Summer isn’t summer at FEEST without our annual intern leadership camp. A cohort of interns from Chief Sealth International High School and the Evergreen Campus gathered for 10 days to bond, play, and dive deep on issues like anti-oppression, food systems & food justice, facilitation skills, media making, sensory development & cooking skills.
This interview was conducted by FEEST’s Operations Manager, Juniper Rogneby, with first year intern Alexa Harris , a rising junior at Chief Sealth International High School. Alexa got hooked on FEEST after visiting a dinner on assignment from her school’s yearbook.
Juniper Rogneby: Three weeks ago, before camp started, what did you think camp would be like – what did you think it would be about?
Alexa Harris: Well, when I went into it super blind. Like I had gone to Detroit with FEEST for Allied Media Conference but other than that I’d never really spent a whole lot of time with everyone together, all the interns I mean. So I was mostly just super duper excited.
JR:What surprised you the most about camp?
AH: I was really surprised about about the certain things we learned, like anti-oppression. Even though I have started relating and connecting things to food justice, FEEST continues to surprise me with all the things (food justice) connects to.
JR: Tell me some specific things about anti-oppression that you learned.
AH: Well, how your area code can tell how long you’ll live.* That still hits home for me.
JR: Did you bring that information home and share it with people in your family or community?
AH: Totally. I came home and told my mom and my grandma all about it. They were both really surprised. I definitely plan on bringing it back to my GSA when the school year starts. Especially because most of them live in the White Center/Delridge community and they are of color.
JR: Can you define “food justice” for me?
AH: For me, it means that everyone has equal access to healthy foods. Everyone is happy and healthy because healthy food isn’t too expensive or too far away.
JR: New topic: tell me about the intern team. Did anyone surprise you?
AH: Definitely. Some people completely came out of their shells. I had class with some other interns last year and I never ever would’ve expected that – they were talking to us all and sharing ideas, it was crazy!
JR: Tell me one new thing you ate during camp.
AH: Oh shoot, what were those things called? Falafel? Those were AMAZING. Like I could eat them for the rest of my life!
With special thanks to both Reel Grrls and Anna Goren for the fantastic workshops and to the Seattle Youth Garden Works crew for hosting us on a heart-expanding field trip, torrential downpour and all!
*Want to learn more about the correlation between zip code and health outcomes? Check out these two great resources:
Great map-based infographic on select US cities by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Regional data on life expectancy in King County: King County Health Profile published December 2014. FEEST currently serves youth in two schools in the Highline and Seattle school districts. Delridge and North Highline are the corresponding communities described in the King County data report.
[The interview was condensed and edited.]