Last weekend, MomsRising invited me to join their first Good Food Force in Washington, D.C. Having contributed on MomsRising.org few times and activitely particpated in the their weekly #FoodFri Twitter chats, I was very aware of the changes the Good Force Food strives for through lobbying and educating.
MomsRising is an amazing hive of power hitter moms. This online community supports women’s and familes’ issues that impact our nation. Our words and our voices are powerful and Moms Rising recognizes that together we can be the change.
I was truly honored to share this expereince with community leaders and social justice activisits who serve to empower women and fight for issues impacting our families. Basically the #GFFDC14 seved as a summit to explain in depths the purpose and mission behind the Good Food Force movement.
Upon our arrvial at the Carlyle Suites Hotel, we were greeted with welcome reception and dinner. After briefly networking and introducing ourselves , we watched a documentary, Cafeteria Man. In the film, we discover one man’s conquest to change school lunches in an urban school district in Maryland.
Chef Tony battled bureaucracy and faced resistance but his perservance helped weave healthy eating and an appreciation for real food in the framewrok of the school curriculum through hands-on learning and real world experiences. With multiple field trips to farms, resturants and food service centers, he educated parents and faculty as welll as created students who became lifelong real food comsumers and career opportunities for high school students.
After viewing Cafeteria Man, we explored the film deeper with a Q&A session with the director, Richard Chisolm. He encouraged us to share the film and host viewing parties to help educate our own communities. Chisolm applauded our commitment and encouraged us to keep fighting the Good Food Force fight.
Saturday’s presentation at the Dupont Circle Hotel consisted of panel speakers that shared staggering statistics and research to build urgency for unprocessed and healthy food for our children in schools. Our children are the most influential consumers and therefore, can be easily molded into lifelong consumers and brand loyalty through direct marketing tactics. Companies such as McDonalds market to our children though with cute, friendly mascots and advergames.
In the afternoon, we were formally welcomed via Skype by Moms Rising founder, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, who echoed the MomsRising mission and thanked us for our efforts and contributions.
After Krisin’s brief salutations, we broke-out to attend two of four available workshops. All four offered hands-on informative and constructive workshops to help effectively craft our voice and written word and demonstrate how to implement those skills effectively in our communities.
For the first session, I participated in a public speaking workshop where I underwent a mock taped interview. After the interview, we watched the taped segment where the speaker and other participants shared feedback about my on camera performance and discussed ways to improve my speaking style. Although I was congratulated for my message, I learned I need to make more eye-contact and to keep my hands below the camera shot.
In the second workshop, I learned the importance of writing to the edtior. Submitting letters to newspaper editors is still one of the most effective ways to share a viewpoint and message. With writing to local papers as well blogging and contributing to sites like MomsRising, writers can connect, share expertise and knoweledge with an audience who identify with our stories and experiences.
As part of the writing workshop, we were instructed to write for five minutes and then share our very rough drafts with the group. Despite the time-constraint, the women wovepassion and heart-felt tales into their short brief passages, which any audience would empathize with.
After a long day of work, we also found time to play by taking a Moonlight Monument tour.
Reading multiple poignant, powerful quotes on the monuments only mirrored all the lessons and information we absorbed hours before in the #GFFDC conference. Each of us has the voice and power to make a difference. We just need to believe we possess that power to be the change we see.
“From the mountain of despair, came a stone of hope.”
Disclaimer: As an active MomsRising.org member, I received an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the MomsRising GFFDC14. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.