Berkeley Food Institute Community Engagement and Leadership Fellow and Sociology PhD student Carmen Brick, writes about her experience with workforce development programs for the BFI blog. From the outset, Carmen was aware of the perceived issues with workforce development programmes which are often criticized on the basis that they teach soft rather than hard skills and that they take financial advantage of those without access to other options. Yet Carmen observed another side of the situation from her work with those in the Kitchen of Champions program.
what I observed was that soft skills “training”—ranging from employment services such as crafting a resume to discussing short- and long-term goals and strategies to overcome barriers—was welcomed by many program participants who wanted more support in remaking their lives.
Carmen’s perspective on these programs is interesting and considered but most significantly she recognises that they are not perfect and that there is much room for improvement, but also potential for transforming these programs into resource that can encourage local community empowerment and food justice saying:
Given this potential, advocates and researchers focus upon food justice must learn more about the outcomes of these programs and their ability to contribute to fair employment in the food system.
Listen to the latest episode of The Just Food Podcast. The 6-part podcast series covers a range of topics aimed at cultivating justice and health. They are produced by the Berkeley Food Institute in partnership with the UC Berkeley AdvancedMediaInstitute at the Graduate School of Journalism. Episode 3 tells the story of the nation’s first sugar-sweetened beverage tax which came into law in 2014 in Berkeley. It examines how the tax and the revenue it generates are shaping the health of Berkeley residents today.
If you’re between the ages of 21 and 31 and looking for an incredible opportunity to learn about urban farming, listen up! Urban Adamah in Berkeley, CA is now accepting applications for its three-month fellowship program. Not only do you learn the ins and outs of growing delicious organic food in the city, but the program also incorporates social justice training, mindfulness, and progressive Jewish learning and living. No prior experience is needed.
Entering its 5th year of educating young farmers, the fellowship has a fee on a sliding scale between $600 and $3000, which includes housing, food, and all program-related expenses. There are opportunities in the spring, summer, and fall, but apply soon as spots fill up quickly.
Learn more by watching the video above and clicking HERE.
Impact Hub Berkeley’s “From the Ground Up” is a four part, year-long program that brings together multi-stakeholder organizations working in sustainable food and agriculture to collaborate on joint initiatives. The change accelerator combines dynamic innovation salons, public-facing education programs, and community building events to drive systemic change in the following areas: (1) Collaborative Trade, (2) Living Oceans, (3) Soil Health/Carbon Farming (4) Local Food Systems.
Occupy the Farm, an inspiring documentary about a community struggling to save public land for urban farming, is premiering in theaters November 7th! The film highlights the power of direct action, and invites us to consider new strategies for activism. Join the Facebook page for ticket information, to organize a screening, and to help get the word out!