Building Healthy Communities Conference Scholarship
October 15, 2018
In a state as large as New York, a steady stream of smart, innovative work is coming from NYSHealth grantees and non-grantees alike that is relevant to NYSHealth’s priority areas of Building Healthy Communities and Empowering Health Care Consumers and its focus area on Veterans’ Health. These organizations should be elevating their work and informing key stakeholders at regional, statewide, and national conferences, meetings, and other convenings. Yet, because of a lack of resources, they are often unable to do so. To address this issue, NYSHealth is awarding grants through its Sponsoring Conference Participation in Support of Healthy Communities, Consumer Empowerment, and Veterans’ Health Request for Proposals (RFP). Through this RFP, NYSHealth is sponsoring low-resource organizations to attend and present at local, State, and national conferences related to these areas. In 2018, NYSHealth awarded Soul Fire Farm Institute a grant to participate in this initiative as part of its efforts to build healthy communities.
Under this grant, Soul Fire Farm Institute sent its two co-directors to the Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference, a national conference that brings together African American leaders and allies to address the ways that the food system disproportionately excludes and negatively impacts minorities. One co-director was on a panel presenting her new book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Guide to Liberation on Land, the first comprehensive guide for African-heritage people to reclaim their food sovereignty and right to healthy and self-determined lives. Her presentation helped introduce the book to a key audience of farmers and food justice advocates of color. This conference was a central gathering for grassroots food justice work and offered Soul Fire Farm Institute an opportunity to connect and learn from other organizations also working on community health and food justice throughout the country.