In 2023, internally and across our network, NESAWG hopes to lead the transformation of a just and equitable Northeast farm and food system. We talked with Eric Jackson to see how his impact at the Black Yield Institute in Baltimore is already paving the way for our collective work in the region.
Eric Jackson at the Black Yield Institute (BYI) wears many hats. More than the Co-founder, Eric is also an educator, author, organizer, and even lends his multimedia creativity to creating BYI podcasts and skits.
One of their recent skits promoted the grand opening of the Cherry Hill Market in September 2022. The Cherry Hill Market is a project of the Black Yield Institute and the Cherry Hill Food Co-op, whose missions aim to end food apartheid through Black land and food sovereignty. The people who work and shop at the co-op—all of whom are part-owners of the cooperative, and many of whom were born and raised in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore—democratically make decisions relating to its operations, ensuring that all community members have a say in the inner workings of the store.
Eric reminds us that relationships are at the root of building cooperative community.
As we connect with you this winter season, we hold Eric’s wisdom close to heart.
It’s your commitment to sustainable agriculture, equity in the food system, and hearty support of one another that makes the NESAWG community—and the tremendous relationships within it—possible.
It’s also sustainable co-op models like Cherry Hill’s that shift and move the money from corporate wealth to community wealth. Like Eric, we hope to build our community wealth as a region, strengthen our relationships, and drive our own democratic decisions.
In service of this hope, next year, we will embark on a deep and intentional long-term transformation with the focus of creating a farm and food system for all that is regenerative, scalable and replicable.
To do this well, it will require us to continue to nurture our relationships with everyone in our network. Doing so will allow us to have meaningful discussions of discovery, solidarity, and action planning. Convening these discussions across the region requires resources—to fund gatherings, transportation, housing, and/or childcare for farmers, growers, and practitioners from across the 13 geographical areas in our network.
In gratitude and community,
P.S. Just for fun—once you’ve made a donation, forward this email to three equity-loving friends with your answer to the question, “what’s possible when we shift corporate wealth to collective wealth in our communities?”