We’re celebrating our Programs Coordinator, Pili Gyasi, and our Community Engagement Program Manager, Sydney Corbin! These two awesome Urban Roots teammates were chosen to help develop the City of Austin’s and Travis County’s Food Plan, taking on roles as a Community Food Ambassador and Community Advisory Committee member, respectively. These important roles are for folks who will act as intermediaries with the community as Austin builds out an actionable food plan, which you can learn more about here.
As the beginning process of Austin’s first food plan, this marks an important moment in our city’s journey to becoming a more food-equitable and food-just place, focusing on a resilient and sustainable food system. We’re proud of our Urban Roots team members for their passion and commitment to this work. Learn more about Sydney and Pili below!
Sydney Corbin, Community Engagement Program Manager, Community Advisory Committee member
“I am a Chicana desert child and I believe that having food is having access to one’s culture, health, tradition, language, community and more. All of those things are medicine for the physical body and the spirit and that inspires me to be a part of a plan that makes food a right, especially for communities where that relationship has been systemically severed and for young people that hold so much of their own wisdom about the future. I am a creator and consumer of expression through the visual arts, music, dance, and singing, especially when it features someone’s family traditions or relationship with the land that they interact with.”
Fun Fact: “I enjoy restaurants that highlight ingredients my family consumes, like beans and corn. I love how Nixta Taqueria works with masa.”
Pili Gyasi, Program Coordinator, Community Food Ambassador
“Hi! I’m originally from Chicago but have been down in Austin since 2017. Ever since I was young, I’ve loved all things food – from cooking it to eating it. Because of where I grew up I always have been aware of how some people have more access to food than others and it never sat right with me knowing that people go hungry because of things outside of their control like structural racism or lack of funding from the city.
Fast forward to now and I’m still working to address this inequity. I’ve worked as a garden science instructor for middle schoolers, gotten my farm apprenticeship at Farmshare Austin and currently work at Urban Roots working with young adults to teach them about regenerative farming and food as it relates to the community that we live in. I’m honored and excited to work alongside so many passionate community leaders in creating this food plan and can’t wait to see what the power of community resilience and collective action creates”!
Fun Fact: “I love everything, but Vic & Al’s and Coco’s Cafe are my comfort foods!”
Thank you to Sydney and Pili for sharing their tremendous care for their community and its food system, not only in the work they do with Urban Roots, but in these roles as well.