LINC UP! with Tim Wise Oct. 1

LINC UP! with Tim Wise, speaking on privilege, race and the effects that inequality has on the community. At Wealthy Street Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, 6- 8 p.m. Oct. 1. Free; donation suggested.  Ticketed event. Must RSVP to

About Tim Wise

“Tim Wise is among the most prominent racial equity writers and educators in the United States. Named one of ’25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,’ by Utne Reader, Wise has spoken in all 50 states, on over 800 college and high school campuses, and to community groups across the nation.”

Wise has been featured in several documentaries, including the 2013 Media Education Foundation release, “White Like Me: Race, Racism and White Privilege in America.” The film, which he co-wrote and co-produced, has been called “A phenomenal educational tool in the struggle against racism,” and “One of the best films made on the unfinished quest for racial justice,” by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva of Duke University, and Robert Jensen of the University of Texas, respectively. He also appeared alongside legendary scholar and activist, Angela Davis, in the 2011 documentary, “Vocabulary of Change.” In this public dialogue between the two activists, Davis and Wise discussed the connections between issues of race, class, gender, sexuality and militarism, as well as inter-generational movement building and the prospects for social change.

Wise speaks on the topics of:

  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Economy/Economic Visions
  • Electoral Politics
  • First Year Read Programs
  • Leadership
  • Multiculturalism
  • Programs for High School Students
  • Racism/Racial Justice
  • U.S. History
  • White Privilege
  • Youth/Student Activism
For more information about Tim Wise, visit

“Support Local Food” discussion did not address Downtown Market concerns

On Monday Sept. 14, Urban Roots hosted a panel discussion at the Wealthy Theatre titled “Support Local Food: A conversation on access, growing, and the local food economy.” An organizer of the event contacted Our Kitchen Table to ask if we would like to represented on the panel for the event, which was to continue the conversation started by Urban Roots‘ Levi Gardner in his recent opinion piece, a critique of the Downtown Market’s failure to address food insecurity in the neighborhood where it is located. We were excited to at long last be part of such a public conversation.

Since the Market was in its planning stages, OKT has raised concerns about it to planners, city commissioners and our own constituents via our website and food justice classes. Initially, OKT raised concerns that such a market project, using substantial public monies, should only proceed with input from food insecure neighbors and have a goal of improving food security in the neighborhood, which offers income challenged residents here nearly no access to affordable, healthy foods (other than through charities). After the Downtown Market Farmers’ Market opened, OKT again raised concerns that it did not provide a welcoming atmosphere for income challenged people and most of its product was far too expensive.

During last Monday’s event, the panelists did deliver an animated discussion about the challenges of building an equitable food system; the high costs and small returns experienced by small local farmers; and the need for an alternative to the failing industrial food system as well as a heart touching testimony shared by a long-term Heartside resident.  However, OKT had hoped to challenge the Downtown Market with these questions:

  • Millions of public dollars were used to build the Downtown Market. Hundreds of thousands more are maintaining it. Because the market is publicly funded, should it not serve the public, specifically the people living closest to it, seeing as income-challenged neighbors living nearby have very little access to affordable, healthy foods?
  • Many people living near the market have limited or no access to a good working kitchen. Since the market’s kitchen facilities were built using public funds, is there not a moral imperative to give people with income challenges — living in its neighborhood –access through community kitchen programs where they could prepare healthy foods?
  • The Downtown Market farmers’ market participates in government food assistance programs. Why is not more effort made to create an environment more welcoming to people with income challenges and people of color? For examples, the sign advertising the Double Up Food Bucks program also warns against loitering and soliciting. What kind of message does this send? Most of the foods are high end gourmet items. What does this product selection tell people with income challenges?
  • Vendors have shared that fees at the Downtown Farmers Market are prohibitive and force them to charge higher prices. Why can’t this publicly funded market subsidize or waive fees for small-farm vendors selling local fruits and vegetables as this would increase food access for neighborhood people with income challenges?

Let’s get back together and get some answers to these questions. Together, we can make the Downtown Market a place Grand Rapids can really be proud of. Not only because foodies from across the country make it their destination, but also because it is helping to bring food security to its income challenged neighbors whose health is currently being ravaged by nutrient-poor diets.

