Food Justice: A Living Tradition

The Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center is pleased to announce that its first ever Living Traditions Award will be presented to Jalal Sabur of Sweet Freedom Farm and the Freedom Food Alliance. Farmer, organizer, educator and innovator in the


 pursuit of a just food system, Sabur's work exemplifies the values of the Community of Living Traditions: justice, peace, nonviolence, earth-consciousness and radical hospitality.

Will Summers, farmer and food educator at Stony Point Center, will present the award to Sabur on October 26, 2014, at the first annual Farm-to-Table Gala, a harvest festival and fundraiser to support the continued development of Stony Point Center as a center for food justice and multifaith community organizing.

“Jalal's work stood out to us because of the way he uses farming and food distribution to promote social justice,” said Summers. “Through the Victory Bus Project, he pursues a unique mission to build bridges between the families of prisoners who live in the city with farming efforts in the rural communities where most prisoners are housed. At Stony Point Center, we want to see more of these sorts of innovative efforts toward food justice.”

Hailing from Greenburgh, NY, Sabur began organizing at a young age. While at SUNY Purchase College, he organized students to take all the food left over from the dining hall to local shelters and food pantry, organized trips to give out clothes and food to homeless in NYC, and as the president of the Black Student Union pushed the administration to address numerous racist incidents on campus and change the curriculum to make sure all students had to learn about people of color. In 2009, he became a community organizer with WESPAC Foundation and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and helped start the food justice committees within both organizations. As part of MXGM, he co-created Potential 2 Power Project in East New York, Brooklyn where he taught young people gardening skills, cooking and nutrition skills and did trainings on knowing your rights when you encounter the police. In 2011, he moved to Dutchess County and started farming with Wassaic Community Farm to grow produce for Farmers Markets, run a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and to do a gleaning project. Also while in Wassaic, he co-founded the Freedom Food Alliance, a collective of small rural and urban farmers, activists, artists, community folks and political prisoners who use food as an organizing tool. The Alliance started the VROOM Cooperative and Victory Bus Project to connect urban and rural communities and to support families of prisoners with transportation to prison in the Hudson Valley and a box of farm fresh food.

As a recipient of the Living Traditions Award, Sabur will receive $1000 which is intended to encourage and support his leadership and/or any of his initiatives. He will also receive a gift certificate for use of Stony Point Center for personal retreat or meeting space for his organization's needs. He will also provide a teaching about his work at the Farm-to-Table Gala on October 26.

Stony Point Center is a national conference center of the Presbyterian Church in Rockland County that offers affordable accommodations and a welcoming environment for activists and visionaries of all stripes to convene, discern, learn and plan. The campus is also home to an intentional multifaith community called the Community of Living Traditions which strives to put into practice the legacy of hospitality and strategic nonviolence that exists within each faith tradition.

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