Fighting for Food Justice: San Diego Community Heroes
On Feb 10th, 2023, our Urban Food Equity team, including Lakisha McZeal, Nghi Dang, and Elle Mari, debuted their new (very) short film entitled, Fighting for Food Justice: San Diego Community Heroes. The idea for this film came about when we (the UFE team) wanted a creative way to document and share the capacity building work we do, and more so, to have an opportunity to tell the stories of some of the impressive partners we work with on improving access to good food in San Diego County.
In the summer of 2022, we hired the local film production firm, Hynt Films, and began scouting partner site locations, preparing our film participants, and gearing up for the rather surprising amount of work that goes into producing a 6-minute film. By the fall of 2022, we finished post production and had a beautiful product to share out with the world. But we didn’t. We waited! We decided the best way to honor our partners and all the hard work everyone put into the film was to host a fun night of celebration for a proper debut.
Together, with our community partner POC Fungi Community (POCFC), we hosted a Community Food Justice Heroes Night at Foodshed in City Heights. Mario and Patricia Ceballos of POCFC led an informative and nourishing cooking demo featuring huitlacoche, and then showed the group’s new short film, Flor de Maiz. Afterwards, we showed our film and invited our film participants, Fruitería Nayarit, Pixca Farm, and I Am My Brother’s Keeper, to share their experiences with the audience. In addition to our heroes of honor and their guests, over 50 people attended, including our filmmakers from Hynt, San Diego Food System Alliance, Project New Village, Porchlight Community Services, County of San Diego HHSA, Monarch School, Second Chance Youth Garden, UC San Diego Health, among many others. We were overwhelmed with a great deal of thoughtful positive feedback at the night’s conclusion. We hope to host another event in the near future to show the film again and uplift the stories of our community-based partners, farmers, grocery market owners, and food pantry workers.