Category Archives: Currents

Tucson Weekly – Mobile Ministration – Beyond the food truck, Nations Creations is helping a community in need with fresh healthy meals

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By Mark Whittaker

We were exiting The Loft Cinema when we spotted a bright, copper food truck parked out front. Their product was loaded with fry bread and seeing as we were on our way to dinner anyway, we thought we’d have a nosh beforehand. There were a few options to choose from: Tri-tip steak, a grilled Portobello mushroom, vegan tofu and a marinated chicken. There was also the fairly standard fry bread that was dusted with powdered sugar, cinnamon and honey, although that sounded more like dessert. We opted for a simple one; a Southwest variety that boasted black beans, Pico de Gallo, slaw, avocado and crumbly white cheese. Sounded like a nice appetizer, but when it arrived we were stunned at how generous the dish was. Beyond that, the flavor profile on the fry bread, which was perfectly crispy and chewy at the same time, was impeccable. We sat there gazing at the pile of freshness wondering how such basic components can all come together so harmoniously. “You need to try the avocado smoothie,” said the smiling tattooed man running the truck. An avocado smoothie? Umm… The good man then brought out a tall, densely green drink and handed it over. With one sip, we were hooked. Refreshing, delicious and best of all inventive with its austerity. “That has fresh avocados, soy milk, a little vanilla extract, cinnamon, coconut oil and some agave,” he informed. We then decided to forgo dinner and hang out with this food truck that boasted the title Nations Creations, serving healthy indigenous food atop the slightly decadent fry bread. “If you want to get the real story,” the man named Steven James, said, “you need to visit our foundation out on Tanque Verde.” Foundation? Wait, what have we gotten ourselves into? The next day I found myself driving along Tanque Verde Road, way out of the borders of Tucson. Some miles later, I located the turnoff and down a long dusty road I came across a community literally in the middle of nowhere. This is the Amity Foundation, out on Circle Tree Ranch, a haven for those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and the birthplace of Nations Creations. It is sprawling. Eventually I found Steven and he led me into the kitchen where it all started. “Our Native community battles with diabetes at an alarming rate and while they are here getting treated they are also getting proper nutrition,” Steve says as he guides me through the dining hall which is teeming at lunchtime. “Through Amity we were able to get Nations Creations off the ground because we want to bring our nourishing flavors to the rest of Tucson.” So, we have a philanthropic organization, one that has been here for 43 years, to thank for Nations Creations; basically, a food truck with a healthy purpose. While sitting and chatting with Steven and executive chef Jeremy Christensen, children gathered around, dripping from just coming out of the pool, and cooks emerged bearing plates of their signature fry bread creations. Then heads of Amity came over and began to describe who they are, and what the foundation is all about as kitchen staff came bearing plastic glasses of brightly colored smoothies. There was a lot happening all at once. As I was getting an education on what Amity has been doing to rehabilitate our Native community for over four decades, I was treated to some of the tastiest fry bread “tostadas” and “tacos” in recent memory. The Red Chili Tri-Tip ($8) was sublime. Rested over house-cooked pinto beans, lettuce, tomatoes, a nice sharp cheddar cheese and fragrant salsa verde, it had a fresh approach to a distinct and hearty Tucson taste. I also really enjoyed the Vegan Tofu Taco ($7), which is marinated in lime and cilantro and paired with a crunchy jicama slaw, slow cooked black beans, queso fresco, fresh Pico de Gallo and slices of ripe avocado. So lovely to eat among the desert swelter of early summer. As was the Mojo Marinated Chicken ($7) that comes rigged with a crisp jicama and nopales slaw and beans. All of it bountiful and beneficial. It is also well advised to sample their smoothies. My suggestion is not only the Avocado but also the Spicy Lemonade that features paprika and tangy green apples or the Honeydew Blast with summer ripened honeydew melon, crisp apples and cucumber. They are all priced at $3 and will repair anything in you that might need fixing. While exiting Circle Tree Ranch, full and fulfilled, back on the burning road, there was just a near overwhelming elated sensation that I was just part of something very special. Not only is the food from Nations Creations beautiful, but also how it started in the first place is just plain gorgeous. So be on the lookout for a bright copper truck and help yourself.

