Food justice leader Nikki Henderson on talking about food, health, and race

This week’s spotlight: all things food.

Nikki Henderson—Executive Director of People’s Grocery in Oakland, which supports community-driven solutions to food insecurity—was raised by health-conscious community activists in a household with seven older foster brothers. Her whole life has been shaped by the marriage of social justice and healthy eating.

“I can’t detangle them. I’ve never been able to detangle them,” she says. “It lives very presently because Trayvon Martin was going to the liquor store to get Skittles and iced tea. That’s what he was doing when he was out late at night. That’s what many of our kids do.”


Her advice to people interested in getting involved in food justice in their community?

Be a translator who can reach out to people different from you. Don’t be afraid to start conversations about the messy overlap between health, poverty, power, and race.

“If you have the opportunity to be a bridge, be a bridge.”

Watch the video for how to do just that.

Tell us about a time you were a bridge in conversation about a charged issue.

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Share Resources at Black. Brown. Green.

Since our blog entry a few months ago about the Green-Collar Jobs Campaign, we were excited to learn about another project that addresses environmental issues through an innovative lens. Black. Brown. Green. is “a web portal of resources and information that integrate people of color and our needs and issues with the movement for environmental sustainability.”

Black. Brown. Green., which is open to anyone, aims to get beyond the all-too-common separation of social, racial, and environmental issues. Participants will address important issues that are not usually paired together: examining, for example, the trend of international and local adoption of children, and its impact on the global population crisis as well as the children’s lives and identities.

As a brand new website, Black. Brown. Green. is asking for your contributions to help it reach its full potential! Anyone can post articles, resources, and videos about how to live an environmentally friendly life, the history of people of color in environmental activism, and what issues and movements are happening now.

[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]

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