What Affirms YOU? The Nature of “The Work” & What WE Do!💜

Dear Loved Ones,

As an advocate for the well-being of ALL children, I invite you to join us in making a meaningful impact in the lives of young people across Oakland and beyond through your support of Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project.

Our motto, “Acta Non Verba,” translates to “Deeds, Not Words.” It embodies the spirit of our commitment to affirmative actions, justice, and equity for children in our community. We are reaching out to you, who share our passion for affirming the potential and future of every child.

Acta Non Verba is not just a farm; it’s a sanctuary where children are affirmed, cherished, and empowered. We believe in cultivating more than just vegetables; we cultivate hope, resilience, and a sense of belonging among our young participants.

This year, we launched our fundraising campaign, “THIS is an AFFIRMATIVE Action” and “Affirm This.” Our goal is to raise $100,000 by December 31st to continue uplifting the quality of life for young people in East and West Oakland and beyond. The funds will be instrumental in sustaining our programs, expanding our reach, and providing invaluable experiences for the children we serve.Why Your Support Matters:

This year has been a challenging one for everyone at Acta Non Verba… Myself included.

It has been through our love and affirmation for each other and community, that I truly believe that we have been able to survive and THRIVE at Acta Non Verba.

Something that you may not know about me is that I am an Auntie to three *unofficial* nephews, I-, N-, and  C-, all under the age of 5. One day recently, I- threw a ball and it went far afield; disappointed that the ball didn’t go where he wanted it to go, the younger brother says to the older brother: “That Happens Sometimes.” …and I was MOVED!  In acknowledging the challenges our children face, ANV believes in actively doing our part to create positive change in Oakland and beyond –regardless of internal missteps and outside factors.  



This spring, ANV absorped the legendary City Slicker Farm, its staff, programs and land. Although this was an enormous challenge, the very work we are doing in Oakland has reaffirmed my faith in community. Please acknowledge with me, each member of our Staff and Board of Directors who listened, held my hand, fed my heart, soul (and stomach) through it all.

Donate to Acta Non Verba Today! https://bit.ly/ANVKids2023

Staff made me laugh with stories of team-members attending the gym together or identifying UNIDENTIFIED Flying Objects or tales of our young-leaders learning, experiencing and accomplishing things that they never thought they’d even TRY…

I want to shout out our CSA and Camp Families! The stories of what you all are doing with the incredible BEETBOX CSA produce are inspiring and a lot of times, HILARIOUS! Tales of campers driving their adults to DISTRACTION by siging the camps songs over and over… YEAR-ROUND.

Or, being at the checkout counter at a pet store rocking some of ANV’s DOPE Swag and having the clerk exclaim: Acta Non Verba!! My niece goes there!! Or being at an airport in a different state (NOT rocking ANV swag) and having a TSA agent say: “Hi Ms Kelly! We miss Camp ANV!” AFFIRMS this work for me!!

My nephews also keep exclaiming to each other the sentiment to, “Do Your Work!” (which I needed broken down… because they’re BABIES, so what is “work”?? It turns out that this is a Montessori term that the boys have learned and we love it!) and we invite you to join us in doing the necessary work of affirming children, childhood, justice, and equity in Oakland and throughout the world.

Donate to Acta Non Verba Today! https://bit.ly/ANVKids2023

This summer, we had Taco Tuesday at camp, and our Camp Chef, in cahoots with the cooking class did the MOST!! Everything was PERFECT, smelled incredible, looked restaurant quality and I… Was powerless to stop myself. I… Got a few tacos… and as I was attempting to make a silent getaway with my savory prizes, I was waylaid by a camper I call: “Best Fren’” he just wanted to let me know that lunch that day was really great and that we should have tacos more often… and my stomach was rumbling and the wind was trying to blow the napkin off of my taco PLATTER, and I’m smiling and happy that he’s happy… Then the wind gives one final gust –and my secret was out. “Best Fren’” caught a glimpse of my taco smorgasbord and his eyes went round and he says:


“OH! You ALREADY KNOW! You got THREE TACOS! LOLOLOLOLOL!!” I have never felt more SEEN!!😂

I tell this story to illustrate the abundance and joy that Acta Non Verba fosters in the community. The affirmation that we are all people, there is more than enough to go around – (and tacos are GOOD)! The fact that we hire trained professionals, grow and purchase the highest quality ingredients for our meals, and put deep intention into planning every minute of each day that a young person is in the presence of ANV AFFIRMS our commitment to children in Oakland.

Those are ANV’s Deeds. This is how WE affirm that Black, Brown, Indigenous — ALL children world-wide deserve a safe, beautiful, abundant, delicious, nutritious childhood. Let’s do our work.   

