AMC 2012 Eco-Media Justice Track another success thanks to EMEAC partners

August 23, 2012

AMC 2012 EJ Tour of Eco-Media Justice Track
DETROIT – Components of EMEAC and key partner organizations came together to put on another highly successful Eco-Media Justice Track during the final three days of the 2012 Allied Media Conference held June 28 through July 1. EMEAC's ReMedia program and Youth Food Justice Taskforce teamed with two members of the Detroit Food Justice Taskforce: Peoples Kitchen Detroit and the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network for the three components of this year's Eco-Media Justice Track consisting of an Environmental Justice Tour of Detroit, a Farm to Fork Dinner with the Youth Food Justice Taskforce and a Live Raw Food Cooking Demonstration by DBCFSN.

Dr. Delores Leonard leads EJ Tour
“All three events went off without a hitch and attendance was at capacity all three days,” said EMEAC ReMedia Program Coordinator, Patrick Geans-Ali. “The EJ Tour went extremely well thanks to the help of Dr. Delores Leonard and the Sierra Club's Rhonda Anderson. The Young Educators Alliance Team also stepped up once again. The Youth Food Justice Taskforce took the Field to Fork Dinner to a new level between PKD's food and the open mic session. Then on Sunday, Kadiri and DBCFSN came through with a wonderful live raw food demonstration. I'm really thankful for all their efforts.”

As it has for each year, the Eco Media Justice Track began with the environmental justice tour of Detroit sponsored by the Detroit Sierra Club's Environmental Justice Office. Dr. Delores Leonard stepped in for the Sierra Club's Rhonda Anderson who coordinated the tour but was unable to lead the tour in order to facilitate another AMC workshop. With YEA members Siwatu Salama Ra, Rayven Roberts and Elaine Elliot on board as tour guides, the city-sized tour bus filled to capacity took participants by several environmentally hazardous facilities while offering commentary. 

PKD's Angela Newsom prepares food during Farm to Fork Dinner
Tour stops included the Detroit Incinerator, the abandoned Detroit Train Station, the incomplete Ambassador Bridge and the city's industrial corridor in Southwest Detroit which includes Marathon Oil's tarsands refinery, Sevestal Steel, U.S. Steele, the Detroit Salt Mines and the city's waste water treatment plant among others. 

On Saturday evening, the Youth Food Justice Taskforce teamed with Peoples Kitchen Detroit to once again put together a Farm to Fork dinner featuring organic healthy food, special presentations by EMEAC Executive Director Diana Copeland and Communications Coordinator Victoria Goff followed by an open mic poetry session. 

Anthony Grimmett performs during open mic session
The event blended in with the regular evening meals prepared by PKD during the 2012 AMC.

“The AMC dinner was over shadowed by the people who came for the regular night's meal,” said Nia Joy. “The program that had been prepared was not nearly as effective as it might be if the people in attendance felt like listening. The young people who were taking the lead were a bit disheartened when the people refused to listen.”

Mama Nesi and Aba Ifeoma at Live Raw Food Cooking demo
The Live Raw Food Cooking Demonstration took place Sunday morning at D-Town Farms, which is operated by DBCFSN. Mama Nesi of Paradise Natural Foods performed the demonstrations. Her dishes included a kale salad with ginger, agave nectar, pineapple, flaxeed and spirulina. An almost raw pizza was also served.

“Not only did I find the food delicious but Mama Nesi also gave some very insightful health tips to go along with it,” Geans-Ali said. “I'd like to thank Baba Malik Yakini, Ife Kilamanjaro and the folks at D-Town for setting everything up and being such wonderful hosts.

“Afterwards the AMC participants got to go on a tour of the farm with Mama Aba Ifeoma to see the bees and Kadiri was also on hand to explain how the farm handles composting. It was a nice wrap to the weekend and the AMC.”

Almost raw pizza
With regular track coordinators in EMEAC Associate Director Lottie Spady (sabbatical) and Leslie Jones of the Green Guerillas of Ithica New York unable to participate, the 2012 Eco Media Justice Track still managed to draw capacity attendance from AMC participants while still sharing a wealth of environmental, media and food justice perspectives in Detroit.

Sanaa Nia Joy leads healing circle to close EJ Tour
“It was certainly a challenge but things came off smoothly in the end,” said Geans-Ali. “I'd like to thank Dr. Leonard, Rhonda Anderson, Roger Boyd, Anthony Grimmett, Sanaa Nia Joy, Angela Newsom, Kadiri Senefer and DBCFSN for all stepping up to make this year's track a success. 

“With the main organizers stepping back, everyone who worked on making this year's track happen was truly appreciated. Because of their flexibility and willingness to contribute, it really made all the difference. I attended all three parts of the track and AMC participants seemed very pleased with what they took away from each part. That's a real credit to people who came together behind the scenes.”