Posts Tagged ‘education’

Please come! Rooting DC is an annual, FREE, community and urban gardening focused forum, with over 500 attendees! Come, attend sessions to learn and get information about what is going on in your communities and how you can get involved. Want to know how you start your own garden or how to compost? Come to Rooting DC 2012!

Please feel free to pass this information and flier along to others – Hope to see you all there!

Follow us on Twitter @RootingDC as well as on Facebook:

This training is focused more broadly on the topic of environmental advocacy, however, I thought this would be a great resource for anyone who is looking to strengthen their advocacy and communication skills!


Communications for DC Advocates

On November 16th at 10:00 AM, join the DC Environmental Network for a special opportunity to polish your advocacy skills and learn about a new resource available to help guide your efforts to influence decision makers here in the District of Columbia.  Susie Cambria, a public policy consultant, will share more than 15 years of experience working on public policy and budget advocacy issues and talk about her new book, “Communications for DC Advocates: How-to’s and Lessons Learned Over 15 Years.”

RSVP Here & Learn More About Communications!


As environmental advocates in the District of Columbia it is often necessary to communicate our story and ideas to decision makers and the staff they work with. We communicate in many ways including through letters, meetings, fact sheets and briefings, to name a few. We often ask ourselves questions like (partial):

  • What is the best way to write a letter to the Mayor or DC Council member?
  • How do I prepare and deliver testimony and statements for the record?
  • How do I create a fact sheet?
  • What is the best structure for a meeting with an elected official or their staff?

Susie Cambria will share her insights and experiences that have made her one of the most effective advocates walking the halls of the John A. Wilson Building.  She will talk about the communications tools outlined in her new book, “Communications for DC Advocates” designed to give advocates a fundamental advantage when they walk into the legislative offices of our decision makers.

About Susie Cambria:

“The guide reflects the years of experience I have in advocacy and the many lessons learned doing public policy and budget advocacy work nationally, in Connecticut and most extensively in the District of Columbia.

I have more than 15 years of experience in DC Children’s policy and budget issues. In my work at DC Action for Children (1997-2008), I helped create a robust budget analysis and advocacy operation by establishing and maintaining relationships with elected and appointed officials and engaging the community in the work of protecting and nurturing children and youth across the District. I also created public education materials, trained others on effective budget and policy practices, and was (and remain, I am told) a respected advocate and analyst.”

RSVP Here & Learn More About Communications!

DC Environmental Network Training Opportunities: The DC Environmental Network has held many training opportunities over the years on grassroots organizing, working with the media and to educate about important environmental initiatives. In the last decade the number of environmental advocates roaming the halls of government in DC has increased ten fold. This is a special opportunity to meet with a very effective District advocate and to learn about communication practices that are easily transferable to our environmental advocacy efforts. It is strongly recommended that you take advantage of this opportunity. 

The U.S. Farm Bill which is currently being discussed in Congress, is a huge piece of legislation that covers everything from crop subsidies, to “specialty crops” (meaning the fruits and vegetables we actually eat), to SNAP and WIC benefits, to land conservation program incentives. It is dense; it is complicated; it has the ability to strongly influence this country’s (in)ability to feed its citizens in the coming years. With a huge budget of nearing $420 billion, the Farm Bill is on the chopping block as part of the attempt to cut the budget deficit. However, the programs at risk of being scrapped are the very ones that need to be kept; the large payouts that keep subsidizing agribusiness are the ones that need to go. Doing so would turn our food system around and morph it into a system that is supportive of healthy foods, locally raised and grown produce, as opposed to Big Corn, Soy, & Rice, a process which helps to keep junk food cheap.

And currently this bill is being discussed in Congress behind closed doors and possibly will be enacted without any legislative debate.

So what are we, as consumers, supposed to do about this? First educate yourself. Know what the Farm Bill is (a challenging task, I know) but there are many resources and websites which have done a great job at unpacking the legislation into manageable bites of information. Second, write to your Congressman or Congresswoman. Already there has been a bipartisan group that has spoken out against this “secret” Farm Bill, but there needs to be more support. Third, continue to support your local farmers and urban growers. By supporting the local food system, we keep money in our communities as opposed to in the pockets of large multinational agribusiness corporations. As Wendell Berry is often quoted: “eating is an agricultural act.” It is true: where you choose to purchase your food is an agricultural choice as you are choosing to support a farmer and her/his agricultural practices. It is also a political one as well, as you can help to shape the kind of agriculture that U.S. policy supports and funds.

A few resources to help understand the Farm Bill:

Food and Water Watch’s Fair Farm Bill webpage.

Also the Facebook page Understanding the Farm Bill is an excellent wealth of news and information.

Understanding the Farm Bill Starts Here: All Our Articles in One Handy Place, May 25, 2011, by the Simple, Good and Tasty blog

An EXTENSIVE list of readings, articles, reports and explanations of the history of the Farm Bill, the programs within the omnibus bill, from the Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ) out of Seattle, Washington. I would go here first for information.

Article on commodity subsidies (i.e. corn, soy, rice, milk) is a required read as well. By the Northwest Farm Bill Action Group.


An amazing website on the Declaration of the Youth Food Bill of Rights,  which was the product of this summer’s Rooted In Community (RIC) Leadership Summit. The Summit was hosted in Philadelphia, PA and attracted 37 different groups of youth gardeners, food justice advocates and urban gardeners from across the U.S. This raises the question of is our Farm Bill supporting the people’s right to food access and security? If not, then perhaps it needs to.

