So you want to be an ally?

pfrfcWhen: May 19, 2017
Where: Inner City Christian Federation (920 Cherry St SE,
Grand Rapids, MI 49506)
Cost: $45 (lunch included)
Click here to register.

Join Partners for a Racism Free Community for its May Learning Lab, “So You Want To Be An Ally” – A Safety Pin Box Workshop.” Join Safety Pin Box Co-Founder Leslie Mac for a workshop digging into what defines allyship in this unique time of Resistance. This session will feature personal reflections from Leslie’s work around the country, critical best practices for creating authentic accountability with marginalized communities, hands on breakout group work and a 4-week Safety Pin Box task to take home.

unnamedLunch is included.

About Leslie Mac

Leslie Mac is a Brooklyn born & raised activist and a first generation American of Jamaican ancestry. She founded the Ferguson Response tumblr to connect nationwide efforts supporting the important racial justice movement started in Ferguson, MO. She has since expanded the Ferguson Response Network to provide additional support for Black organizers working to create lasting social change.

Projects include the Movement for Black Lives Convening, Women’s Freedom Conference & #MLKSitIn. She attended Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism and is a founding member of the Black Lives of UU Organizing Collective. In 2016 with fellow activist Marissa Jenae Johnson Leslie founded Safety Pin Box, a monthly subscription box for white people striving to be allies in the fight for Black Liberation.  She was recently named to Essence Magazine’s list of 100 Woke Women and is BlogHer’s 2017 Impact Voice of the Year. You can follow her on twitter @LeslieMac or visit LeslieMac.com for more information.

Health Strategies from your Garden & Pantry

lottieDetroit food justice and media activist, Lottie Spady will facilitate OKT’s
May 18 convening! 
Health Strategies from Your Garden & Pantry
6 to 8 p.m. at Sherman Street Church, 1000 Sherman St. SE 49506.
Free! (Donations accepted.)

A media-maker and herbalist who often lends her talent to OKT’s programs, Lottie will speak about the health benefits of foods and medicinal herbs we can grow in our own gardens. This presentation will build on the information learned with Lottie during last year’s May convening and our August convening with Adela Neives. Lottie spent many years working with the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC). She utilizes a framework rooted in popular education, social justice, and social entrepreneurship to help develop relevant 21st century skills that community residents can translate into community and economic development.

Farm Bill Field Hearing in Michigan

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Senators Stabenow, Roberts Announce Farm Bill Field Hearing in Michigan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) today announced the Committee will hold its second Farm Bill field hearing of the 115th Congress in Frankenmuth, Mich. on Saturday, May 6 to begin work on the 2018 Farm Bill. Congress passes a Farm Bill only once every five years. The current Farm Bill was passed with strong bipartisan support in 2014 and expires in September 2018.

“The Farm Bill is critical to Michigan agriculture, which supports one in four jobs across our state,” said Stabenow. “Thanks to input from our farmers and stakeholders, the 2014 Farm Bill has Michigan on every page, and was signed into law here at Michigan State University. We made historic investments to support our small towns, protect our land and water, help our farmers export and sell more products locally, and end unnecessary subsidies and programs – saving taxpayers $80 billion more than we first expected. As we begin our work on the 2018 Farm Bill, I’m committed to making sure Michigan’s voice is heard again so we can continue to support our state’s farmers and families and create new jobs.”

“Listening to producer perspectives from across the country is a critical step in writing the next Farm Bill,” said Roberts. “We had a successful first field hearing in Kansas, and I look forward to continuing the tradition of listening to farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders with Senator Stabenow in Michigan.”

The hearing, entitled “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: Perspectives on the 2018 Farm Bill from Michigan,” will feature testimony from a wide variety of agricultural producers and Farm Bill stakeholders, examining agriculture, as well as conservation, rural economic development, research, forestry, energy, and nutrition policies that affect Michigan. Witnesses will be announced shortly.  All stakeholders and the general public are invited to submit testimony or comments in writing for the official Committee record (see below).

What: U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Field Hearing on the 2018 Farm Bill

Date:  Saturday, May 6, 2017

Time:  10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT

Place:  Saginaw Valley Research & Extension Center – Michigan State University, 3775 S Reese Rd, Frankenmuth, MI

RSVP: To attend, email your name and organization (if representing a group) to MIRSVP@ag.senate.gov

Testimony: You are invited to submit testimony or comments for the official record for this field hearing in advance, but no later than May 12, 2017, either online at www.agriculture.senate.gov/farm-bill-input or by mailing it to the Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry, 328A Russell Senate Office Bldg, Washington, D.C. 20510.

Live Broadcast: The hearing will be webcast live on ag.senate.gov.

Free! May food gardening & cooking classes!

Deanna 2Our Kitchen Table invotes you to join us for our four-part food gardening series, taught by farmer Leslie Huffman.

· May 1 & June 5: How to Plan Your Food Garden 1
· May 8 & June 12: How to Plan Your Food Garden 2
· May 15 & June 19: Composting & Vermiculture
· May 22, June 26: How to Save Seeds

These classes take place Mondays 6 – 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton SE, Grand Rapids. OKT is also partnering with Baxter Community Center to offer these additional May classes at Baxter, 935 Baxter SE 49506 (Bemis entrance):

Wednesday May 3: Cooking with Whole and Bulk Foods. This class will take a look at foods you can order through OKT’s Collective Whole Foods Purchase Group and how to prepare some simple meals and snacks with them, e.g. oatmeal, popcorn, dried beans and quinoa and trail mixes.

Wednesday May 10: Canning Basics. Baxter staff will take us to the kitchen and show us how to preserve foods from our gardens and farm markets.

Baxter Community Center and other area agencies are offering many other gardening and cooking classes, as well. Check them out on the 2017 Healthy Happenings Calendar below.2017 combined calendar Online rev..

Earth Day Spring Tree Tour


LauraCasaletto-1Saturday April 22
10:30 a.m. – 12  p.m.
Garfield Park Pavilion,
334 Burton St. SE 49507

This free tree tour is part of the food justice mission of OKT.

Tree tour guide, Laura Casaletto will lead us through Garfield Park where we will munch leaves and nibble flowers together for Earth Day. The menu includes spruce tips, the nectar inside tulip tree flowers, black locust flowers, Japanese knotweed shoots, redbud blossoms and perhaps entire linden trees!

“We’ll certainly find something nice underfoot –and you’ll get a little booklet to help you recall what you learned.
If it rains, we’ll meet in the Lodge!

Food Justice Primer April 17

635920484324449544-906593044_FoodJustice1April 17, 6—8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton St SE 49507

The idea of eating healthier foods in many ways has become mainstream. However, for people experiencing income challenges or living in neighborhoods of color, access to these healthier foods is not a reality. A true food apartheid exists in our community—and that’s where the work of food justice begins.

This food justice class will define what food justice is, explore the roots of the industrial food system and investigate the many facets of food justice. If you want to know more about food justice—or become involved in it yourself—please join us for this free, brief introduction to food justice. OKT will conclude the informal dialogue with group input on how we can practice food justice locally.