Statement from Executive Director on Refugee Ban

Dear Crops Supporters,

Since 2003, Community Crops has welcomed gardeners and farmers from across the world to join us in our efforts to make Lincoln a more vibrant and equitable city. Recognizing the unique talents and experiences of refugees, Community Crops has worked closely with Lincoln’s diverse ethnic communities to tailor our programs to the needs of New Americans, regardless of their financial position, language or religious beliefs. Our entire organization, staff and board, are confident that we are a stronger organization as a result of this effort. More importantly, welcoming all of our neighbors with open arms is fundamental to who we are as American citizens.

Over the last 14 years, Crops has had the great fortune to provide opportunities for hundreds of families to share in the joys and challenges of growing food together, while creating the space for social and cultural exchange that would not otherwise be possible. The power of food and farming to bring people together is on full-display in the community gardens throughout Lincoln, where, on any summer evening, parents stoop over their garden beds pulling weeds and sweating in the last rays of sunlight, while their children run and play until it’s time to head home.

All of our participant families have taught us that these simple moments of familial life are in fact incredibly powerful opportunities to be re-connected to their homelands, to the food and traditions that are no longer accessible and to alleviate the pains of adapting to their new community. Not unlike previous generations of immigrants and refugees to Lincoln—Russians, Hispanic/Latino(a), Vietnamese and many more—the Yezidi, Karen, Nigerian, Iranian and other recent arrivals to our city have not only adapted here, they have become an integral part of our social fabric.

As an organization, Community Crops will not be deterred by the recent Executive Order affecting refugees and immigrants, many from the same countries as our participant families. Our mission remains the same. With participants from more than 25 countries across the globe, it is imperative that we continue our work and find new ways to support anyone who comes through our door.


Ben McShane-Jewell

Executive Director