Women’s Rise March

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"Change is to make or become different. Believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you will get it. There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise. Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back. When women support each other, incredible things happen."

""

"At Amity we advocate for our students on matters that are important to them, we help them develop the "voice" that they either lost or never had the opportunity to develop. While as a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization, we are resolutely non-political yet we have a moral obligation to stand with our students, their ancestors, sisters, brothers and children against the latest assault."

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.
-Henry Ford"

"Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
-Maya Angelou"

"Faculty and students from Los Angeles, San Diego, Albuquerque an Tucson come together to seize the opportunity to unit their voices."

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
-African Proverb"

"Believe in the power of your voice. Be your own hero because your time to shine is now!
-Camila Fanding"

Amity Receives 3 CARF Awards in 2016

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Amity is delighted to announce that this fiscal year it received a three-year a accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Amity’s Circle Tree Ranch teaching community in Tucson, Arizona and Amity’s Employment Services in Los Angeles and San Diego, California.
The Following Quotes are From the Amity Circle Tree Ranch CARF Award Letter:

“Amity Foundation Circle Tree Ranch clearly evidences dedication to a person-centered environment”
“Students are treated with dignity, equality, and respect for their individual cultures.”
“Amity Foundation uses innovative, evidence-based approaches and is recognized as one of the few formal curriculum-based teaching & therapeutic communities in the United States.”

Founded in 1966 CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services including behavioral health and employment services. CARF accreditation provides a visible symbol that assures the public of Amity’s commitment to continually enhance quality with a focus on the satisfaction of students.

CARF surveyors use a consultative approach during the survey process to assist in improving the quality of Amity’s offerings.  A survey team, selected on a match of the surveyors’ areas of expertise and Amity’s needs came to Amistad de Los Angeles and Vista Ranch to survey Department of Rehabilitation Employment Services in November 2015 and to Circle Tree Ranch to survey residential services in September 2016.  Each site was granted CARF certification for a three-year period, recognizing Amity for innovation.

There are numerous benefits to CARF accreditation: accredited providers enjoy fiscal savings as accreditation can signal financial stability; marketing advantagea; reduction of exposre to risk in human resources, healthcare, governance, and finance; and access to an international network. 

Stand Strong – Standing Rock

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For all that are in support of stopping the oppression at the Standing Rock against fracking, Cultural displacement and environmental destruction please read on…

Many have asked what can I do to help?  Where can I send donations?

Supplies, cash, or check donations can be sent to:
Sacred Stone Camp
P.O. Box 1011
Fort Yates, ND 58538

How do I donate to the camp or legal fundraisers?

You can donate money electronically by visiting our donation pages:
Sacred Stone Camp Fund
Legal Fund

What does the camp need?

RIGHT NOW MONETARY DONATIONS ARE THE MOST HELPFUL! You are all amazing and we are getting a lot of Amazon packages and donations and we are spending a lot of time sorting through it all. We understand that you like to buy us things off Amazon but right now we would rather have money donations so that we can buy the big ticket items that we need to prepare for winter, like building supplies and a pick-up truck.

Here is a list of things we need at camp. You can also purchase items off our Amazon Wish List, which is updated regularly.

How can I help the camp from afar?

We understand that not everyone can physically come to camp with us, but there is much that can be done from afar. You can donate money or supplies, or help us spread the word by following us on social media and sharing our posts.  If you have legal or media skills to offer, please contact us.

