N2N Spotlight: Black Dollar Days Task Force’s Clean Green Farms
Promoting health and self-sufficiency with Black and African American youth, one seed at a time.
September 15, 2021
By: Aileen Balahadia, N2N Program Consultant
Supporting Black Dollar Days Task Force (BDDTF) this year feels poignant, as we, Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N), continue celebrating our 30th anniversary. BDDTF received a grant in 1991, the year N2N was launched, and is now a recipient again, 30 years later. A comment expressed at a recent N2N site visit made this full circle moment come to life and solidified our support of BDDTF and its Clean Greens Farm youth leadership project.
“Our kids have a deep aversion to the Earth, and we’re embarrassed to dig into it because of our history,” said Dr. Robert Lee Jeffrey, Sr., Executive Director, BDDTF. He continued to say, “Part of our job here is to create safe spaces for our African American youth to bring them back to the roots of our real history and restore pride in working with the soil.”
Reflecting on their longevity and three decades of service, Dr. Jeffrey couldn’t help but uplift the leadership and memory of Lottie Cross who helped to found Clean Green Farm in 2007 and was instrumental in Seattle’s Central Area neighborhood promotion of Black-owned businesses. The Farm is tended and harvested with the intention to provide organic produce to the Central Area. In addition to expanding healthy food access, the Farm also provides educational workshops and opportunities to train Black youth and other young people of color to harvest, compost, understand healthy eating, and ultimately become leaders in their community. “This is a start in acknowledging the impact of climate change and learning early about taking care of our Earth,” said Brione Scott, Director, Clean Green Farm.
This grant will be used to provide youth leadership stipends, supplies, field trips to the farm in Duvall, and visits with urban farms such as the YES Farm, run by fellow N2N grantee Black Farmers Collective. As a Black- led and serving organization, BDDTF believes there’s a great opportunity to teach Black youth about food justice education and advocacy. “Most children are not given opportunities to be engaged in the growing of their food. We have seen when we provide this unique and highly necessary experience for youth, it has been inspiring and enriching for all involved,” Scott said.
A pilot partnership with the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods allows N2N to invest in food equity projects located anywhere in the city, including BDDTF. “The partnership between Neighborhoods and N2N has been enlightening. The program truly centers community and it is evident in the site visits,” said Daniel Sims, Community Grants Supervisor, Department of Neighborhoods, and N2N Advisory Committee member. He shared that the growing relationship his organization has with N2N is providing a model of what it means to partner and work with community.
“We have had an opportunity to meet directly with a few organizations that are doing food justice and food security work throughout Seattle. You also get an opportunity to meaningfully engage with those who are doing the work.”
Doing the work means taking advantage of different community touchpoints, a behavior modeled by Clean Greens Farms through its “Cleans Greens” radio show. Production started in response to the need for trusted, community information. When people tune in, they get to learn about healthy living habits through conversations featuring Black-owned businesses, health experts, and practitioners in the health equity, meditation, and mindfulness industries.
All are encouraged to learn more about Clean Greens Farm and view this special video highlighting their work as part of N2N’s “30 Stories for 30 Years” anniversary.
N2N Summer 2021 grantees are listed below:
(Italicized organizations will receive funding provided in part by Facebook, as part of its ongoing commitment to support Black business, creators, and nonprofits. Learn more about our partner’s impact, here.)
- Amigos de Seattle: To provide opportunities to diverse Latinx communities in South Seattle to participate in workshops, access resources, engage the broader community and learn how to create radio programs with the radio station.
- Black Dollar Days Task Force: To support Seattle area’s low-income, youth of color leadership and education focused on sustainability, health, and food justice via mentorships, hands-on-farm projects, and leadership opportunities at the Clean Greens Farm.
- Duwamish Valley Affordable Housing Coalition*: To advocate to prevent and address BIPOC, Latinx, and other low-income Duwamish Valley community displacement through educating and engaging community in developing a Right to Return & Community Preference policy for area projects.
- Integration Family Services*: To strengthen a Somali mothers community advocacy group in Kent by providing a space for community gathering, sharing resources, and co-creating strategies to improve social and economic conditions identified by the group.
- Mopistun Four Directions**: To support displaced urban Native Blackfeet people in Seattle/King County in the revitalization of tradition through ceremony, such as bundle keeping, and participatory cultural workshops, such as song, herbalism, and dance, to be recorded for future use.
- Native Youth Grantmaking Council**: To formalize and support an urban Seattle/King County Native youth-led Grantmaking Council that will engage youth in their communities, promote peer mentorship, and increase investments to Native youth-serving groups in the Pacific Northwest.
- One Vibe Africa: To support interactive dinner experiences to build community, decrease neighborhood tension and community deterioration, and promote food justice, all while elevating the collective African community in South Seattle and beyond.
- Panama Folklore: To support South Seattle area Latinx and AfroLatinx community in deepening connections and supporting community-identified efforts they care about in a unique oratory leadership training series and public presentation.
- Somali Bantu Community Association: To encourage and educate the Kent area Somali Bantu community on civic engagement through education workshops, trainings, voter registration, and peer learning.
- South King County Discipline Coalition: To support Kent and White Center area youth and community leaders of color in anti-racist organizing to end disproportionate discipline of students of color through local school district advocacy for community priorities.
- WA Multicultural Services Link*: To support "Daryeel Waalid", a South Seattle area space for Somali/African diaspora families with children and loved ones with disabilities and special healthcare needs to come together, access resources, and advocate for improved systems.
*First time grantee of N2N
**Also, the first grant ever received by the organization
For more information about Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N), please contact Program Consultant Aileen Balahadia at 206-250-4299 or email@example.com.
Image credit: Black Dollar Days Task Force
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