Q&A with Chris Bradshaw, executive director of dreaming out loud
1. Have you experienced any challenges with trying to bring healthy eating habits into the lives of communities and families that aren’t necessarily used to doing so?
It is a challenge to get people used to the idea of healthier eating. It helps that awareness of the issue has grown substantially in recent years, especially with Michelle Obama, the White House garden and the Let’s Move! campaign. People are more willing to try new things and get involved. It’s great to see the interest grow. We now have two markets and a garden space. I can feel the growth in the city and people becoming more aware… it feels like we are bridging the gap between desire and lack of opportunity.
2. Tell me more about the idea to use Adinkra symbols.
The Adinkra symbols are our organization’s core values. They’re a way to take stock of the foundational elements of our broader teaching philosophy. How do you instill a value-based approach to your work? It also involves instilling performance values for how you conduct yourself. They are the compass for our work.
3. Can you tell me about a specific time or instance in which you felt your mission was a success?
The instance when I felt our mission was being exemplified most was at our farmer’s market. Just hearing people come up and say how thankful they are for the market and the availability of produce and how much it helps them. I remember once last year a woman came up to me and said, “I’m so glad you this is here, this is helping me deal with my HIV and sickle cell.” That was a really touching moment for me. To have both of those diseases and to not have access to ways to maintain your diet — I couldn’t believe it.
4. What is something you’ve taken away from your work with Dreaming Out Loud?
It’s taught me the idea that everybody’s opinion and value is unique and that you have to take the time to understand someone’s value and uniqueness. What someone brings to your life and to your world is not always obvious. (Next)