Mmpowered Youth Cook Up Food Justice Stories in the SFC Kitchen

Aaaand . . . Action! This summer, SFC was thrilled to host MPOWERED, a youth program that focuses on Media Literacy, Food Justice, and African American Quality of life. The program engages black youth actively in developing and implementing solutions to health and wellness issues in their community, through creative media. When they asked if they could use the SFC Teaching Kitchen to make a film about food justice, we couldn't say yes fast enough.


The Scene:

For this youth media and food justice camp, the kids crafted a short film about health and wellness issues affecting local African­ American communities to be screened at the Capital City Black Film Festival, which was held August 21-23.

During their visit to SFC, youth partners experienced a cooking demo of the "A Taste of African Heritage" Program with Oldways. Program Manager Sarah McMackin and chef/curator/author Toni Tipton Martin prepared a meal with the youth, and the youth shot scenes based on a script they created.


The Background:

Austin’s black community faces a multitude of health and wellness related concerns: lack of physical and economic access to fresh fruits and vegetables; overexposure to high calorie/low nutrition food options; and institutional, systemic, and environmental racism. MPOWERED engages black youth actively in creating solutions to these issues as community ambassadors through media. The group specifically works with black youth because they are a demographic that is disproportionately impacted by health and wellness complications across socioeconomic backgrounds. Additionally, they partner with black youth because of their ability to guide and set societal trends, as well as serve as influential role models to children and adults in their community. As such, this program seeks to positively impact the quality of life of all African Americans in Greater Austin regardless of age and income.

Meet the Producers:

Black Media Council

Founded in 2008. Since that time has (co)facilitated a number of community programs including the Blackness and Media Project, Kuumba Scholarship, Krew12 (in partnership with African American Youth Harvest Foundation), and Youth Media Project @ SXSW (in partnership with E4 Youth and MVMT50).

Cinema du Cannes Project

A nonprofit organization created to provide current and recently graduated high schools students with hands­-on film production and marketing experience and the opportunity to travel to the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Food for Black Thought

Founded in 2012, this community based organizations works to sustain and maintain Black access to food resources, knowledge, and policy making through critical dialogue, programs, and symposia.


Oldways guides people to good health through heritage, using practical and positive programs grounded in science tradition and real foods.

The SANDE Youth Project / Toni Tipton Martin

SANDE is a nonprofit mentoring and training organization promoting the connection between cultural heritage, food and a healthy environment. They cook up healthy futures for vulnerable families through cultural exhibits, mobile, hands-on cooking experiences for adults and kids, and community events.