As we commence this second month, and lunar New Year, belated wishes for a productive year filled with life’s bounty, and useful lessons.
I start this welcome note with a public thank you to Dave, for his vision and leadership to connect urban communities to the power of food through theMOVE. Since accepting this role, I have been diligently preparing by talking with, and learning from theMOVE’s partners and friends.
Also, I will openly share that success can only be attained by leaning on the powerful work of the past, the collective experiences & support of each of you, and a close relationship with the people we serve. As I pen this note and assess the work ahead, I am met with enthusiasm and prudence. I feel assured by the messages and offers of support received, coupled with my training and connection to farm, food and community.
As we kick start 2014, it is important that we share some of our plans for this year, since we may look a little bit different from we previously did. We have decided as theMOVE grows, to take an introspective review of our work, impact, and relevance so we may make strategic next steps to further our mission.
We will spend some more time on organizational development, but do not worry, our farm volunteer trips are already being planned; our aim is to take another 500 urban youth & dwellers out on farm experiences in 2014. This is a smaller number than last year, but a very necessary step back in order to deepen our work. Here are some of our plans:
- We will spend some time formalizing our organization’s systems, strengthening partnerships, and closely reviewing our impact. Despite this, we will remain committed to grassroots, continues our mission of connecting diverse urban dwellers to fresh food, and sustains the labor and land that sustain us.
- In the next few weeks, we will move into a collaborative work space with 3 other superb organizations who work on food, sustainable farming and social justice (stay tuned for more on that).
- Our Steward Circle remains active with fund-raising through Put a Kid on the Bus, in order to cover the cost of our youth programs. We welcome your contributions via Rally.org. To our Steward Circle and those who have contributed, thank you.
- theMOVE recently welcomed a new board of directors; an extraordinary group with multifaceted experiences and perspectives. Also, our core group of volunteers who serve as trip- co leaders and event committee members remain committed to our mission and supporting us this year.
Again, thank you and see you soon, ideally at one of our farm volunteer workdays, or other community engagement events.
Tamika R. Francis, Executive Director