Environmental and Food Justice :

real food 2WESPAC Foundation supports Environmental and Food Justice with a separate listserv used for promoting upcoming events and discussion. WESPAC opposes fracking and two of our members have produced a documentary that highlights Indigenous Peoples’ perspectives on fracking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdwCKzqVRdQ. We have cultivated an extensive cooperative network of food justice activists around the county who seek to expand access to fresh, local food. We also partner with the Wassaic Community Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture): http://wassaiccommunityfarm.com. To get involved or for more information, please contact the office at 914.449.6514 or by email at [email protected]

The birth of agro-resistance in Palestine

 
For decades Israel has been driving Palestinian farmers 
off their land by imposing restrictions on agriculture. 
But one company, Canaan Fair Trade, has found an innovative 
way to resist
 
 
Jonathan Cook
The Link (Americans for Middle East Understanding)
September – October 2016
 
Article pdf attached.

  
Jonathan Cook won the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. 
His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan 
to Remake the Middle East 
(Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s 
Experiments in Human Despair 
(Zed Books). You can read all of Jonathan’s 
recent reports and commentaries on his website, the View from Nazareth: 
www.Jonathan-Cook.net and on his blog: www.Jonathan-Cook.net/blog/

 
 
Article sources:

dakota-acces-pipeline

What: Solidarity Vigil with Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

WhenWednesday, September 14, 2016, 12pm to 1:30pm

Where: The Fountain in Downtown White Plains (Intersection of Main Street and Mamaroneck Ave), White Plains, NY 10601

Solidarity Vigil with Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance. We will also link to the resistance locally working to STOP the Spectra Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (AIM), which is planned to run next to the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Spectra AIM Pipeline is being built by the same company as the Dakota Access Pipeline.  We will have a few signs but please also bring signs.

Speakers: Ms. Betty Lyons (Onondaga Nation), President of the American Indian Law Alliance and Ms. Karenna Gore, Director for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, as well as local Westchester County residents who recently traveled to the Sacred Stone Camp in Lakota Territory [North Dakota].

Sponsors: WESPAC Foundation, American Indian Law Alliance, Center for Earth Ethics, Resist Spectra Pipeline, Friends of Turtle Island Committee-WESPAC. 

Bethel Baptist

A big thanks to Sadie’s initiative at the Bethel Baptist Community Gardens in White Plains.  The WESPAC plot has produced dozens of pounds of fresh produce for the Open Arms Men’s Shelter in downtown White Plains.  Thank you, Sadie, and to all who have volunteered!

The birth of agro-resistance in Palestine
 
For decades Israel has been driving Palestinian farmers 
off their land by imposing restrictions on agriculture. 
But one company, Canaan Fair Trade, has found an innovative 
way to resist
 
 
Jonathan Cook
The Link (Americans for Middle East Understanding)
September – October 2016
 
Article pdf attached.

  
Jonathan Cook won the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. 
His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan 
to Remake the Middle East 
(Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s 
Experiments in Human Despair 
(Zed Books). You can read all of Jonathan’s 
recent reports and commentaries on his website, the View from Nazareth: 
www.Jonathan-Cook.net and on his blog: www.Jonathan-Cook.net/blog/

 
 
Article sources:

To Change Everything, We Need EveryoneCERLogo_FINAL-resized

This was the call to action for the historic People’s Climate March in September, 2014.  Over 400,000 people marched in NYC.  Imagine a moment of silence held by over 400,000 people–  a shared moment of solidarity, hope, and the knowledge that the time is now; we CAN change everything—keep fossil fuels in the ground, create a renewable energy future, ensure our most vulnerable are empowered, and transition to a green jobs economy.

The Time for Action is Now

To Reserve your Bus Ticket from the North White Plains Train Station, go to http://www.cleanenergymarch.org/transportation/.

 

Be a part of the historic March for a Clean Energy Revolution on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  During the Convention, the Democratic party will solidify its political platform.  We’ll make sure they can’t miss the masses who are calling for a Clean Energy Revolution. Many of the Democratic leaders and delegates understand the necessity, but we need to create the political will that comes only from tens of thousands of engaged citizens demanding what is needed, what is right and just.

