“Young people run the world, or at least they should,” says Global Citizen Impact, and we agree! As we celebrate the UN’s International Youth Day this week, we’d like to highlight young people (and youth-led organizations) who are working to on the complex and critical issues of Indigenous food sovereignty, food deserts, food justice, and hunger. Be a good ally to emerging leaders and support their work!
Hawaii Youth Food Council (HYFC): High school students from Hawai’i engage youth with food policy to create a just and equitable local food system, mobilizing to create healthy food systems that encourage a connection with the ‘āina (land). Follow on Instagram
The Food Recovery Network (FRN): Started in 2011 by students at the University of Maryland to save wasted cafeteria food, this student-led movement fights food waste and hunger nationwide, continuing to mobilize young people to fight for food recovery in higher education institutions. See the latest on Facebook
Uprooted & Rising (UNR): Uprooted and Rising is a network of student-led food justice groups and community-based groups organizing for food sovereignty. It is a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) led movement, uniting students, workers, faculty, food producers, and community members in the fight against corporate food systems in institutions of higher education. Their campaigns oppose the “sweetheart” deals between cafeterias on campus and Big Food corporations that lock out community food producers. Keep up with Instagram
Urban Beet (UB): Chander Payne knew about the potential of urban farming — his grandmother, an Indian immigrant living in Memphis, Tennessee, had grown food in her backyard garden for decades. When he noticed an empty vegetable refrigerator in his high school cafeteria, he decided to start an urban farm at his high school, growing fresh fruits and veggies through regenerative agriculture techniques. Chander’s efforts excited students, who began creating urban farms in other schools and homeless shelters in the Washington, DC area. Stay up-to-date on Instagram
Chi-Nations Youth Council: On a vacant lot in a Chicago neighborhood, Native youth have taken root and are reclaiming their ancestral lands. The Chi-Nations Youth Council advocates for Native youth in Chicago and has partnered with the American Indian Center to lease a vacant lot from the city. Their intention is to create an inter-generational First Nations Garden, a dedicated safe space for Native Americans to gather, heal and grow their own food and medicine. Get news on Facebook
From Reclaiming: Chicago’s First Nations Garden by Pat Nabong