By Thaint T
On November 10th through the 12th my group, which was MAP Growing Green, and I went to Hartford, CT for the annual NESAWG 2016 conference. It was a long 6 hour drive from Buffalo, NY to Hartford, CT but we made it.
When I finally arrived, I went to my first session, which was the “colored people caucus.” There I had a partner to talk to about why we’re here and what we would like to learn from this NESAWG conference. Her name was Robyn and she went to Hamilton College. She told me that she was here because she had had road blocks with what she is doing and wanted tips from other people here to help get her through the road blocks.
Another session I went to was part of the youth track, the very first one the following day, November 11th. There, I just learned about what other youth organizations do in their own communities. I learned that a lot of them were similar to MAP, the organization that I’m a part of. They also have a farm/garden themselves that helps feed the people around their community.
Another session I went to was a youth talk. It was mainly about what problems youth believe that they have around their community and how or why they can change it. There, I met a youth that became my friend right away, her name was Davina, her and her organization is located in Ithica, NY, just 2 hours away from Buffalo. The problem she believes she has is that adults may seem to listen to youth but they never actually do. Davina wants adults to listen to youth more often.
To me, youth talks like these are what helps youth and adults connect and talk more often.
That is why this youth talk was my favorite session of the conference, I interacted more with other youth and became friends with a few people. Not only did I interact with youth but I also interacted with adults. We just didn’t talk about problems and what we do, we also talked about our favorite candy to our favorite culturally traditional dish.
I would like to share that there are communities out there that are struggling with food and the access to it. I would like to share to Buffalonians that there are other organizations that are similar to MAP and have similar mission outside of Buffalo. From attending this conference I realized that people from outside of Buffalo care about food.
I made connections and friends with other organizations. So, if MAP ever needs a helping hand, they’re only one call or email away. They can now be added to our stakeholder list as someone who supports our cause, project or mission. MAP is already doing a beautiful job, but it takes each other to become beautiful.