Follow the links at the top of the main Forum landing page to register, and to complete required additional forms.
What is the Youth Food & Farm Forum?
In 2018 ASAN held our first-ever Youth Food & Farm Forum, geared towards youth ages 14-21, and it was a wonderful success! Planned by our 6-member statewide Youth Council and our Youth Forum Coordinator, the YF featured interactive sessions including vegan cooking, equity 101, seed saving, hog butchering, and holistic health through food. The event was attended by an extremely diverse group of 23 youth, ages 13-23, from across Alabama.
The Youth Forum is held in conjunction with our longstanding (adult) Food & Farm Forum, which is ASAN’s primary annual gathering of our network of farmers, gardeners, community leaders, and good food advocates. Approximately 150 diverse participants from across the state convene for a weekend community-building and fellowship combined with peer-to-peer, hands-on learning in the form of workshops, panel discussions, and breakout conversations.
In 2018, Youth Forum and adult Forum attendees shared mealtimes and co-mingled in evening social spaces; the youth attended a joint plenary session featuring elders in Alabama’s sustainable agriculture movement. Otherwise, the workshops/sessions for the two events were largely separate. In 2019, in response to feedback asking for more interconnection between the two events, we plan to offer session blocks where youth-led and adult-led sessions are intermixed and can be attended by people of all ages. There will still be blocks of time where the Youth Forum participants gather on their own, for sessions and conversations we feel will benefit by being limited to youth only.
Click here for a LIST of concurrent sessions, including session descriptions and session leader bios.
The youth-only portions of the program are Friday morning (opening session), Friday afternoon (plenary), and Saturday afternoon (closing session).
ABOUT THE YOUTH PLENARY:
Youth Organizing: From the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, AL, to the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong, China, young people around the world have used the strategy of community organizing to address social issues and spark massive change. This session provides an overview of what community organizing is, why it’s so important and how organizing mass movements has changed (and continues to change) the entire world.
- Nina Morgan is a native of Sipsey, Alabama, a small rural town in Walker County. Much of her personal values and work is informed by her experiences growing up in rural Alabama. In 2018, she received her B.A. in sociology and anthropology from UAB, and she currently works at the Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Air Pollution as a climate and environmental justice organizer. Nina is also a member of the Magic City Youth Initiative, where she is working with other young people to address various local issues.
- Meagan Lyle is a queer artist, educator, baker, and organizer. She was born and raised in the northeast, but unexpectedly fell in love with the south and the Birmingham community. Last year she co-founded an intersectional feminist bookstore called the Burdock Book Collective, which is also a community political organizing space. She is a member of the Shut Down Etowah campaign and worked with other youth leaders to plan the Magic City Youth Assembly. She spends her free time reading, painting, and cooking.
Why a Youth Food & Farm Forum?
One of ASAN’s core beliefs is that a resilient agricultural system must be intergenerational. In order to ensure the mission of ASAN is sustained beyond our time, it is imperative to involve the next generation of farmers and agricultural visionaries now. Our main objectives in implementing the Youth Food & Farm Forum are: 1. to empower and inspire young attendees from throughout our state to cultivate interest in agriculture and food systems and 2. to intentionally create space within our organizing in which youth are heard, valued, meaningfully involved, and encouraged to take up leadership.
How do I sign up?
Register for the Youth Forum using the main Forum registration page. You will also need to reserve lodging, and fill out the required additional forms. Youth under 18 are required to attend EITHER with a parent/guardian or with a chaperone who has agreed to be responsible for them during the weekend.
Are you or do you know of a young person who would like to attend the Youth Food & Farm Forum, OR if you are part of a group of youth who would like to attend together? Contact Mawiyah at [email protected]!