“Beyond Organic” Produce Seeks to Fuse Critical Thinking and Sustainable Living

Founded by the Southern California Chapter of the Party in 1977,Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU) continues in the spirit of the Panthers to serve the people, body, and soul!

I met some Black Panthers when I came to Los Angeles for the first time in 1994, and in them I saw the personification of the term “loving the people”. Founded by the Southern California Chapter of the Party in 1977, Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU) continues in the spirit of the Panthers to serve the people, body, and soul! CSU seeks to create justice-driven community-rooted programs that build critical thinking and sustainable living.

Our Village Marketplace increases access to healthy foods in our community while generating income for CSU, reducing our dependence on foundation grants. We sell & distribute the fresh, “beyond organic” produce grown by local farmers & in our mini-farms to local restaurants, caterers, and corner stores in our community at a competitive price. The Marketplace also allows us to create meaningful jobs for young adults, who are part of our From the Ground UP! programs and participate in all aspects of the Marketplace.

With community support we have recently we have recently purchased the Paul Robeson Center where we are bulding South LA’s First Organic Produce & Grocery Market as part of a Community Wellness Center. We are raising funds for the build out and appreciate any and all support in our fundraising campaign.

We believe that high quality, culturally appropriate food it is a basic human right and believe increasing access to it as a critical component of social justice. Through this, we remain committed to the work of breaking down systemic inequalities and barriers by engaging those most affected in defining the issues that impact them and envisioning & creating solutions through collective effort.

Like our founders we are working towards a society where our existence is no longer necessary. For the past two decades, I’ve been faced with the task of operating a grassroots organization with at least half a foot in the non-profit industrial complex. I have often turned to our founders, to their writings, their practices, the best of what they achieved, as well as to their mistakes to help me navigate this path.

In an effort to record and remember our Founder’s vision, I am proud to say that we have begun to document some of the history behind who we are today as part of the Sankofa exhibit being held at the Williams Grant Still Arts Center. This multi-media and multi-disciplinary project will debut a large collection of photographs, artwork, and other original materials tracking CSU’s from its inception in the Free Breakfast for Children Program to our current work in the Paul Robeson Center.

We will be hosting a launch event for the exhibit on Oct 31st which special appearances by International basketball player-turned-farmer Will Allen of Growing Power, D'artagnan Scorza of the Social Justice Learning Institute, Kadiri Sennefer Ra of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Coalition, and members of the CSU team.

Please join us for a dialogue, music and great food and take the opportunity to see the other inspiring collections that are part of this West Adams Collectors Club exhibit.

WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

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Good News

Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape www.youtube.com

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Coal mining is on the decline, leaving many coal miners in West Virginia without jobs. The Mine Safety and Health Administration says there are about 55,000 positions, and just 13,000 of those jobs are in West Virginia. The dwindling amount of work is leaving some struggling to make a living, but the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective is giving those coal miners a way to find new jobs and make a supplemental income as coal mining diminishes.

The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective trains coal miners and other low-income residents in mining communities to keep bees. Some coal miners are getting retrained to work in the tech industry, however beekeeping allows coal miners to continue to work in a job that requires a similar skill set. "The older folks want to get back to work, but mining is never going to be like it was in the '60s and '70s, and there is nothing to fall back on, no other big industries here, so all of these folks need retraining," former coal miner James Scyphers told NPR. "Beekeeping is hands-on work, like mining, and requires on-the-job training. You need a good work ethic for both."

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Photo by Stella de Smit on Unsplash

There was once a time in Florida where you could park your boat in your front lawn, but you were SOL if you wanted to grow squash and lettuce there. However, thanks to one Miami Shores couple, that's about to change.

Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll had been growing a front yard garden for 17 years, but in 2013, Miami Shores changed its city ordinance, making the activity illegal. The new city ordinance said that backyard vegetable gardens were a-OK, but Ricketts and Carroll couldn't keep a garden in their backyard because it didn't get enough sun. So the couple could either dig up their garden or face $50 in daily fines for letting it continue to grow. The couple opted to do neither and instead, they sued the city.

Ricketts and Carroll took their case to the Florida Supreme Court. Initially, the courts sided with Miami Shores, but the fight wasn't over. Florida State Senator Rob Bradley introduced legislation preventing "a county or municipality from regulating vegetable gardens on residential properties." Earlier this year, the Senate passed the bill 35-5.

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