Grantee Blog

Presenting at NESAWG Conference

This year on Oct 26 and 27th, VietLead garden leaders shared about our work at the annual Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) Conference. On it’s website it says, “The annual NESAWG conference is widely regarded as the conference for anyone doing food system change work in any Northeast state.  Hundreds of practitioners convene not only for workshops, plenaries and networking, but to roll up their sleeves and do the real work needed to create a just and fair regional food system in several work group sessions.”

“The NESAWG Conference was a wonderful and enlightening experience for me. Although my time there was short, I’ve got to interact in a workshop that dealt with creating counter-advertisement with youth that challenged dominant advertisements that is usually displayed in media. I also joined a workshop that spoke about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and how they help people urban cities to choose healthy food options. Overall, my experience at NESAWG was amazing as I met folks from different walks of life and was able to attain more knowledge about food justice and how the food system affects our communities.”– Naajia Shakir, Student Assistant Garden Manager

Our Farm and Food Sovereignty Director, Lan Dinh, spoked on the panel about “Cultivating The Strategies To Transform The Food System”. Lan spoke about Resilient Roots garden and the importance of gardens and community control of land for the health and healing of residents.

During the conference, youth and staff attended various workshops related to food system and learned about the work others folks in the region do. Students- Dominique Cranshaw, Danica Cranshaw, and Minh Tran who have managed the garden facilitated a workshop about “People’s Timeline of the Food System” on the last day of conference.

Dominique Cranshaw who has been apart of the Resilient Roots garden for 3 years reflected, “My job was to present a timeline of the history of agricultural in the United States. At first I was not sure how it would be. It was nerve wracking. I did not know who my audience would be or how they would respond to the information I was going to give to them. I was honestly concerned that I would be speaking to a room filled with men who would be older than me and have a lot more wisdom on farming. Yet, when my guests started entering the room one at a time I was pleasantly surprised. I noticed right away that there were many people of color. Not only that but a lot of women of color were there too. Many of them were youth not much younger than I am. They came from different parts of the country and for different reasons.” Their workshop was considered a favorite for many of the participants that attended and several reached out afterwards to express gratitude to be facilitated by passionate young adults.

About the Grantee


VietLead is a grassroots organization that strives to improve health, increase sovereignty, and develop Vietnamese leadership in solidarity through intergenerational farmingÍľ youth leadershipÍľ health navigationÍľ policy advocacy; and civic engagement. Our Food Sovereignty and community garden program was built from seeing how food is an important part of how refugees practice self-determination.