A few recent articles on the “Secret” Farm Bill. A quick search online will turn up many more.

Budget cuts could be recipe for change or disaster, October 24, 2011 & Digesting OWS: Why Food Lovers Need to Come to the Table, October 29, 2011, by Slow Food USA

27 Bipartisan Members of Congress Unite to Oppose “Secret Farm Bill”, November 3, 2011, by Oxfam America

Memo to Congress: No Secret Farm Bill, November 2, 2011, by The Nation‘s Mark Hertsgaard

And for some satire via political cartoon (thank you and Slow Food USA):

Next week will mark the first Food Day celebration with events occurring across the United States. According to the website, Food Day “seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.”

It is a “people-powered” movement that provides the avenue for celebration, education and access to food and nutrition-centered events, cooking demonstrations, volunteer (and eating) opportunities. There are numerous events planned, taking place all across the Washington Metropolitan Area for you and your family to be involved in Food Day 2011. Please ask your local church, school, farmers’ market or town hall for more information about what will be going on in your area.

Another great place to go for resources is the Food Day website, Here you can search for events near your neighborhood, whether you live in Washington DC or outside the beltway. There are also resources for you to get an event started if you want to do something yourself. Take a moment to check out the website and see what will be happening near you!

The purpose of Food Day is to promote six central principles:

1. Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods

2. Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness

3. Expand access to food and alleviate hunger

4. Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms

5. Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids

6. Support fair conditions for food and farm workers

(for more information on the 6 Principles, please refer to Food Day – 6 Food Day Principles)

By conducting a quick search for the Washington, DC area, I was able to find almost an endless list of events that are planned including speakers, neighborhood garden open houses, food truck culinary appreciation, nutrition education, university sponsored events, and the list goes on! If you go to the events page, enter your zip code or address to find something that is going on within your neighborhood. Among a few of my favorites include:

- Food Day Proclamation

- Food Day Food Truck Festival (13th-17th St and K St NW)

- Food Day Extravaganza

- Inaugural Bike Blender Smoothie Sale

- American University’s 3 Day Celebration also click here for more details: AU’s Food Day 2011 Celebration AUFood Day

And so many more!!

Check out the website, find what is going on in or around your neighborhood, and go celebrate Food Day 2011!

Strathmore Presents



America’s Leading Voice on Food Industry Opens Strathmore’s 2011-12 Speaker Series

NORTH BETHESDA, MD – Acclaimed food writer, activist and “liberal foodie intellectual” (The New York Times) Michael Pollan takes aim at nutritionism as he explores food consumption and the industry that surrounds it in the first engagement of Strathmore’s 2011-2012 speaker series on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 8 p.m. in the Music Center. After the demolition of the Food Pyramid in favor the USDA’s new Food Plate and just in time for families to ditch their Halloween candy, Pollan explores the theory of nutritionism, its flawed science and its dire impact on Western health. In making a case for more basic, natural foods rather than “edible, food-like substances,” Pollan candidly reveals the industrialization of agriculture and highlights the growing national movement to renovate the food system.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (301) 581-5100 or visit

Full PDF Text of the Press Release from the Strathmore Music Center – Michael Pollan – Oct 26 2011

2011 D.C. Farm to School Week Kick-Off Event Invitation



Vote to help us to share $65,000 from Nature’s Gate to benefit our youth education program, LEAF.

We’re up to 470 votes today and growing, but we still need your help to reach 3,500 votes to be a finalist in the national “Gardens for Good” contest to share $65,000 from Nature’s Path.  We have 3,000 subscribers on this list. So if each of you clicks today, we’ll reach 3,500 votes and be a finalist to share $65,000 in grant funding! (No Facebook or Twitter account necessary!) Our entry is listed under my name, “Helen Yuen.” Can you click on “Vote” here today with one click?

Last week, we entered a contest launched by Nature’s Path organic food company. Thank you for getting us to 470 votes. But it’s not over! We need to reach 3,500 votes to be a finalist to share $65,000. Can you keep us in the running?

What’s at Stake

Only Mississippi and Louisiana have higher poverty rates than DC, according to the U.S. Census. More than 40% of D.C.’s black children are poor. So this is a fantastic opportunity for Nature’s Path to have a major impact, as well as fund work in our nation’s capital as a statement about the value of farm education.

Voting Takes Just a Second!

Can you click “yes” today to help us fund our farm education program for impoverished youth? This is a direct link, so you do not need Facebook or Twitter. Just click “vote” on this page.

Please don’t delay. It takes just a second to click and we can only be a finalist with your help. Voting ends next Friday September 30. Soon! Each day that passes, the gap widens between us and the top contenders.

We can’t do it without you.

The top 5 U.S. and top 5 Canadian vote-getters will be reviewed by Nature’s Path, and they will choose 3 nonprofits to split $65,000. Right now, the nonprofit in 5th place has 3,000 votes. We have 470, so if you and each subscriber on this list clicks, we’ll have nearly 3,500 votes and be a finalist. Can you click today?

Daily voting is ok until Sept 30. These are the last days so don’t forget to click once a day and spread the word to your friends!

Thank you for supporting us! 
Helen Yuen, Communications Fellow

Helen Yuen
Communications Fellow

P.S. If each of you on this subscription list clicks to vote, we’ll reach 3,500 votes and be a finalist to share $65,000 for our youth program! Click here today. Thank you for rooting for us!