Nathan Blog Post: Week 1

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My first week at APIOPA is officially over.  Entering this week, I can honestly say I didn’t have sufficient insight about what APIOPA did as a whole.  I suppose this could have been attributed to what I though the “Obesity Prevention Alliance” within the name.  But I’ve learned a great amount about how broad their scope is, and that all elements, conditions, and access to healthy environments and food is just as important as obesity prevention.

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My main focus here at APIOPA is the Roots CSA program, or Roots Community Supported Agriculture.  It essentially bridges a direct connection between local Asian-American farmers and communities within Los Angeles.  We work with “pick-up sites,” or community centers (i.e. churches, offices) that serve as a platform for “subscribers,” the community members themselves, to pick up the fresh, naturally grown, pesticide-free produce we obtain and deliver from the local farmers.  We want to keep the relation between the farmers and the consumers transparent and healthy; we want community members to know where their food comes from, how it is grown and delivered, and to build relationships with the people that grow their food.  This also helps eliminate carbon emissions produced from transporting non-local produce for thousands of miles across the US.  This Sunday I am meeting one of our farmers from Fresno, Mr. Her.  I’ve heard a little from Scott and Kyle of the sheer heart and effort he puts into his work that many people overlook.  I’m excited to meet this very respectable man!

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As for the LIA Community Impact Project I am working on with my fellow interns over at LEAP, I’m excited to say we’ve finally gotten a stronger focus on what we want to do.  My team is very resolute and passionate about having a long-lasting impact on our community.  We want to install an interactive installation timeline at a pre-existing community event platform with an API following.  Each person approaching the timeline may write about personal events or accounts in their lifetime correlating with significant events impacting the API community.  By doing this, we aim to expose and reveal parallels and similarities of members in the API community that they were not previously aware of.  In addition, we want to create a “template,” or an outline that we can provide to community centers, schools, or churches to use as an activity/workshop so that we can preserve the activity for it to be utilized in the future.  We are striving to bridge connections, educate, unify the people, while also acknowledging the hardship, perseverance, and sacrifice our predecessors made in immigration that led us to be here in LA.  There are still many questions to be answered, and many ideas that need sculpting.  But I do like the direction we are going in.

~ Nathan Lee

6/27/2015

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