Rapidian reports on food justice discussion taking place tonight at Wealthy Theatre

Reposted from The Rapidian

Urban Roots to continue conversation on supporting local food at Wealthy Theatre

Presented by Urban Roots, an upcoming panel discussion at the Wealthy Theatre titled “Support Local Food: A conversation on access, growing, and the local food economy” will be free and open to the public on Monday September 14.

We all want everyone in our community to have access to good food. We all want to support our local farmers and food producers. Doing that well, however, comes with real and complex barriers and challenges. Two weeks ago, Levi Gardner, Founder and Director of Growth at Urban Rootsaddressed some of the challenges he sees when he shared his thoughts in an article that addressed concerns about the Downtown Market. That article, with the highest share rate of any Rapidian article to date on the citizen-driven platform, revealed the need for further conversation around how we support good local food- both those who grow it and those who need access to it.

In order to continue this conversation with a broader range of perspectives, Urban Roots is presenting a panel discussion at the Wealthy Theatre this September 14. The event, titled “Support Local Food: A conversation on access, growing and the local food economy,” will begin with a social hour at 5:00 and the panel discussion starting at 6:30 p.m.

During the social hour, food will be provided by Tacos El Cunado at the Downtown Market and various organizations will be available at tables to provide ways for local citizens to learn more and get involved in supporting our local food economy.

The panel discussion will include representatives of our local farmers, food vendors, agroecologyexperts experts and our neighbors in need of access. During the event, a Twitter wall will collect questions and comments from the audience and those following in the Twittersphere, utilizing the hashtag #foodrapids to collect the conversation.

This event, hosted by the CMC at Wealthy Theatre, and broadcast live on GRTV and live-streamed here on The Rapidian, is made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors such as theMSU Extension OfficeBartertown Diner and CVLT PizzaWorld RenewTacos El Cunado at the Downtown Market and the Grand Valley State University Environmental Studies Program.

Kids’ Food Basket will also be available at the event for those interested in learning more about increasing food security for our community’s children.

To help fund the event, Bartertown Diner/CVLT Pizza’s support will be raised through a fundraising support night at the restaurants on Friday, September 11. From 4 p.m. to close at both establishments, 25% of all proceeds will go directly towards supporting the event.

Learn about Urban Foraging Sept. 12

seafm-8-3-foraging (1)On Saturday Sept. 12, the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market offers a free Urban Foraging workshop. Did you know that sumac berries can be brewed into delicious faux pink lemonade? Our Kitchen Table’s urban forester, Laura Casaletto, will share how to identify this and other edible plants growing in our neighborhoods and give tips on how to prepare them as tasty side dishes and beverages. For Casaletto, foraging is not just a hobby. She has foraged to feed her family for years.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at Gerald R Ford Academic Center. The market warmly welcomes SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) and WIC & Sr. ProjectFresh as well as cash and debit cards.

Call for Artists! Art at the Market Sept. 19

Fine artist and musican, Derrick “Vito” Hollowell exhibited prints of his work and spun tunes for the 2014 Art at the Market.

Fine artist and musican, Derrick “Vito” Hollowell exhibited prints of his work and spun tunes for the 2014 Art at the Market.

On Saturday Sept. 19, the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market plans to 0920141257host “Art at The Market,” a showcase of local fine artists and their work. The date was chosen to coincide with Artprize as this event is not always accessible to artists from the Market’s neighborhoods or neighbors living nearby. Also, the neighborhood has many accomplished artists in its midst. Art at The Market will provide them an opportunity to showcase their talents, inspire their neighbors and share any messages that their art expresses. Artists already involved in Artprize are welcome, too! It’s simple to get involved! Simply email or call 616-206-3641 to sign up.

Several artists exhibited and sold their work during last year’s Art at the Market event, including Kent County commissioner Candace Chivis and successful fine artist, Derrick Hollowell. “The market is a real way for an artist to connect with the Community,” he says. “The casual atmosphere leads to personal conversations about an artist’s methods and motivation. It is a great way to find new collectors for your work, great vibe.”

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at Gerald R Ford Academic Center. The market warmly welcomes SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) and WIC & Sr. ProjectFresh as well as cash and debit cards.