This week we asked, “Who is within your community? Think about your friends, family, and neighbors. What does community mean to you? How will you use what you learn during YCAP to help benefit your community?” Read below for a response from a member of the Youth Community Agriculture Program:

Well it’s a different day and age for my generation. My parents say when they were growing up,
your neighbors were like your family. But that certainly isn’t the case these days and I don’t
really know why. I don’t have a connection with any of my neighbors and never have. So as far
as community goes directly, I don’t have that. But indirectly, we can relate to each other because
we all live in the same disenfranchised part of the city, that’s neglected. We come from a culture
of survivalism and resourcefulness. I can say the same things for my family. I’ve been reclaiming
pride & cultural self-esteem these last few years. Black Americans were always conditioned to
believe we have no culture. But now as I analyze my entire life and educate myself on Black
American folklore and history I never learned about until Junior year of high school from an
elective– not a required class; such as the Reconstruction era and Juneteenth, I see how I’ve
always had a culture & traditions I’ve practiced.

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to use what I learned from CFL to better an entire
community, but I do know how to better myself. I don’t know if my entire community would even
be interested in healthier living. A lot of learning & unlearning will have to be done because right
now, we’re less inclined to care about that type of thing.

Maybe we all have multiple communities. Your neighborhood is a community, your work
environment is, your church is, your school is, your yoga class, etc. I’d even count your virtual
advocacy as a community. I founded a Black youth safe space online over 4 years ago and for
almost 3 years, I’ve been on Radical Feminist Tumblr. I have a primary group but hardly any
secondary ones. I guess I can start using what I’ve learned from CFL by reaching Black
soon-to-be moms. If you can’t do anything with the people that already exist, then you can start
with the babies. Black mortality rates of mothers and babies are so high because of mostly
medical racism but environmental racism, too.

– Renee “Grapes,” Summer 2021 Community Food Leader