Greetings Real Food Northwest!
It’s been a crazy few weeks since the Northwest Regional Training we held September 16-18. Students (and RFOs!) left feeling energized and dove right in to making real food wheels, starting groups, and planning awesome events for Food Day coming up one week from today on October 24th! There are currently 210 campuses signed up in 46 states and 5 countries–and the number continues to grow. Make sure to check out Food Day and consider holding an event if you haven’t registered one already. Print out some posters, pop in a video, or gather materials and table about Real Food-it’s not too late! It’s going to be an amazing day for the Real Food Movement. Tricia, our Food Day Coordinator at RFC and a student at Northeastern said it best: “Our society does not value real food the way it should and we are suffering the consequences economically, socially, physically and environmentally. It is time for a change!”
We’ll be posting updates from Food Day and hopefully some guests posts about folks’ experiences–but before we do that next week we wanted to invite Genevieve Jones, a RFC Grassroots Leader at Whitman College, to share her thoughts regarding her experience at the Regional Leadership Training. Thanks Genevieve!
I’ve never really been one for leadership conferences. For some reason I thought they were too cheesy and cliche. However, the Northwest Real Food Challenge Leadership Conference made me a believer. The night the conference began I pulled up to the farm in the dark, excited but nervous to meet Real Food young’ins. The leaders, Alex, Katie, and Emma quickly got the ball rolling. Standing around the Real Food Wheel each of us expressed our passion in certain aspects of the food system. It was heart warming to be around a group of people who really cared about food, and I slowly began to feel the vibes of empowering energy.
Each workshop thrilled me. Every one was jam packed with information: The Food Service Industry: Challenges and Opportunities, Strategic Campaign Planning, and Organizing 101 and the Get Real Campaign. And then it came time for the leadership conference activity that I dread the most: role playing. But I have to say that I found this one useful and fun.
At our last workshop we were asked to reflect on the weekend and here’s a little bit of what I wrote as goals for myself: “Overcoming my inferiority complex, or thinking that there’s someone who could do my job better than I could. Completely undermining myself every time I try to act. Knowing that I have really good ideas and good leadership skills and can make change. Having faith in myself to make things happen. I need to know that I’m going to make mistakes but that I now have resources and skills. I shouldn’t be afraid to reach out for the things I want to see happen.”
I came away from the conference feeling empowered to make change to a degree I hadn’t been expecting. The conference was a balance of fun, good food, and lots of learning. I met really cool people from our area and created networks of support and communication. The Real Food Challenge completely changed my opinion of leadership conferences. I can’t wait for the next one!
-Genevieve Jones~Whitman student~Grassroots Leaders Project