Movement Building

We work with residents and partners to build momentum for long-term change. Our movement-building work intentionally seeks to acknowledge and challenge the impacts of racism and other oppressions on the systems that run our communities.

We are a part of two coalitions and several partnerships to move forward with campaigns and projects that increase food and land sovereignty in New London.

Putting the “Culture” Back in Agriculture

We lift the contributions that Indigenous peoples and other Black and Brown people have made to sustainable agriculture. We acknowledge that our community should have a say in their food access. We fight to reduce unnecessary barriers to food access points so people can get the resources they need and want. We strive to create conditions for all people to access food with dignity.

Save the Mercer Community Garden and Gathering Space

The Mercer Community garden and gathering space was a part of the Martin Center, New London’s former (and only) community center. After 20 years of deferred maintenance, the City sold the building and lot for $1 to a developer to build high-end condos.

In 2020, we fought to secure a 5-year lease for our garden space. Once the lease is up, we will fight to renew and keep control of this land.

People Budget Coalition

  • The People’s Budget Coalition fights to ensure that City resources are used to benefit Black, Brown, and Indigenous people and poor and working-class families. In 2020, we surveyed nearly 1000 people to see what is most important to them. The coalition was able to secure more funding for youth services, youth employment, and public parks. We successfully fought to reduce increases to the New London Police Department budget.
  • Coalition members include Hearing Youth Voices, FRESH New London, and several committed community activists.

Food Justice Action Team of the Health Improvement Collaborative of SECT

FRESH New London convenes the Food Justice Action Team. Through training, policy, and partnerships we work to ensure that all residents have access to food with dignity, at all food access points.
We have two main initiatives:
1. Change the food assistance system so that all people access food with dignity.
2. Make local, culturally appropriate crops available to low-income consumers. Our role is to ensure that local residents have a say in the final projects, that projects are culturally responsive, and that they truly address systemic racism and other oppressions prevalent in the food system.

The Health Improvement Collaborative of SECT (HIC) is a group of organizations and community members committed to a vision of Southeastern CT as a community healthy in body and mind that promotes access, health equity, social justice, inclusiveness, and opportunities for all. In the 2019 CHNA, the HIC called out “Racism as a Public Health Issue” in order to take intentional steps to dismantle its impacts.

Learn more and check out our 2021 panel series: Racism as a Public Health Issue on the HIC website.