How to Grow A Common Vision For a Community

Detroit, Michigan and all of the stakeholders and actors that are involved in this local food movement, we had to be very clear on a goal. We had to be very clear on a vision. We had to be very clear that all of us agreed on one mission. What was it that we all were going to be working day and night, 24/7 on, all of us together? Yes, and different respected lanes, but we all were shooting for this one north star, and that is that the citizens of Detroit are bound and determined to make this city the most sustainable, food-sovereign, food-secure city on planet Earth. That’s the vision, and it all starts with us coming together to collaborate and to work together.

Here’s the goal. We have these markers all over the city of Detroit to remind ourselves what the goal is, and the goal is together. This is key. Together we are growing a future where all Detroiters have access to healthy food and where residents benefit from a thriving local food system. Sit with that for a second. That’s important. All over the city of Detroit you’ll see that sign. It’s just a reminder to the folks of what we are all striving for, what we are all working toward.

Growing is a big part of a huge lifestyle that we have in the city of Detroit, but I want to be clear that food is very intersectional. Not only are we growing the tomatoes and produce and other kinds of fruits and vegetables in the city of Detroit, farming is important. Urban agriculture is important. Growing is important. But those farms also served as places of conviviality because we grow together. They are places and spaces where people are coming together to meet and greet and exchange fruits and vegetables, to make transactions, but they’re doing it by looking each other in the eye. They’re doing it by working together. Growing, to us, is very much so a community activity. What I want to do for the next few minutes, in closing, is I’m going to walk you through three Detroit neighbourhoods. I want to give you three examples of how we are specifically using food to transform the city of Detroit.


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