But, I won’t take sole credit for it, I am certain there were others involved who knew nothing about what I wrote, but perhaps what I wrote played a small role in changes I noticed to the Food Day web site.
For one, in addition to a photo of Morgan Spurlock I didn’t see before, there was this photo of Demalda Newsome.
Demalda Newsome’s story shares some commonalities with, of all people’s, Michelle Bachmann. She moved out of her home state and started a farm, where she and her husband have raised her children, and fostered many others. Her faith plays a large role in her politics. But I think that’s where the commonalities end. Rather than directing her energies in the ways that Michelle Bachmann has, her passion is for improving communities and foodways. In an article in Mia Magazine, Fall 2009, Demalda Newsome’s story is told, and it’s allowed me to learn about someone I want to honor and emulate. So, thank you, Food Day organizers, for listening to people like me and making changes. The changes appear not only to be to images, but also to text. Some of the text on the Food Day web site I found to be problematic has been changed. While I might still want to take another pass at it, it is much better.
These changes do make me feel more of a connection to Food Day. I will look for a way to participate.
But, I really want to talk about Demalda Newsome. Food security is a passion of mine. But I often feel like the issue of it is so huge, I don’t know where to start. In the article that appeared in Mia Magazine Fall 2009, Demalda Newsome talks about her background growing up Catholic in Greenville Mississippi, she says “[the nuns returning from working with the underserved in Africa and elsewhere] taught us we were also responsible to the people who did not have. I remember getting that charge. When I first heard that there were people who looked like me who didn’t have food to eat, I laid my head on my desk and cried.”
Later in the article she states:
“I almost feel chosen to do this because, believe me, I tried to get out. I told God, ‘Maybe someone else can do this.’ These issues, these problems, are all so much and so big.”
“But I’m not afraid to take on controversy…Not only do I feel I have to represent African Americans, but I also want to represent people of color who are stuck in a system of oppression and don’t know how to get out.”
Her work has resulted in a web of community gardens, WIC and food stamps being accepted at Farmer’s Markets, and improving food available in low-income areas. I am going to keep learning more about what Demalda Newsome has done and is about.
CSPI is still not my favorite organization, but I’m so glad to see that someone listened to me and others and made changes that make Food Day more inclusive.