Personally, this Congress had more meaning to me than the one in 2008 in San Francisco - even with the Slow Food Nation exhibit, which was like a mini-Terra Madre. The most impressionable part was the participation of the Slow Food on Campus reps - it was so good to see that the younger generation is immersing itself in such a movement as Slow Food.
Snail artwork at Woodland Farm
In a conference call with Slow food chapter leaders, SF USA's President, Josh Viertel, highlighted several major themes of the Congress:
1) The biggest theme was the broad commitment to good and clean and fair. We recommitted to those 3 core values; we are not giving up on any of them. This means that biodiversity and preservation of food traditions and food communities and the pleasure and sharing food are all part of our work. The work around fairness is also about biodiversity work, and vice versa.
2) We heard from Paolo di Croce, the Executive Director of Slow Food International, about our global priority to create 1,000 Gardens in Africa.
3) Amendments to the National Statute passed unanimously.
4) We also asked leaders to write down pledges what they will take home from the Congress. In the evaluation, some folks shared their pledges. Here are a few:
- “I pledge to sing a louder song about good, clean and fair food for all. I also pledge to strengthen our local leadership team so that the good work we've invested over the years will carry on with or without current leaders.”
- “When I am feeling stressed, overwhelmed and overburdened, and alone, I will remember the spirit of camaraderie, positivity, optimism, and fire that were present at the Congress and gather strength to continue the work!”
- “To renew my commitment to work on projects related to biodiversity and preserving the culture of food.”
- “Join the Southern region in sponsoring a garden for the 1,000 gardens in Africa project”
- “To open the door to bring more people of color to the movement.”
- “Drink more bourbon.” [ed. note: the Congress was held in Louisville, KY]
FYI - my pledge is to strengthen our leadership team by establishing an advisory team - a suggestion that was discussed during our Rocky Mountain Regional meeting.