EJEAC and Community Food Justice
The Women’s Environmental Institute was established on the principle that our environmental justice work needs to be, at its heart, community-based and community-led – as a matter both of sustainability and of racial and gender equity. As a result, our most successful initiatives have consistently adhered to that principle and been developed as collaboratives or coalitions of community-based groups. The earliest Environmental Justice Education and Advocacy Collaboratives (EJEACs) which WEI initiated were the Phillips Environmental Justice Steering Committee Initiative (PESCI) and the East Metro Environmental Justice Education and Advocacy Collaborative.
North Circle Project
The aim of WEI’s North Circle Project is to promote the health and integrity of our rural communities and to address and eliminate rural poverty by supporting small family farms through collaborative sustainable agricultural practices. This will eventually include a local food hub to distribute this produce to local consumers, health providers, food-related businesses and other markets.
Community Food Justice Council
Community Food Justice Council is in partnership with the Environmental Justice Association of Minnesota (EJAM) to organize and develop grower collectives.
Support WEI’s work with urban farmers that WEI is working with to develop, share and reclaim knowledge, skills and information traditional food crops that are culturally specific for the Indigenous American Indian, Latino, Hmong, African American and African immigrant people who are becoming active participants in this project.
WEI partnered with Hennepin County and Longfellow Neighborhood to receive a Phase One U.S. Environmental Protection Agency CARE (Community Action for a Renewed Environment) grant which enabled us to survey residents and businesses along the Hiawatha Corridor to determine priorities for environmental clean-up and positive economic development opportunities. However, Phase Two of the EPA CARE grant was paused and then cancelled by US government sequestration and shut down.
Minnesota Women, Food & Ag Network
In 2014 Women’s Environmental Institute became the Minnesota host of the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network with the aim of bringing Minnesota women farmers together! We had our first meeting at the 2014 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) Organic Farming Conference. Two major goals that came out of our brainstorming at the MOSES lunch were (1) create a listserv for communication among MN women farmers & (2) create regional WFAN groups in Minnesota.
Amador Sunrise Land Registry
This year, Registry members enjoyed the opportunity to participate in WEI’s Prairie School hikes, led by naturalist Dave Crawford. The autumn gathering was a special event co-hosted by Wild River State Park on the topic of water quality in the St. Croix and Sunrise Rivers, featuring guest speaker Dr. Jim Almendinger, Sr. Scientist at the St. Croix Watershed Research Station. It was a wonderful and well-attended presentation, with important information that is now posted as a feature article on the website St. Croix 360.