On February 20 and 21, Food for the Spirit co-hosted a two-day, in-person Public Narrative Training in Albany NY for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other farmers, gardeners, and food systems actors of color in New York State. The purpose of the training was to engage participants in advocacy around the 2023 Farm Bill Campaign, and it was hosted in collaboration with our partners: Black Farmers United NYS, Equity Advocates, and the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust.
More than 20 participants attended the training to learn how to strategically construct a narrative focusing on one or more urgent food issues impacting them and their communities. They developed narratives that merged their personal food story with the story of the communities / organizations they belong to, and by the end of the training, each participant had a narrative they crafted to use when speaking with politicians or other Farm Bill decision-makers.
“I learned how to better narrate my story by being concise and how to ‘draw a picture’ when telling it. Making it short and to the point but drawing in the audience leaves a greater impression.“
“I had not been to a public narrative training, so the entire curriculum was new to me. It helped me think through the best way to approach a personal story that connects to broader groups / communities I’m connected to, and urgent issues that are most pressing at the current moment.”
“I want to bring this to our Buffalo network, and think through how this kind of approach can be used to build solidarity as well as consensus about important initiatives to focus on together.”
“The Public Narrative Training was very informative and supportive of everyone’s needs and accommodations. We left with a wealth of knowledge to take back to our communities and make a change.”
“I really appreciated not just the chance to develop a framework and language to tell my own story, but to hear from others and feel in community with folks with similar values. It makes me feel hopeful to know this network is being created.”
“I really felt like I built a lot of camaraderie with the other Public Narrative Training attendees in a way I have never experienced before at an event or training. It made it so meaningful for me.”