 NEEDED SUPPLIES 

  • For information on where you can send supplies to us, check out our FAQ.
  • We also have an Amazon Wish List.
  • SHIPPING CONTAINER 20 FT
  • TIPIS/TIPI POLES/TIPI LINERS FOR WINTER
  • PICK-UP TRUCK W/ 4 WHEEL DRIVE
  • TRAILERS/CAMPERS (FOR WINTER SHELTERS)
  • SNOW TIRES – VARIOUS SIZES
  • GIFT CARDS FOR LOWES/HOME DEPOT
  • TENTS
  • BANNERS, SHEETS
  • BATTERY PACKS FOR CHARGING PHONES
  • CAR PORTS
  • CIGARETTES-MARLBORO REDS AND CAMELS
  • GIFT CARDS – LOWES/HOME DEPOT, AMAZON, VERIZON
  • HAIRNETS
  • LAUNDRY SOAP
  • LIGHTERS
  • MATERIAL FOR TOBACCO TIES (ALL COLORS)
  • MONEY
  • PAINT (INC. SPRAY PAINT)
  • PICK UP TRUCK
  • POWER INVERTER
  • ROPES, TIE DOWNS
  • SHIPPING CONTAINER 20 FT
  • SOLAR CHARGERS FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICES
  • SOLAR PANELS, INVERTER
  • SLEEPING BAGS (FOR 5 DEGREES F AND LOWER)
  • TARPS – HEAVY DUTY
  • TENTS
  • TIPIS AND TIPI POLES
  • TIPI LINERS FOR WINTER
  • WALKIE TALKIES, CB RADIOS
  • WATER BUFFALO
  • YOUNG WARRIORS!!

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/10-protest-dakota-access-pipeline

 1. Call North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200. When leaving a message stating your thoughts about this subject please be professional.

2. Sign the petition to the White House to Stop DAPL: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/…/stop-construction…

3. Donate to support the Standing Rock Sioux at http://standingrock.org/…/standing-rock-sioux-tribe…/

4. Donate items from the Sacred Stone Camp Supply List: http://sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list/

5. Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414. Tell President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

6. Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense Fund: https://fundrazr.com/d19fAf

7. Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme account: https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp

8. Call the Army Corps of Engineers and demand that they reverse the permit: (202) 761-5903

9. Sign other petitions asking President Obama to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Here’s the latest to cross my desk – https://act.credoaction.com/sign/NoDAPL

10. Call the executives of the companies that are building the pipeline:

a. Lee Hanse Executive Vice President Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. 800 E Sonterra Blvd #400 San Antonio, Texas 78258 Telephone: (210) 403-6455 Lee.Hanse@energytransfer.com

b. Glenn Emery Vice President Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. 800 E Sonterra Blvd #400 San Antonio, Texas 78258 Telephone: (210) 403-6762 Glenn.Emery@energytransfer.com

c. Michael (Cliff) Waters Lead Analyst Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. 1300 Main St. Houston, Texas 77002 Telephone: (713) 989-2404 Michael.Waters@energytransfer.com

 Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/10-protest-dakota-access-pipeline/#Wfb1cKJvAikVRuZU.99 Here is some related information:

 https://www.facebook.com/SacredStoneCamp/

 https://www.gofundme.com/sacredstonecamp

 http://sacredstonecamp.org/faq#howtohelp

 

 http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/this–at-standing-rock-was-decades-in-the-making-20160916?utm_source=YTW&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20160916

 

http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/at-standing-rock-a-sense-of-purpose-this-is-how-we-should-be-living-20160914?utm_source=YTW&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20160916

 

Changing Lives Through Zero Waste

By | Currents, health rejuvenated | No Comments

I recently discovered an amazing therapeutic community for addicts, the chronically homeless, and parolees in downtown Los Angeles that helps them build their own farm to grow food.

The Amity Foundation is a non-profit founded over 40 years ago that has communities in Arizona, New Mexico, and California dedicated to supporting the difficult transition from decades in prison or on the streets to a healthy, independent lifestyle. Amity focuses on life skills such and physical and emotional well-being, and how to find a job, to teach a very marginalized population how to live successfully on their own.

Most interestingly, Amity focuses on healthy eating and sustainability.

Full Huffington Post Artcle

The Sentencing Project

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In Congress, we saw substantial progress on sentencing reform legislation that would address some of the fundamental injustices of the drug war while at the state level, initiatives to reduce the scale of incarceration gained support among diverse constituencies. 

Since 1986, The Sentencing Project has played a major role in producing research and analysis designed to shape the policy debate on these issues.

More >

Crime Bill Isn’t Enough, We Must Now Rebuild Our Communities

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Michelle Alexander, champions the end of mass incarceration who’s latest book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” has become a surprise best seller since its paperback version came out in January. Sales have totaled some 175,000 copies after an initial hardcover printing of a mere 3,000, according to the publisher, the New Press.

Learn More >