Saturday Mornings…Smores…And Why We Do It

Saturday Mornings…Smores…And Why We Do It

Dear Friend,

Do you remember when you were ten or twelve years old? What were you up to at 7:30am on a Saturday morning? Many of us, myself included, were often asleep or up watching cartoons. The photo you see tells the story of young people with a drive, curiosity, and work ethic we had the pleasure of nurturing over the course of eighteen weeks during Aya Community Markets, the farmers market that we founded.

Every Saturday morning these three young boys, along several other boys and girls, arrived to help open and close the market. They learned the value of work and developed strong character while setting up tents, carrying boxes, and raking leaves. They expanded their worldview while learning about and trying new foods. They kept food diaries, read books and watched films about healthy food, and were introduced to the concept of social business.



We were able to provide this safe space, learning environment and source of pride thanks to the support of people like you. In 2013, we will begin to grow food in a garden plot where we can engage more DC youth. We will also be opening a second market location in an underserved community in Ward 7, serving more than 3,000 people who do not have equal access to healthy food choices.  Among them are youth just like these. At Dreaming Out Loud, we cannot deepen our impact without you! So we ask for your generous donation to help us build healthy communities and a brighter future for DC youth. Are you with us?


Christopher Bradshaw, Executive Director

At Seasons End…A New Beginning

At Seasons End…A New Beginning

So our season has come to an end…bittersweet indeed. We’ll all be happy to be getting some sleep on Saturday mornings. More than sleeping, I know that I will be reflecting on the lessons learned, relationships we’ve built, and focused on a vision of the future. I’m happy, but not satisfied with where we are, because I know that we have the pieces in place and that we are on the verge of something special!

We feel like we are going to be able to play a part in helping communities access healthy food, open entrepreneurship opportunities, and build the beloved community that so many long for. The beloved community is built on a vision that embraces all, protects the least among us, and empowers through love. For us, we express our pathway to the beloved community through the Adinkra Symbol Ethics Mirror.

The beloved community lives in that feeling you get when you see children playing and you know they are safe and free to dream. It emerges when a Senior has a mile-wide smile because they have somewhere to gather and see their neighbors and the tomato they’re holding takes them back to a place in their childhood. It’s also that rush of determination we get when a new mother can stretch her precious few dollars farther through the Aya Bonus Bucks, but you know that you have strengthen and deepen that relationship and the positive impact in their lives.

That rush of determination will fuel us throughout the off-season (not really off). It will help us be better partners with folks in Southwest whether they live in Greenleaf Gardens or Tiber Island. We can’t wait to return to Ward 7 in the near future and help to finding ways to foster community relationships and empowerment across these two imaginary borders. Aya Community Markets is just the first step in our contribution and we hope that it is one that will continue to flourish with your help.