Dear friend,

As a NAMA staff and board, for several years we’ve been deepening our commitment to our core values, especially when it comes to ‘dignity for all people’ and our commitment to racial equity. We know that understanding how systems of inequity show up in our fishing communities and our seafood supply chain ultimately start by understanding ourselves. During our recent staff retreat at NAMA, we had a chance to examine the need for racial equity every day. In that light and in general, I have been thinking about my history, childhood and self in relation to race. 

I am white. I am constantly learning and unlearning on topics about race. Growing up, race wasn’t something that crossed my mind often. Though it showed up in the way I existed. I was conscious of the neighborhoods I grew up in. A mixed but overall white community where I lived with my mom and a working class mostly latinx neighborhood with my father. My school was predominantly white and in an affluent neighborhood. Some of my friends weren’t allowed to visit me because of where I lived. I felt shame that I didn’t live in the quintessential suburbs. That is racism.

Racism showed up in my assumptions in thinking we lived in a post-racial world. As a queer person, I thought that my experiences of transphobia and homophobia were in some ways equivalent to the racism people of color experience. My first boyfriend who is latinx set me in my place, telling me I could take my queerness off my skin if I chose to but he could never take off his skin color. My other school friend exhibited bravery by telling my school of mostly privileged individuals about their experience being black. I am lucky to have been educated by my community in the ways that I have been. But I need to do better. I need to do my own research. I need to listen more. I need to constantly be putting myself in spaces that challenge me. I know I have a lot of room for growth. All white people do. 

This month there are a couple of opportunities for you and me to deepen our own commitments to these issues. One is the upcoming Food Solutions New England (FSNE) webinar focused on how the power of a network can help us in this journey. Then sign up for FSNE’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Forming Challenge. This week during the National Family Farm Coalition member’s retreat we all viewed a video on the importance of land acknowledgement. I hope all of you can take a look at it and see if you can spot whose land you occupy today or who historically fished out of your community. Sometimes just recognizing the land we live on can open up our eyes to the struggles of those who were here before and are struggling still today.

In solidarity, 
Elliott Snow (they/them)
NAMA’s Digital Organizer

The fight against GE salmon continues as we enter into the new year of 2021. NAMA has been participating in Uprooted & Rising’s campaign Block Corporate Salmon as we combat the Frankenfish. Be sure to check out their campaign. If interested in getting involved be sure to sign up to join the campaign or reach out to Elliott at elliott@namanet.org

NAMA’s sister org, the National Family Farm Coalition will be organizing Virtual Fly-In Congressional visits from February 15th to 26th. We want to get fishing community leaders into the mix. Given the crisis enveloping the country, we need to take advantage of creative opportunities to get our voices heard and this opportunity presents a great chance to lift up farmers and fisher voices together. 
 
If you or your organization would like to participate, please contact Rosanna Marie Neil (NAMA) or Lisa Griffith (NFFC)

Slow Fish will be hosting the first ever VIRTUAL Slow Fish Event this March! Programming will include Storytelling, Deep Dive Discussions, World Cafe, Skill-Building Workshops, and of course, Fisher Music and Poetry. Check out this page for more details and to get your tickets! 

After months of planning went into Slow Fish 2020, just a week before the kickoff the planning teams had to make the sad, yet safe, decision to postpone the event in response to COVID-19. Despite the bummer delay, the teams rallied and put together the first of the Slow Fish: Crew Together webinar Series that continued our momentum as we gear up from an exciting month of March. Check out the Slow Fish community group on Facebook to connect more. 

We are super honored to be joining an all-star panel on February 5th to discuss our network, the opportunities for building network momentum during this time, risks of not being networked, and turning a network into a movement. 

Hosted by our friends at Food Solutions New England, this free webinar is intended for anyone who considers themselves part of the New England Food System as well as food system advocates from outside the region working on farms, fishing, value-added food products, food access, food waste, policy and advocacy, education, planning, distribution and logistics, food justice and food sovereignty. 

Space is limited. Register here.

The Fish, Food & Allied Workers are looking to host a webinar series for their membership online. They are seeking any business owners or fish harvesters who identify as women, that would be willing to take part and talk to their members about how they can become more involved in the industry. 
For anyone interested, please contact Alyse Stuart directly.
We encourage our fishing community friends and leaders to check out this opportunity to tell your stories via Rural Cinema 2021! 

The coming year will be a time when rural community leaders will need to exercise everything in their toolbox to move people to action. With this in mind, Rural Cinema is launching a training institute and community engagement program aimed at supporting leaders from rural areas and small towns across the United States in using films as a resource in their work. Applications are due February 22. 

Each individual or organization selected to participate will receive virtual training, technical assistance, a $2,500 honorarium, and additional monetary support ($4,000-$5,000) to hold film screenings in their community to support their goals throughout 2021.
NAMA is a fishermen-led organization building a broad movement toward healthy fisheries and fishing communities.

We build deep and trusting relationships with community based fisherman, crew, fishworkers and allies to create effective policy and market strategies.