Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Iya Amy Olatunji and Asantewaa Harris represented CVC at Growing Food & Justice for All Initiative in Milwaukee, Wisconsin We attended intensive workshops on constructing greenhouses and composting. We were hosted by Will Allen and the staff at Growing Power, Inc. Asantewaa led a Sunday break-out session and we were happy to record our comments on "You Tube".

Upon our return we were excited to learn that Will Allen received the prestigious MacArthur Award for his genius. CONGATULATIONS, Will!
Iya Olatunji celebrated her 79th birthday at the Hattie Carthan Garden as a Eco-Friendly Earth Day event with drumming, dancing, wonderful food and warm wishes for continued happiness. It was an amazing gathering, inspiring and with a well of wisdom. the guest list was intergenerational from babes in arms to her 90 years "young" cousin. Our elders surely know how to party hearty...

CVC was a participant of the CUNY Social Forum at City College of New York. We conducted a workshop entitled: Community Food Solutions
 with Community Vision Council
 Speakers: Asantewaa Gail Harris, Iya Amy Olatunji, Brother Abdul
 (He gave a wonderful report on the harvest of our organic seedlings!) and Ras Oba; Brother Isaac of Afrikan Zion Organic Roots Farm in Vermont. Community Vision Council/CVC began grass roots organizing in NYC to address community issues relating to food insecurity, high rates of obesity, diabetes and other food related health conditions burdening people of color that are PREVENTABLE. We introduced our inter-generational partners who are traditional & non-traditional health professionals who are using culturally based creative ways (music, dance, spoken word, books & film) to advance healthy choices for healthy living. Our work reaches thousands who reside in NYC's communities of color. We highlighted a few of the successes & challenges that we face in our campaign to promote WELLNESS.

CVC is also happy to report that Ras Che is in Caribbean as part of the Pastors for Peace/IFCO "Construction Brigade" helping to rebuild areas ravaged by recent hurricanes. Rev. Walker has returned to NYC and said that Che and the team are doing an excellent job. While the original focus was Gustav & Ike, just last week the island was hit again by Hurricane Paloma. Anyone wanting to help should call Pastors for Peace at 212/926-5757
CVC is participating in organizing a New York Chapter of Growing Food & Justice For All Initiative to enable the more that 25 New Yorkers that attended the Milwaukee Gathering to continue this work. We will look at ways to bring the technologies of “Dismantling Racism” to our food system work in New York.
In partnership with Just Food and the Wilson M. Morris Senior Center, CVC conducted another George Washington Carver workshop given by young Brother Farid. The topic was "Seed Saving" and over 20 seniors attended, some participated and got seeds of their own to plant.

Congratulations to us all for such an historical election on Nov. 4th. Now what can we each bring to realize the important work at hand, cause saying "Yes, We Can" just isn't enough? Skills, Talents, Visions, Ideas & Resources are welcomed at

November 18th 2008 6pm – 8pm – Local Food Economies “No Hunger, Cool the Planet Tour" will have a forum at CUNY Graduate Center 34th Street; 5th Avenue Room 9204. All are invited!
Look for CVC at the upcoming 2008 KWANZAA Celebrations.

Hold these 2009 events for your calendar!

January 3rd - Iya Olatunji's Eco Friendly pre-80th Birthday event at Von King Cultural Center (rsvp 718/670-3360 leave your name or email Asantewaa @

National Survivors Assembly March 2009 TX (Katrina & Gulf Storms)
Food for Thought Film Festival 2009 NY
Green Food Festival 2009 NY
Healthy Eating Festival 2009 NY
Urban Go GREEN 2009 NY
International Center for Traditional Childbearing Annual Conference
CUNY Social Forum NY
ZULU Nation 36th Anniversary Celebrating Hip Hop Culture
Heal Thyself Center

Monday, September 15, 2008


Community Vision Council is a coalition of committed activists who met in 2004 in Bushwick, Brooklyn NY at a gathering called “Solution Building @ the Roots”. We have organized, promoted and sponsored cultural education workshops, farmers markets and sustainable living projects. Our CVC Farmers Market has served a community district with over 100,000 residents from one of NYC’s poorest neighborhoods – Bushwick.


CVC is a visionary leader in the movement to claim dignified living for all human beings particularly in accessing the rights to food and health.

The great presentation you were giving to my children was wonderful and I really appreciate the time that you took to share it with us.

As a Director, I will always be in support of this program. This is a major way to educate our youth in bridging the generation gap with our seniors.

I made a wonderful stew with vegetables from the market and my husband raved about how delicious it was.

We support the mission of CVC and are encouraged by more opportunities for our students to learn and understand the importance of proper nutrition in all respects---from farm to table.

This program was very informative. The material was presented well and it was on the level of the children in the audience.

Thank you making emergency preparedness an important topic for our community. We will begin to conduct training sessions led by the important resources that you shared with us. And I want them to join us in Houston next year.

