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HISTORY
Fifteen years ago, two high school aged youth from The Food Project were in Seattle attending the 1998 American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) conference. They were engaged in food systems work in Boston and knew that there must be other youth doing that type of work around the country, but none were present at the conference. They voiced their idea that there should be a conference for youth and by youth to connect the many young people taking action for food justice. The Food Project and ACGA then teamed up the following year to host the first annual Rooted in Community Conference. With just over 70 attendees gathering in Boston for that first gathering, it was clear that something important was hatched. Over the last decade and a half, RIC has hosted 15 National Conferences, facilitated numerous regional gatherings and youth leadership trainings, mentored over 100 organizations while facilitating the sharing of best practices in the field, and supported youth in crafting the Youth Food Bill of Rights. RIC functioned as an all volunteer run organization for it’s first decade of work. In 2010, RIC hired its first part time Co-Directors and created an Advisory Council made up of youth and adults in the RIC Network.