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Talking About Social Justice

Eli Leading a Tour
Eli Leading a Tour
The following blog was written by Food Project intern Eli Gurvitch. Eli is 17 years old and lives in Jamaica Plain, Mass. He participated in The Food Project's Summer Youth Program in 2010 and has been an intern since the fall of 2011. 


Hi! My name is Eli Gurvitch. Not to be confused with the other Food Project intern who posted on this bog, Eli Shanks. He's the one who bakes bread and plays harmonica. I'm the one who has an online radio show and plays guitar. I'm 17 from Jamaica Plain and I started working at The Food Project in 2010.

I have learned many things at The Food Project. I've worked on farmland; led workshops on the food system, food justice and social justice; and interacted with community members at the farmers' market and different TFP events. I have also met and learned how to work with lots of great people, both youth and adults, and formed awesome friendships.

From my time at The Food Project what sticks with me the most is the way we discuss social justice, specifically issues of oppression. The language that TFP uses was very new to me and has definitely helped me understand these issues better. A good example is the definition of racism and "isms" (i.e. ageism, sexism) in general. I always thought the meaning of racism was the same as prejudice, to hate and to assume things about someone because of their race. From workshops and discussions about issues of oppression I now know that racism is "prejudice + power." That means that anyone can have prejudice, but only people with economic, social, and/or political power over someone else or a group can truly be racist by using that power to oppress the group they have a prejudice against.

Not only does learning this new language help me understand issues of oppression better, other workshops we do at TFP help as well. "The Ladder of Inference" workshop - which I helped create and present to other TFP youth - is about the subconscious process and assumptions your mind makes when assessing a situation. Delivering the workshop helped me get a better understanding of how I could unknowingly make assumptions about someone. Understanding these things and having conversations has made me more aware of how my mind works and how to talk to other people about social justice.

I have enjoyed my time at The Food Project and will definitely take all theses skills into adult life.


Shameless plug here for my radio show. It’s called “Rock ‘N’ Roll Dream with DJ Eli” (which is also the name of the show’s official Facebook page). I broadcast from ZUMIX studios in Maverick Square, East Boston and play classic rock, blues and heavy metal from the ’60s to the ’90s. You can listen live from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST every Thursday on Just click the live radio button in the top right corner. It’s also on iTunes; click “radio” then look in the college/university section for ZUMIX.

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