Revision’s objective is to grow self-sufficient and healthy communities from the ground up.
To accomplish this, we have three main strategies:
1) Establish Community Food Systems: increasing access to healthy, affordable, locally-grown food through neighborhood food production (backyard gardens and urban farms), aggregation, storage, processing and distribution.
2) Foster Resident Empowerment: training residents to become leaders in their community, and employing them as community health workers, called promotoras.
3) Create Economic Development: growing a local food economy that creates good paying jobs and builds community wealth through cooperative business models.
For the last four years, Revision has empowered low-income families in southwest Denver to plant organic vegetable gardens in their backyards through a community-based model called Re:farm Denver. The project has grown exponentially, from seven families in 2009 to 203 in 2013. In addition to backyard gardens, the Re:farm model includes urban farms that will produce thousands of pounds of food to be distributed to the community through the Westwood Food Hub and Cooperative.
The success of these programs is due to the intentional approach Revision takes in cultivating local leadership to implement a community organizing strategy. Revision trains residents, called promotoras, in community outreach, gardening and healthy lifestyle behavior. These promotoras engage and mobilize the community, thereby increasing resident participation and decision-making.
By building a network of relationships, promotoras are creating social capital to advocate and mobilize around a broad range of issues, such as immigration, domestic abuse, public health, and community development. Thus, while Re:farm Denver empowers families to grow healthy food, the promotora program grows a network of engaged residents.