Youth leaders share strategies to strengthen communities at National Food & Fitness Youth Gathering

On July 31-August 3, 2012, nearly two dozen youth leaders from Food & Fitness Collaboratives across the country gathered on Thompson Island in Boston, MA to participate in the National Food & Fitness Youth Gathering. CANFIT, a nonprofit organization that works with communities to improve food and fitness environments for low-income youth of color, convened the gathering with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

At the National Food & Fitness Youth Gathering, youth leaders mapped out the history of social movements, including the civil rights and women’s movements. They then reviewed their own work within the Food and Fitness Initiative and connected it to other movements on a movement map.

Youth also discussed how adults sometimes tell stories about their work, rather than inviting youth to tell their own stories. They learned different communications strategies and created a Pecha Kucha-style presentation, which could be used to share their work with adults and peers in their home communities. The youth also provided direct feedback to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation regarding how to best involve youth in future programming and connect to national efforts to strengthen our food systems and built environments.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has supported nine Food & Fitness Collaboratives since 2006. These Collaboratives have empowered communities to address their most pressing food and physical activity issues. Youth have often been a core part of these Collaboratives, and have participated in building neighborhood gardens, starting farmers markets, and creating streets that are safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.   

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is proud to support emerging leaders. View inspiring moments from the Food and Fitness Youth Gathering in Boston as told through their own photos, videos, and tweets.

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“Empleen el dinero del modo en que crean conveniente, siempre y cuando promueva la salud, la felicidad y el bienestar de los niños.” - Will Keith Kellogg

“Sèvi ak lajan an jan w vle depi se sante timoun, byennèt timoun ak kè kontan pou timoun w ap ankouraje.” - W.K. Kelòg