In this class, participants will discuss the meals offered to children in schools and how to create positive change within the system. We will work together to identify key opportunities and stakeholders within schools and discuss the challenges of moving programs forward. Class participants will learn how to push back against recently proposed changes to school nutrition regulations – the Trump administration’s so-called “roll backs.” Parents, educators, and concerned community members will engage in meaningful discussion about teaching through the lens of school meals as crucial resources for children, especially those who are low income and/or experiencing food insecurity.
Trainers: Kali Ransom previously served two years as a FoodCorps Service Member for the Springfield Public Schools district. In this role she connected students to healthy food and hands-on learning opportunities in classrooms, cafeterias, and gardens. She currently works as the interim FoodCorps Site Supervisor for the Springfield Public Schools District, where she supports the district in achieving their goals of increasing the quality of school meals and providing food education to students. Kali holds a BA from Hampshire College in Cultural and Education Studies.Sam Icklan is the Director of Chefs in Schools at Project Bread, a Massachusetts-based anti-hunger non-profit. Sam works with school districts across the Commonwealth providing culinary training, support, guidance and technical assistance to school food service professionals to transform the landscape of school food. Sam holds an MS in Food Systems and a professional certificate in Sustainable Food Systems Leadership from the University of Vermont.
Trainer: Irene “Strong Oak” Lefebvre, MSSA, is the Executive Director and co‐founder of the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition INC. She is of Mi’Kmaq and Maliseet descent. In 2017, Ms Lefebvre received the Visionary Voice Award from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, representing the state of Massachusetts in recognition of her work to end sexual violence. Ms. Lefebvre served on the Advisory Council for the National Sexual Resource Center from 2010‐2016. She is currently a Peer Cohort, representing VBCIC, with the Just Beginnings Collaborative, a funding organization that seeks to build a movement to end childhood sexual assault nationwide. Ms Lefebvre is a member of the Governor’s statutory Restorative Justice Advisory Committee in Massachusetts and is currently serving a six‐year term that began in November 2018. She is also a member of the Raliance Policy Group working on a three‐year study on mandated reporting and its impact on survivors from marginalized communities.
Class Description: Indigenous Circle Practice is a way to listen deeply, share openly, hold silence, and transform communities. We will gather in a circle on Earth Day, holding our feelings about the violation of our planet – we will feel our grief, express our hope, share our work, and be strengthened to face the road ahead. Under the sensitive guidance of Strong Oak and her many years of experience with Circle Practice, the group will honor the reverence of the space and the gathered group while sharing what lays on our hearts. You are invited to bring all your feelings – including weariness and despair. You will be fortified so that you can continue the work to confront this climate emergency – work that must be done by all of us. Everyone warmly welcome, join us.