Who do you identify with?  Join a contingent!

Join Us on the Bus from North White Plains to Philly!

 

Whether you choose to join the Faith Contingent, another group, or just stay with your local community of travelers, please join us on the bus.   All peace-loving change-makers welcome!  

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35915-the-future-of-the-food-justice-movement

Gardens

Celebrating New Partnerships and Friends

Join us as we prepare community gardens, composting bins, neighborhood cleanup and more
Sunday, April 17th, from 10am to 3pm
First Seventh-day Adventist Church of White Plains
180 Juniper Hill Road
Greenburgh, NY 10607

Join local farmer Doug DeCandia, DIG Farm, WESPAC, the First Seventh-day Adventist Church of White Plains and local Starbucks employees as we gather in Greenburgh to honor Mother Earth on April 17th and prepare a communal garden and composting bins.  Please bring gardening gloves, trash bags, rakes, trowels, spades and shovels.  Lunch will be provided by Giovanni Chef D’Amour Green.  Blood pressure screening and a health check up will be provided by medical professionals of the congregation.  This community gathering is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Pastor Kyran Leo John at 347.989.7700.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/19/climate-justice-and-palestine-the-new-intersectionality/

“Filling Bellies and Expanding Minds at Thomas H. Slater Center”

                                                      By Imani McCallafood justice

Building on campaigns to promote and educate on healthy food for those who are unable to access it, local farmers and activists joined WESPAC’s Food Justice Committee in celebrating our community self-reliance at the Thomas H. Slater Center on Thursday evening, February 25th, 2016.

Executive Director of WESPAC Foundation, Nada Khader, introduced Lineage Farmer and founder of Good Food For Hudson, Jon Ronsani, to discuss this food justice project he is building with his partner, Jen Ronsani, and many others.  Good Food for Hudson provides 20 weeks of farm fresh vegetables to low-income families in Hudson, New York, on a free and sliding scale basis. Ronsani had just completed his first season of the program and is now setting up a fundraiser to do the same program, adding new foods to his produce. He will introduce fresh farm eggs from Hearty Roots Farm and Camphill Copake’s fresh baked bread. Khader asked everyone to donate money for his campaign, raising more than $500.00 that evening for Good Food for Hudson.

To demonstrate how they grow and supply their produce to those who cannot afford healthy food, Ronsani presented his film, Good Food For Hudson.  “We believe that access to good food is a basic human right;  it is not a luxury,” said Executive Director of Hawthorne Valley Association, Martin Ping. “We are still actively exploring what role Hawthorne Valley may play in bringing food access into Hudson and the project with Lineage Farm; acting as a fiscal sponsor for Good Food For Hudson seems like a very logical first step.”

Alderwoman for D-2nd Ward Hudson Tiffany Garriga described the limited access to transportation for families to get the necessary nutrition in Hudson: “We have two supermarkets but it’s farther out, entering the next town, so if you don’t have a car or anything and rely on taxi services, it’s hard for you to shop.”

Lord Judah, emcee for the event and manager of music group H.I.P. H.O.P., which stands for Highly Intelligent People Healing Our Planet, then introduced local farmers Jalal Sabur and Doug DeCandia, who have worked together for five years. Judah has also been involved with WESPAC since 2006.

“There’s a sustainability model that people talk about. It’s like builders, weavers and warriors and making sure everyone has a role,” said Sabur. “There’s a group of builders I consider the farmers;  the weavers are the organizers that connect the warriors that are the families or people that don’t have access to food, the people in the front line of food or any injustice. Building with folks like Lineage Farms and other farms in the Hudson Valley help see that vision through.”

Sabur is the founder of Victory Bus Project and Freedom Food Alliance. Victory Bus is designed to provide affordable transportation for families in urban areas, such as the Hudson Valley to visit their loved ones in rural prisons and obtain fresh fruits and vegetables.

