Teens Grow Greens acknowledges that we work on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homeland where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet. We acknowledge that this land has also been home to the people of the Ojibwe, Odawa, Fox, Sauk, and Oneida nations and that today more than 7,000 Milwaukee residents identify as Native. We honor those who gave Milwaukee its name meaning “good land” or “gathering place" but who, nonetheless, lived through and survived the harms colonialism inflicted upon them. We recognize that posting such a land acknowledgment is not enough and that it has to be the beginning of a much larger story about justice and peace, sustainability and food sovereignty, respect for the land and resilience.
We honor the ancestral inhabitants and commit to the stewardship of this good land as we seed, grow, and harvest food with our young interns and apprentices. In their memory, we pledge to sustain our work with youth toward our vision of healed and healthy humans leading change in their communities.
We also acknowledge that Milwaukee became a city of refugees and immigrants. In fact, many of the Indigenous tribes that lived on the land before the French fur traders arrived were refugees pushed westward by colonizers. German immigrants were joined by Poles, British, Irish, Italians, Scandinavians, Serbs, Russian Jews, African Americans, Hispanics, and Latin Americans. More recently, Milwaukee is home to Somalis, Rohingya, Eritreans, Burmese, Russians, Hmong, Indians, Saudis, and other immigrants. We embrace our city’s growing diversity but condemn the historically racist policies of redlining and unfair housing and the “urban renewal” projects that displaced thousands of residents of color, which exacerbated the segregation and inequities that still exist today.
We are pleased to celebrate, however, the Milwaukee abolitionists who, in defiance of the Fugitive Slave Act, helped more than 100 slaves like Caroline Quarlls and Joshua Glover escape to freedom in Canada between 1842 and 1861.
As we work with our young interns and apprentices to develop the tools necessary to live healthy, financially secure, and creative lives, we honor those who did and continue to do the difficult work to dismantle racism and embrace diversity and equity in our city. In their memory, we pledge to sustain our work with youth toward our vision of healed and healthy humans leading change in their communities.