Umoja Community Builders Summer Internship

For the summer of Community Builders 2009 we are focusing and researching the topic of food justice. We discussed the topic of food justice, and the problem of food deserts. When we say food justice we mean each community having the same access to food. When we say food desert we are referring to a lack of grocery stores in a specific area. While researching we noticed that North Lawndale is suffering from a food desert because of a lack of grocery stores in the area. Us thirty- five teenagers decided to find a solution to this problem. In the course of the second week we visited an organization called Green Youth Farm, where other teens learn how to grow organic foods. After researching we have created several questions to produce a survey, which we passed out to the community later on that week. Once during every week, we attend Free Spirit Media to gain knowledge of the process of making a documentary. When we are there we learn to edit footage, produce a soundtrack, and generate texts. What both Community Builders and Green Youth Farm are doing is only two parts to the solution. The last part requires the assistance of the residents in the North Lawndale community to take action.

By: Shanobia Davis and Jasmine Coleman

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Hungry for Change" screening in Iowa

The Community Builders film, "Hungry for Change" will be screened in Iowa at the Community Food Security Coalition's conference.
Check it out here!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Site of the Summer Research

View fd in a larger map

Final Reflections on the Summer

This summer was a great experience, it is a summer that I will never forget. I met a lot of great people and there were a lot of details that I learned about food deserts. The first detail was that most strawberries and fruit in stores have steroids. Another detail that I learned was that an empty lot can be turned into a community garden. I also learned that there are other gardens in North Lawndale, but people in the community don't know that these gardens exists.

In addition, there were a lot of people I met this summer. There were a range of different people who I learned from, such as....
  • Food Desert Researcher Mari Gallagher, who taught me about there different ways she collected data around Food Deserts.
  • Community Organizer Ray Thompson taught me to look at life in my community a bit differently. "Don't look at a glass as half-emptied but look at it as half-filled. "
  • North Lawndale Community Garder Green Youth Farm taught me a lot about food. It taught me that there are more options than junk foods. They also let met tastes a lot of different fresh herbs and organic berries.

Another Final Reflection on the Summer

This summer we have decided to do something about the lack of organic foods in the North Lawndale community. So far we have gain some forms of improvement with a little help of collaboration with two other organizations by the name of Green Youth Farm and Mikva. We hope we will have a positive outcome on this year's community participation.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Day with Mikva, by Shanobia Davis

During my internship at Community Builders we met up with another community organization by the name of Mikva. For an icebreaker both Community Builders and Mikva grouped up together to complete an activity. Our activity was to use marshmallows and toothpicks to make the tallest and sturdiest building. Then they split us up into groups. But before we could start the activity we had to answer a few questions about what our organization is trying to accomplish this summer. Mikva was working on trying to change the structure and values of the Chicago Public School system, and we were trying to make people aware of the food desert that is in our community. We exchanged information about our research, we filled out each others surveys, and we explained to each other the importance of what we were trying to accomplish this summer.

Summer Filming, by Marquita Baber

What was happening in this image, we were outside learning how to use the camera. Interviewing each other about the food desserts in our community. Seeing that the issue is a problem and what we can do to help change that to make our community more healthy. the reason we use cameras this summer is to help us get our message across because we thought that would be much easy if people really look at our documentary on video, than on paper they would like it better.