March 08, 2018

What does sustainability mean to you?
"Sustainability is a holistic perspective that considers the intersections of society and the environment, acknowledging inequalities and working to create equitable systems that promote and sustain the health and wellbeing of the environment and ALL people, regardless of their positionality. "
What sustainable practice do you live by in your daily life?
"I try to engage in a waste free lifestyle (reusable water bottle, bulk food etc), changed my diet to reflect my moral understanding of our food systems (from animal agriculture to farmworker inequalities) and garden. Aside from environmental health, I am working to make time for self care which can be anything from making nourishing food to drinking tea with a face mask on."
What sustainable practice does FSWG Practice?

"I believe all of the work we do is an effort to create sustainable food systems. For example, the Demeter Seed Library works hard to maintain and preserve local biodiversity through sustaining the genetic integrity of heirloom and open pollinated seed. To create a sustainable food system we must start with our seed, as David Robles (second year CASFS apprenticeship) shared 'The best way to control people is through food and the best way to control food is through seed'. "
What is FSWG and what is your position there?
"The Food Systems Working Group (FSWG, pronounced ‘fiz-wig’) is a student led organization within CASFS--supported by amazing staff--that tackle issues within our food system from different angles through our various programs, including : Produce Pop Up, Demeter Seed Library, Rachel Carson College Garden, Real Food Calculator and our Food Access and Basic Needs Team. From seed to produce to pantry to vendor, we work to create a just food system that supports folx at every stage. I am one of two co-chairs and see my role as a connecting force that aims to build long lasting relationships within and around our campus community as well as provide support for my team and the community at large."
Is there anything you would like students to know about FSWG?
"The Food Systems Working Group welcomes all folx to become part of our team! We hope to nurture and support all members of our community through our programs and services."
How would you describe your experience at inter-org and would you recommend it?
"Inter-org is always an inspirational gathering, full of energizing speakers and workshops and motivated staff, students and alumni. It provides a wonderful space for folx to get together and build community, collaborations, and movements centered around justice."
What is your long-term vision for UCSC?
"I hope UCSC can become a model for food justice, labor justice, racial justice, educational justice, environmental justice and so much more. "
Do you think UC’s should join forces to become more sustainable, are there
things we should learn from each other and apply it?
"I find it silly that the UC’s are so disconnected as I believe there is huge potential to create much needed change through collaboration. That being said this year I have had the pleasure to work with a group of folx at other UC farm and gardens who have also seen the need for a closer UC community. The result of this has been amazing! We have learned from each other's errors and successes and have been able to support each other in ways that would not have been possible without this network. It’s so beautiful to see this willingness to share and learn, all the while empowering other students."
What are your thoughts on Food justice?
"Everyone everywhere should be discussing and engaging in Food Justice! To me, Food Justice is all about listening to and elevating the voices of communities that have been most harmed by the dominant power structures that shape our food system. Furthermore, we must actively combat and dismantle the systems that are creating injustice and work towards a future that is diverse, inclusive and equitable."
Does sustainability only mean taking care of the planet, if it doesn’t explain?
"The dominant narrative of sustainability has solely focused on the natural ecologies, the flora and fauna around us, which is problematic in that it separates humans from the environment when in fact we are part of nature no matter how removed we feel. Conversations around sustainability MUST include topics of social and cultural health and longevity. Sustainability includes the health of human communities and ecologies as well as those of plants and animals all the while considering the wellbeing of future generations."
Is there a message you would like UCSC students to know?

"Be critical, be critical of the systems you live in. Have compassion for yourself and

your community.  Advocate for those who are silenced."