This week, the RIC planning crew attended staff orientation for the Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) . Orientation is held for summer staff who will be working in UNI's summer internship program that hires over 100 high school interns in either cooking or gardening service-based sites. Our crew was joined by forty other UNI summer staff including year-round supervisors, college student interns, and UNI alumni interns. Orientation consisted of teambuilding, icebreakers, workshop-planning, as well as seminars on how to engage with youth, conflict-resolution,  the food justice movement, and much much more. We attended to develop skills needed in organizing the RIC conference such as empowering youth, building community, and being food justice leaders! -Lan Dinh Crew Supervisor

For food justice we should have more access to farmers markets, and to allow us as united states citizens  to take charge of our own food system . Our food shouldn’t come from industrial farm areas from far states . We should be able to grow and get food right from our back yard. And by us as youth taking that action step shows not only us, but it shows our community how committed we are.-Kenneth Owens, Teen Leader

The Urban Nutrition Initiative known as U.N.I. is not just an organization , it is a family that I can say a lot of people would be and are happy to be a part of. Doing team building exercises has helped me grow personally by expanding my public speaking skills [and] my one on one skills which I think would help for the Rooted In Community Conference known as R.I.C.in July and at work.-Taj Jones, Teen Leader

I learned this week from Karl [Ingrim] that they have many types of definitions of racism which can be good or bad. The racism can be verbally or physically. In verbally you use words to hurt any one or anything. In physically you can actually actions to hurt someone or anything which makes them feel a type of way and makes them give a different perspective on something.-Daniel Lennox, Teen Leader

Doing the team building activities, it has taught me to trust in my group no matter if you close your eyes or whether you have them open. I also, learned that the Urban Nutrition Initiative is full of people that you would never see yourself talking to become one of your closer friends. The other thing that I noticed and felt that I have learned with the team building activities is that you should listen to everyone opinions before starting an activity which can led to complete chaos if everyone does not get heard.-Marissa Herring, Teen Leader

Doing the team building activities taught me a lot of strategies such as what i need to work on, how to deal with different issues, and learning new games.But most of all, I got to meet new people. I also like to say  the Urban Nutrition Initiative is not only a group where you learn about healthy eating or learn about health. This organization is also a place where you can learn more about your self. Having this experience has taught me how to become a better leader/person. -Sara Mondesir 

I learned how to think outside of the box while doing activities that I am not use to doing. It makes things hard if you are not focused on the specific goal. I also learned, how to trust people even though we just met. Trusting people in a work place is the key to success and the success makes a long-lasting friendship.-Anthony Sewell,  Teen Leader

What we grow, how we grow it and what we eat are decisions and choices that are made by kind and upstanding citizens who care so much about their health and eating healthy and also the health of others that they make it a life goal to change all that is wrong in the food system. These people represent the very meaning of freedom of speech, love in culture, and to stand up for what is right .- Matthew Johnson,  Teen Leader

Access to healthy food is not only a diet and lifestyle issue, it is an economic and race issue as well. This week our team had the opportunity to discuss the role institutional power plays in racism with Food Justice movement leader Carl Ingram. I was blown away by the insightful comments made by our students; it made for one of my favorite experiences this week (that and taking pictures with favorite fruit in Fresh Grocer) and was such a great start to summer!-Sherry Yang, Assistant Supervisor

Staff orientation was an amazing energy booster for getting ready for working with youth and help organizing RIC. It prepared me for different situations like when working with teens and being in a difficult situation, what do you do? The icebreakers were a great way to break the ice and also get everyone feeling more comfortable. The summer of 2011 orientation was probably one of the best I've been to by far! I'm soooo PUMPED for RIC 2011!!! WOOOO!- Kiyana Banks, Assistant Supervisor
Aigne French, FEDS
8/17/2011

This has been one of the best experiences of my summer. I learned a lot about where my food come from this past summer. It helped me a lot. It feels good to know that not just me but other youth like me around the world is so passionate about their food, a lot of people were suprised because the summer of 2011 was my first year at UNI and being apart of RIC. Everybody had a great time, the staff were amazing and always pumped. I'm glad that I got to experience this and actually made part of the youth food bill of rights. I'm so proud of myself. It was so sad when the last day came, I wanted to stay but I hope to come to the next summit ! CAN'T WAIT ! :)))))

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    Philly RIC Planning Team

    Philly's RIC planning crew consists of ten team members, seven of which are Teen Leaders who are veterans in UNI's cooking, gardening, and business internships.

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