectivo” by the Zenteotl Project with Deborah Ramos, Tamales y Bicicletas, the rural enterprise center with Reginaldo Hasslett-Marroquin, and Jardin Paraiso with Silvia Perez. at this collective presentation the food justice educators addressed the issue of Latino youth empowerment through a perspective of reclaiming indigenous technologies, localizing a sustainable food system while bringing racial equality to all of our efforts to promote true community health. You can view a brief video of our presentation made by Reginaldo here.
Additionally, Tamales y Bicicletas participated in the “biking for climate justice and earth day festival,” an event geared towards raising awareness about the pro-active solutions communities are taking a part in to bring more sustainability to our ways of living and transporting ourselves. the event celebrated with families, spokenword, and several informational tables from various groups working towards justice.
Tamales y Bicicletas also took part in the stem annual meeting, in an effort to reclaim our indigenous technologies and sustainable ways of living we connected with scientists, engineers, schools, and other nonprofits also looking to link young people with stem. for us, stem becomes an important partner as we look at the disparities in educational completion and the need to encourage more latino youth to enter the field of science, technology, engineering and math through a sustainable and earth-friendly perspective.