What did we learn from the Food Justice Town Hall?


We at RBAC are grateful for all of the planning, preparation, collaboration, and intention put into our previous town hall, Food as Liberation: Healing Our Mind, Body, and Community. We want to give a special shoutout to all the folks on our planning and tech team, as well as our community members, panelists, and performers: 


Jacob DeGuzman with Seattle Parks & Recreation

Katelyn Durst-Rivas with the The Free Black Women’s Library of Detroit

Michael Powers with Michael Powers Music 

Hannah Wilson with the Black Farmers Collective, 

Gloria Hatcher-Mays with the Rainier Valley Food Bank

Carrie Robersone with all of her community health advocacy 

And our very own Kidest Wasihun with the Rainier Beach Farm Stand 


We couldn’t have done it without everyone involved! We learned about the abundance of knowledge, resources, recommendations, and strategies that exist to move food justice forward here in Rainier Beach. There’s a huge brain trust about what’s happening in the community. Folks see possible solutions as far as solving these problems. It only affirms our intentions of providing a platform for these conversations to happen, continue uplifting the work of food justice, and making sure it’s being championed at all the tables that RBAC sits at.


Amongst all the fights for social justice and liberation that people face on an everyday basis as we navigate systems, what stands true is that everyone needs to eat. Something so obvious yet deeply rooted in nourishment, not just physically but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 


Whether it is fighting for reparations and returning land back to Black and Indigenous peoples, providing culturally relevant food and produce to our schools and communities, passing on the knowledge on how to grow and prepare cultural foods to our young people, uplifting local BIPOC businesses and farmers, there are an abundance of ways to tap in and nurture the fight for wellness and health in ways we already know how. 


Shout out to our amazing poet Katelyn Durst-Rivas who could not have put it better: 


Recipe for Abolition Garden


Let’s build a garden that harvests reparations 

And makes our community ripe with abundance

Let’s uproot the whole system that tries to displace us

And put in the lychee tree

With brilliant red fruits to replace the strange fruit of lynching

Put in a circle of sunflowers around the edges

And teach our children to eat their seed

Forage for asparagus and erase red lines

That kept grocery stores in only white neighborhoods

Let our neighborhood burst with blueberries

In every plot, let the banana tree grow

They said it could not grow here

But our ancestral knowledge was planted long before this land was stolen

We will want to sit under the shade of its leaves 

And eat the fruit as it falls into our hands

Let our bellies be full 

And let’s swap seeds

And walk barefoot in the grass we planted

Let’s husk corn and shell peas

And make sun tea on our front porches

Let’s defund public services that do not service us

And grow a blackberry thicket

Where Black and Brown children are free

This garden has no boundaries

This garden has no borders, walls, or fences

And it is already here

We are welcome to dance in its field of abundance

Any time we choose