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Working with the Community: Keesa V. Johnson and “Pony” V. Bush

"Pony" Bush and Keesa V. Johnson show the way the their community is able to engage in sustainable farming.
Okay, my name is Pony, I’m here, we have the opportunity of farms, we are the people of opportunity farm and we were here. » Yeah [LAUGH] » I mean we hear to work, we hear to work and this is the farmers about having people out with the community and given out to the public in a society or whatever help you out with the community and by eating. I mean we eat, we harvest, we work here, I mean we eat. That’s what about. » I think it’s important to understand about the inter connectivity when it comes to food and farming, when it comes to black and African and indigenous people.
There’s like an inter connectivity of like me understanding like as a firm in turn to me as a food and farming structure. It’s important for me to understand like what he values and what the work means to him. So I’m not posing my thoughts and what I feel that the work should be because he wouldn’t be here if he didn’t like it. And not to say that he would become like Pony, you’re not here to become a farmer. » No, no. » Or anything like that.
But some of the other interns they do go into like being a food entrepreneur or things like that and in different Fosse’s of the food, but we’re here to support our returning citizens in any kind of way possible to make sure that, we want them to know that we love them and we care about. And so that’s one of the reasons why I feel like working on a program like this, I not only get to share information, but I get to learn so much about them, their point of view and how they see the world. And so it helps me become a better person as well. » Yeah, but it gives us a job opportunity to come out of prison.
Come on back into society because I know a lot of other jobs, you go try to platform, they kind of reject you because you’ve got a felony or you’ve been in prison or you’ve been incarcerated. So they look at that what I’m saying. So, I think we have a better opportunity working here because it’s for incarcerated people have been, you’re in trouble, whatever locked up out. » I think that’s good because what, what we don’t quite understand is like when we talk about food justice is not just about the food. It’s about so many things just like redlining that happens within our communities about the prison industrial complex system.
It’s about the reproductive elements of happening from fire people becoming a little bit more prosperous, when we’re having babies, it’s a lot of different fosse’s. It’s not always just about the food, when we’re talking about food justice, it’s about us being here providing healthy, equitable, sustainable, environmentally sound fool for all human beings. » That’s what it’s about.

“Pony” V. Bush and Keesa V. Johnson discuss the ways the We the People Opportunity farm has helped their community.

Optional Readings:

Food Literacy for All – University of Michigan Sustainable Food System Initiative lecture series.

Food Justice Defined – Boulder Food Rescue gives various definitions of the term “food justice”

Discussion: What types of opportunities does your community give you to engage in sustainable farming/gardening?

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Sustainable Food Teach-Out

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