We’re a month into the new year, and 2016 will indeed be a new year for the Community Food and Justice Coalition. To start, we’ve moved fiscal sponsorship from the Public Health Institute (PHI) to Food First (The Institute for Food and Development Policy). CFJC would like to thank PHI for their support over the last four years. While at PHI, we were able to expand our organization’s work to the national level, most notably through the GOAT process. We are also grateful to Food First for supporting CFJC during this time of transition. CFJC and Food First have worked on multiple projects over the years, including: serving as the local co-hosts for the 15th Annual Community Food Security Coalition conference, and carrying out the year-long call to action to Take Back Our Food System, which culminated in the 2012 People’s Food Justice Summit in Oakland. Therefore, we see this partnership as a continuation of our relationship, and a natural fit as social justice and racial equity are core values of both organizations.
As we await immediate funding we are moving forward with a new visioning process. We’re begining this process with a short member/supporter survey, which you can find in the spotlight section of this newsletter. The survey will help to inform CFJC’s future vision and work. I want to thank Jessy Gill (former CFJC staff member) from World Farmers, Jensen Vang (former CFJC Steering Committee Member) from Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, and Paula Fernandez-Wulff Barreiro, a Fellow at University of Louvain, for their support in developing the survey. Of course, there are certain collaborations that CFJC will continue to be involved with including All-In: The New War on Poverty, the GOAT process, the California Environmental Justice Coalition, and the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact initiative. We believe these efforts are critical for advancing social justice and racial equity through issues of food, environment, economic development, and redistribution of funds. And we will always partner and support with grassroots heroes like the Cromartie Family and Social and Economical Development Project in the Bayview.
Our new visioning process includes identifying a new role for Y. Armando Nieto, who has served as CFJC Executive Director for the past five years. As many people know, Armando was diagnosed with congestive heart failure early in 2015, and has since been on medical disability leave. Over the last year, Armando has focused on healing and improving his health for a return to CFJC in late April of this year. We want to take advantage of his leadership while not jeopardizing his health. As we look forward to his return it’s clear that he cannot resume the role of Executive Director, which brings me back to our survey. It is important we hear from our members, partners and supporters as to what you believe how CFJC can best leverage its experience, expertise and resources to lend leadership and add value to the food justice movement.
We appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully participate in our survey, and wish you the very best in what promises to be an important and eventful year.
CFJC Program Manager