Family Farm Defenders (Kansas Chapter)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Why Youth Leadership is Critical!

Why Youth Leadership is Critical!
" Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable."
  --Kahlil Gibran

LGAJ modified version of Amin Steel's article
Youth and Food Justice:
Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement

Improving the food, health, wealth and sustainability  of our youth will require a transformation of our economic system. This in turn will require strong youth led social movements capable of
creating the political will to truly transform how we live and distribute our nation's and globe's wealth and resources, including, but not limited to food. The distribution of  a society's resources and benefits is the function of its economic system.

Lessons from the civil rights era of the 1960s suggest a way that
today’s social justice and food movements can organize. In particular, a new, youthled,
multiclass, multiracial, and multigender, (possibly even transcending gender)  coalition could unleash the voice and energy of those with
the most to gain from transforming our food, agriculture and socioeconomic  systems—young people.

The political disenfranchisement addressed by the civil rights movement
in the 1960s, and the injust global and national capitalist economic system  reflect structural inequities that marginalize all people in distinct ways, but that more directly and negatively impact youth, poor peoples, Indigenous peoples, Black African descendants and Black Africans, Indigenous Latinos, some groups of Asian peoples, LGBT peoples and others.

We can’t change our health by simply changing the tastes and
attitudes of regular people any more than the civil rights movement could
end segregation without the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Beyond the personal,
these transformations require political, economic, and cultural changes.

Just as with the civil rights movement, transformation needs to be local,
national, and global. Food, agriculture and social movements will play a deciding role in
creating the political will for change just as they did with civil rights.

To become a strong national force, food and all social movements need
youth-led organizing  that unifies and amplifies these disparate efforts—
modern-day social justice movement versions of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Campaign (SNCC). Such organizing must be bottom-up and inclusive,  focus the national spotlight, spread innovation, involve masses of people, and harness our collective political and economic power to transform the very systems, practices, and polices that create injustice, hunger, ill health, poverty and massive environmental degradation. Such organizing must  prioritize the interests of those most directly and negatively impacted, even as it involves everyone.

from Food Movements Unite!
Full Original Article at:

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