The 2021 Strawberry & Justice Festival

Written by the FSWG team



This year's 2021 Strawberry & Justice Festival took place online on May 20th and featured live music, a panel discussion on social justice and environmental topics related to strawberry production, a workshop on jam and preserves making, and a strawberry galette and agua fresca meal-kit cooking event with the Cowell Coffee Shop. Read this post to learn more about the events!


The recordings of the events can be found on the CASFS Youtube channel.



Speaker Panel with James Nakahara and Irene Juarez O'Connell

For the panel this year, FSWG was honored to welcome back James Nakahara along with a new speaker, Irene Juarez O’Connell, to talk about their work in the advocacy and direct aid of local farmworkers. James has over a decade of experience in various fields of agriculture, and now works with Kitchen Table Advisors supporting the sustainability of small farms and ranchers through 1:1 coaching and business management support. Irene is a local mentor, educator, artist, and organizer of the Campesinx Womb Care Project, which supports the reproductive health of Indigenous farmworkers along the Central Coast through the distribution of womb care kits. To find out more about the project, visit their Instagram at campesinxwombcare. Irene joined FoodWhat in 2016 with experience in community organizing around youth violence prevention, and currently serves as Programs Manager.



Jam/Preserves Workshop

Demeter Seed Librarians Sam and Adria, along with a few members of their workshop committee from PICA, hosted an asynchronous workshop on how to make strawberry jam while having an open conversation about the politics of strawberries and strawberry production. We hope to encourage interaction from viewers via Instagram story posts where we can have conversations about politics, strawberries, and jam making! Reach out to us and share your stories with @demeterseedlibrary on Instagram!



Cowell Coffee Shop Cooking Workshop

This year, for FSWG's annual Strawberry and Justice Festival, the Cowell Coffee Shop distributed a strawberry galette and agua fresca meal kit to make alongside a cooking demonstration. Each kit includes strawberries sourced from Brother's Ranch, pie dough, CASFS lemons, and mint.


Folx were invited to follow a video tutorial demonstrating how to make strawberry galettes!


Then, on May 20th, there was a Strawberry Galette Competition on the Cowell Coffee Shop Instagram. Voting took place on the Cowell Coffee Shop story, and three winners were announced at 8:30 pm. Visit the Cowell Coffee Shop's Instagram to view the submissions and winners!


Musical performances with Gina René and Wyatt Smith


Gina René, who performed first at 6pm, is an internationally known American singer and songwriter who discovered her voice through a series of colorful life experiences. She will be performing with drummer, music producer, and keyboardist Seth “Million 7” Theodore. Together, Gina René & Million 7 bring over 58+ years of combined musical knowledge, family legacy, and live performance experience from producing to drumming & keys to emceeing to songwriting to singing on stages and spaces around the world. Think R&B soul meets Reggae Roots meets jazz, Hip-Hop, spoken word, and beyond.


Wyatt Smith, who took the virtual stage at 6:45pm, is the solo recording project of Ava Smith from Oakland. Smith has been a staple in the underground rock scene in the Bay Area and Santa Cruz since 2017 and has released 5 full-length records and has been on 3 west coast tours. Typically she performs with a live band delivering a lot of energy and loud fuzzy guitars and soft vocals. While Ava’s music is often deeply personal, many people in the LGBTQ community have grown deeply attached to it; these are the people she wants her music to reach.



For more information on the 2021 Strawberry & Justice Festival, visit the CASFS Strawberry & Justice Festival Website.