Thanksgiving is a time of abundance, and a time of celebration for all we are grateful for. Before I reflect on the long list of reasons we feel so thankful this year, Grow Jackson wants to acknowledge our history. While we know that none of us personally were a part of erasing indigenous heritage and rights to the space we live in, it is important that we recognize this uncomfortable aspect of history so all people can work towards a more just and secure future for everyone.
Our community is on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabe (A-nish-a-na-bae) people. This nation is comprised of, at least here, the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Odawa peoples who are unified as Anishinaabe by many cultural practices, beliefs, and their spoken language. For centuries, they were stewards of the lands we now live on. Grow Jackson is committed to centering indigenous recognition. We acknowledge that we ourselves were not indigenous to this land. However, we too are committed to caring for the Earth and being good stewards of all that she provides, meaning we want to implement many of the same beliefs into our programs about useful agriculture and the power of an abundant food system.
This year we are grateful to have incorporated, received our first donation, and made so many wonderful connections. We met mentors, collaborators, and supporters and without them, none of what we do would be possible. In this season of abundance, we remember why we started this work and why we believe so strongly in the mission of Grow Jackson. Many of our neighbors do not experience abundance, and many more do not experience abundance with nourishing food that is fresh and healthy.
Our secretary Jack on what he is grateful for, “This year more than ever, I am thankful for the good health of my friends, family, and everybody I see day-to-day. With what seems like turmoil going on in every avenue of life, I am thankful that I have been able to continue my education and retain a job with only minor setbacks. As a pandemic ravages our country and hunger rises at a rate never seen in my lifetime, I am thankful that I can enjoy a meal every day and that people are working to ensure that those struggling will get that simple right too.”
While we know there is much work to be done, at Grow Jackson we are grateful to have the chance to engage in work we believe in. We are lucky to have the opportunity to be in Jackson. We are thankful for all of you.
-Jacob Inosencio, Board President