I believe workshops such as yours will improve relations between communities, age differences, races and religions. I look forward to more in the village of Harlem.

I am now a vegetarian!

Thank you for bringing “An Evening of Healing” to our school. I never had acupuncture done and the 16 Bean soup was fantastic.

Because I want a better world for my children and grandchildren, I put solar panels on the house. The sun shines all the time and cleaner energy is there.

CVC has been a life-line to a cancer survivor like me who juices my fruits and vegetables.

CVC’s aim is to build a community based response to the growing food system movement and to become catalysts for real change. CVC members & partners will participate in urban gardening (home, school & community sites), farming, farmers markets, CSAs, CSMs, Buyers Clubs, Collective Kitchens, entrepreneurship, & new business development that respectfully recognizes our identities, cultural traditions and legacy.


Ras Oba, Asantewaa Harris, Dafina Jacobs, Inez Hollis in Harlem

Afrikan Zion Organic Roots Farmers Ras Oba and his wife Dafina arrived in Harlem NY from their Vermont farm with organic seedlings for a new gardening initiative. Community Vision Council, local residents and friends are embarking on a campaign to “grow our own”. Three years ago, this beautiful family was the first farmers at the CVC Farmers Market and has always encouraged communities to grown their own food. And in the face of what is now being called a global food crisis, CVC began to explore possibilities.

We have raised beds in two local gardens – Senior Citizen Sculpture Garden & Park and PS 76 in Harlem and are encouraging family and friends to begin growing seeds, transplanting seedlings and explore sites to grow food. Back yards, front yard, window ledges, and roofs are all spaces that can be utilized for urban growing. And community groups such as Community Vision Council, Hope Steven Garden, Hip Hop Sustains and others are creating activities, workshops and resources that are intergenerational and available. Sharing what we have with our community, we are grooming the young ones and learning from those who came before us.

Harvest Time Garden & CVC "Sprouts" Nevaeh & Zianna Grant visit Harlem, NYC

Our elders know best what can be done to better prepare for hard times since they tell us stories about the Depression in the 30s, about Victory Gardens in the 40’s and some even recount tales of working on farms before migrating to northern cities. These valued tales shape the importance of the great farming legacy of our people. While new & trendy terms such as “organic”, “locally grown”, and “permaculture” are now used, we are looking to our roots for the great ancestral lessons of the late George Washington Carver, an agricultural genius. We are growing GREEN solutions.

Ras Che, Yarissa Herrera, Nu World Warrior at PS 76 School Garden

CVC is forging new partnerships with organizations, businesses and neighboring schools. Our mission remains saving lives – by building bridges, creating safety nets and finding solutions for ourselves, our families and our communities. Our vision is wellness.

We will be celebrating the birthday of George Washington Carver during July & August.

On July 24th, CVC hosted a "Happy Birthday Party" & workshop at Morris Wilson Senior Center in Harlem. And on the July 30th, we celebrated with Harlem Children's Zone at PS 76 School. We are deeply appreciate the support of the George Washington Carver National Memorial, CVC Members & Friends, CVC Elder Care Work Group, African Burial Ground, NY Historical Society & neighbors who help us with "Home Grown Sustainable Roots.


Solution Building @ the Roots

A Bunch of Women & He, Inc. AZ
African Burial Ground NY
Afrikan Zion Organic Roots Farm VT
Agricultural Mission, Inc. NY
Alliance of African American Artists
Brooklyn Rescue Mission NY
Brotherhood & SisterSol NY
City College of NY/SER NY
Climbing Poetree NY
Collective Flow NY
Designed Environment for
Experiential Learning NY
Food for Thought film Festival
4 Doors to Health institute FL
Green Food Festival NY
Green Thumb NY
Harlem Children’s Zone NY
Harlem Women International NY
Heal Thyself Center NY
Hip Hop Sustains NY
Inter-Religious Federation of
Community Organizations NY
Kalabash Food Co-op
Kwesi Kreations NY
Mo’ Better Food, CA
Nani Ola Productions NY
NY Coalition in Solidarity with
Katrina & Rita Survivors NY
PS 76 School Garden NY
Senior Citizens Sculpture Garden
& Park NY
Trinity Farm NY
United Recyclers Trucking, LLP
Uptown Juice Bar NY
Urban Justice Center
Wellness Works
WHCR 90.3 FM
Wilson M. Morris Senior Center


* Hurricane Season: a post-Katrina performance uprising National
* No Hunger, Cool Planet Tour Nov. 5-20, 2008 NY
* ZULU Nation
* Heal Thyself Center
* Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk January 2009
* National Survivors Assembly March 2009 TX (Katrina & Gulf Storms)
* Food for Thought Film Festival 2009 NY
* Green Food Festival 2009 NY
* Healthy Eating Festival 2009 NY

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Community Vision Council
301 Grove Street
Brooklyn NY 11237

Asantewaa Harris 718/670-3360

Our Fiscal Sponsor: IFCO
Inter-religious Foundation for Community Organization