Rapping at RIC

Hundreds of youth (and a few of us from WhyHunger!) gathered at the end of July in South Los Angeles for the 15th annual Rooted in Community (RIC) Youth Leadership Summit, themed this year “Reclaiming Our Land, Reclaiming Our Roots.” While there is a ton to share, we’d like to start with a rap from Dante Kaleo, from the food justice program of Farm Fresh Choice, a program of Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA, that gets at the heart of reclaiming our land, addressing and calling for action to combat climate change:

“We need to make changes to the lives that we’re livin’ in the present/better protect the gifts we was given./Temperatures risen/we need revision to these conditions./Let’s utilize our intuitions and start making better decisions.”

See the rap in its entirety in the video and text below, and be on the lookout for more stories and highlights from RIC2013.


I said it must because the melting in the poles polar bears getting scared, like bro, where’d all the snow go? Homie what you know ‘bout how temperature grows? What it do CO2? Why you warming up the globe? We need to make changes to the lives that we’re livin’ in the present better protect the gifts we was given Temperatures risen we need revision to these conditions Let’s utilize our intuitions and start making better decisions.

(Verse 1)

Let’s take it to the basis, we in the midst of changes We need better education, because this ignorance is dangerous No thanks to corporations, or your local petrol station Earth’s facing incineration, let’s prepare this generation Stop being so complacent with the mutation, climate’s changing babies raised in civilization with temperatures that are raising Somehow it seems Earth’s sick with no vaccine greenhouse gases so extreme, and there’s no way to contain them corporations misbehaving, emissions law we need to make them otherwise we’re all facing entire cities of misplacement flash floods, forests flaming, faulty animal migration Hella habitats gone so fast you thought they were evaporating disgracing, the whole race of all us human beings Watching Mother Nature bleed disregarding the planet’s needs Indeed, can’t you see you’ve just been blinded by greed? Will we cease to breathe or will we start planting seeds?

(Verse 2)

The future may not look bright, but don’t get lost in fear or fright you should go outside bro, you could ride your bike you should go outside cuz, you could fly a kite breathe fresh air and start to care about the world that gave you life you don’t get it twice so I hope you live it right Mother nature your creator, you’d better treat your mama nice Mother nature your creator, you’d better treat your mama nice You could call me Captain Planet, or maybe Al Gore I’m greener than Herbivores screaming “The Power is Yours!” it’s Pollution vs solution, tell me what’s the score but this isn’t a game, no, it’s an environmental war they toil for oil in desert soil until the planet’s spoiled bound to boil in turmoil unless we foil the royal’s political confusion, we need our leaders in our movement the planet needs restitution, green revolution’s our solution.

Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #RIC2013 and see RIC in action on its Facebook page.

Rooted in Community (RIC) is a national grassroots network of youth and adults working together toward community resilience through urban and rural agriculture, community gardening, food security, culinary training, social enterprise, and environmental justice work. The Centers for Disease Control predict that one in three of today’s youth will develop diabetes in their lifetime, but these youth are confronting that head on: “As youth, we are on the frontlines of our broken food system – that’s what motivates us to make real change. Like all movements for justice in our country’s history, we believe youth are the catalyst for systemic change”, says 20-year old youth organizer and 2012 Brower Youth Award winner Maya Salsedo from Oakland, CA. At the summit, participants and mentors will cultivate skills and share strategies for youth leadership in food justice and community organizing.

Brooke Smith