Education & Social Justice

Community Mural Project paid for by a grant from the CT Dept of the ArtsCLiCK is innovatively addressing not only the food policy and economic development matrix, but more challengingly the realities of unequal access to resources for low income, as well as minority, entrepreneurs who could potentially benefit from the growing specialty / local food movement.  CLiCK has a mission to incubate new food businesses thereby supporting the tenants of community economic development. Situated in Windham county, the poorest county in Connecticut based on per capita income, and located next to the town center of Willimantic, the third poorest town in Connecticut (US Census 2010), CLiCK seeks to serve the economic needs of a culturally diverse and overwhelmingly impoverished community by enabling entrepreneurs of limited means to begin food businesses, including food trucks and food carts, with minimal start-up costs. CLiCK is perfectly situated to help link an individual’s idea to a new social reality, thereby overcoming the pervasive shadow of structural economic and racialized restrictions that makes the process of starting a new one business or legalizing an existing underground food extremely difficult, if not seemingly impossible, for many low income would-be legal entrepreneurs. As such, CLiCK is committed both to the promotion of sustainability (by enabling local food processing and product development) and social justice (by addressing structural inequalities) in ways that are unique and vital to the social and environmental health of our community, and ultimately society.

In relation to education, CLiCK seeks to support entrepreneurs through the whole learning process of starting a new food business to ultimately running a successful one.  Given CLiCK’s co-operative values, new entrepreneurs gain community support from CLiCK’s General Manager, as well as from a collection of small business experts and from other entrepreneurs.  This commitment to collaboration is an essential part of the CLiCK experience and is essentially the true meaning of education which originated from the Latin word ‘educare’ which means to nourish, to rear, to bring up.  And although this is mostly in reference to ‘children’ it still applies when we are learning something new in that we need to be nourished- not just physically but intellectually and emotionally as well. CLiCK’s commitment is to nourish the entrepreneurial dreams of our members.  

In addition, CLiCK has a community nutrition program and is based on again the concept of social justice and is what we refer to as ‘just nutrition’ in that CLiCK seeks to link health and nutrition to social justice.  A healthy and equitable community is one where people are well nourished, hence well educated in how to grow / cook / share.