One public figure who has acted as a mentor to Sabur is political prisoner and former Black Panther, Herman Bell. Bell has been incarcerated for over 42 years. The Alliance, a project inspired by Bell, who is also co-founder of the Victory Bus Project is a group of small rural and urban farmers, activists, artists, community members and other political prisoners who address the issues of food, environmental, prisoner and economic justice.

DeCandia is the Food Growing Program Coordinator of Food Bank for Westchester and manages farms in five local areas:  Lincoln Watts School in Yonkers, School for the Deaf in White Plains, Woodfield Cottage Juvenile Correction Center, the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla and the Westchester Land Trust in Bedford Hills. He works with youth, inmates and volunteers, teaching people how to grow fresh, high quality organic produce in places that are experiencing food insecurity.  DeCandia and Sabur discussed the importance of nourishing and replenishing the soil with natural organic materials and the impact it has on our environment and personal health.

“Composting is creating earth to grow through recycling plants and other organic material,” said DeCandia. “Our self-reliance is diminished if we don’t have access to the basic needs of providing for ourselves and the community. Land is essential for that access and to our self-reliance and care of the land,” he maintained.

“Composting creates less climate issues,” added Sabur. “Our land is our liberation.”

As part of Black History Month, Sabur mentioned figures like Harriet Tubman and Fannie Lou Hamer who were farmers. Similar to our current local farmers, Tubman grew food for people on the Underground Railroad. Hamer began the Pig Bank with the help of the National Council of Negro Women to improve the diets of people in her community by buying gilts and boars. Later, she founded Freedom Farm Cooperative that would provide the same food and economic independence to local people.

Sabur continues to envision possibilities of justice and sustainability with his new local farm Wild Seed, which is named after a book by Octavia Butler. This farm in Millerton, New York, is for black folk, including women, queers and those who have been impacted with mass incarceration. Currently, Sabur and his partners are making maple syrup. When asked why maple syrup, Sabur replied, “We got it from the indigenous community. The Iroquois taught us how to make it. During slavery, abolitionists used it as a way to boycott sugar plantations.” Sabur has also named the maple syrup “sweet freedom.”

In relation to this discussion, local Chef D’Amour Giovanni Green prepared a healthy dish, along with dessert.  Break Bread Not Hearts, the culinary enterprise Green owns in White Plains, prepared a basmati rice stir fry with rainbow bell peppers, purple and green cabbage, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, scallion, ginger, and garlic and an apple arugula salad. The stir fry and salad were topped with their signature Apricot Sesame Sauce. The dessert was their signature Dulce D’Armour Chocolate Dank Cookies, a secret recipe.

“The main ingredient in all our dishes is love,” said Green, whose title, Chef D’Amour he said applies to his style of cooking.  “Break Bread Not Hearts is a culinary business that is based on supporting our agriculture,” said Green. Green has done catering, birthday parties, cooking classes at New Rochelle Public Library and taught food literacy. Food literacy, Green said is “health, hope and humanity, the notion that food is medicine.” This notion also “supports the food service’s philosophy ‘Cooking Up Community.’”

Musical artists and sisters Grace Galu and Kathleen Kalambay, formerly known as Kala, performed songs for the audience.Galu and Kala performed “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. As a solo, Galu sung “Green Grass” by Tom Waits and her original song “Fire Light.”

Anthony Jones, 21, a member of WESPAC’s Food Justice Committee said, “I thought it was a great event for a great cause. What Doug and Jalal do and say is very powerful and knowledgeable in terms of growing food. I think we should have more events like this around Westchester County.”

“It was really nice. I liked the energy,” said member of WESPAC’s Food Justice Committee and Environmental Studies professor at Pace University, Tracy Basile. “I met wonderful people while munching on those delicious cookies.”

“It was one of the best events I have attended in years,” said Laurie Evans, another member of WESPAC’s Food Justice Committee. “It was helpful, educational and fun. The food was delicious and the music set the mood. When you are growing healthy food, that is creating the change that we want.”

(more…)