How YOU can Affirm This:

Your generosity, affirmation, and hope make a significant difference in the lives of the children we serve across the city of Oakland and beyond. Together, let’s affirm a brighter future for the youth of East and West Oakland.

Thank you for your continued support of Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project and for your commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of young people and their families in Oakland.

With gratitude and affirmation,

Kelly D. Carlisle Founder/ Executive Director





Donate to Acta Non Verba Today! https://bit.ly/ANVKids2023 



Affirm This: Helping Children THRIVE by Sparking Joy through Nature!💚

Dear Friends,

As I prepare to welcome my first child into the world this month, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what children need to grow & THRIVE. They need a community of supportive adults and peers; they need access to healthy foods, fresh air, and green space; they need a safe place to be kids; they need JOY and AFFIRMATIONS of their JOYOUS EXISTENCE. They need — the programs and opportunities that Acta Non Verba provides, with YOUR help!

One of my favorite memories occurred during Summer Camp ANV 2021. One of the campers ran up to me and said, “Ms. Sydney, Ms. Sydney! I just tried a blueberry for the first time!!” Echoing his excitement, I responded, “Oh my gosh, how exciting! Did you like it?” And he said, “YES! I think I’m going to go get another one!” The look of pure joy on this boy’s face as he tried something new, while in a safe and supportive environment like Camp ANV, will forever stick with me.

Donate to Acta Non Verba Today! https://bit.ly/ANVKids2023

Another favorite from my 3+ years at ANV happened during our 2022 Camp ANV Family Camping Trip. At the end of the summer camp season, we headed up to Mt. Diablo State Park with 50 kids and their family members. On our first night, we watched the sunset over the valley, and the kids all waved goodbye to the sun. As the sun disappeared below the horizon, one young camper exclaimed, “I just saw the sun go down, it was so cool!! It was my first time seeing that!”

It’s these little moments of joy that children (and adults!) will remember for the rest of their lives. It’s these moments of connection that spark young leaders to care about nature, about food justice, about each other.

EVERY child deserves access to experiences in nature, healthy foods to nourish their growing bodies, and safe and supportive spaces to just be kids. This is what I wish for my daughter, as she enters the world; this is what I wish for ALL kids. Help ANV provide this access across Oakland:

     🍅 $200 sends one child to a week of After School Program
     👩‍🌾 $750 sends one child to a week of Camp ANV
     🌟 $4,500 sends one child to an entire SUMMER of Camp ANV, where the only limit is IMAGINATION!!

Donate to Acta Non Verba Today! https://bit.ly/ANVKids2023

Together, we can affirm and grow the next generation of farmers, environmental stewards, and changemakers.

Thank you for your affirmation of JOY and Discovery in the world!

In Joy and Hope,



Donate to Acta Non Verba Today!

Affirm This: Strengthening Food Sovereignty & the Local Food System by Elevating BIPOC Small Farmers!

Aaron De La Cerda in a red button down shirt and green/ tan park-rangers hat.
Acta Non Verba’s Deputy Director, Aaron De La Cerda








Dear Friends,

As we enter an abundant harvest and come to the end of yet another beautiful growing season we celebrate the strides we’ve taken in building food sovereignty within our community. We thank the land for providing for us, as well as our team, our volunteers, and supporters like you that have affirmed and allow Acta Non Verba’s teams to continue our critical work.

2023 presented yet another year of challenge, opportunity, growth and celebration; in this we were able to welcome another four young farmers and 1.4 acres in West Oakland into the ANV family, partner with three new family owned and operated Farms, and distribute over 30 tons of organically grown produce to East Bay communities. 

Donate to Acta Non Verba Today!

Working with Acta Non Verba and our vibrant community has taught me a variety of ways that we can impact change within the larger food system starting right here in Oakland. Coming from Fresno, California where large scale agriculture reins supreme, I never imagined it was in East Oakland that I would come to learn so much about farming and what is needed to build food sovereignty.

To us, food sovereignty looks like the community’s deepening connection to fellow farmers like Maria Morales and Juan Silva of J&M Farm.

Maria M. of J&M Farm

Maria began farming organically 15 years ago and has come to steward 15 acres in Gilroy, California with her family. Through building Acta Non Verba’s BeetBox CSA program in relationship with farmers like Maria we are able to ensure there is a reliable means of getting healthy foods to our community.

When farmers faced hardship due to flooding rains earlier this year we were able to lean on our combined networks to ensure her family had the supplies they needed while continuing to ensure their farm had income. ANV and its supporters rallied to provide necessary supplies which we personally delivered to their home. Because of you we were able to be a support to the very people who grow our food, who protect our land, and share their knowledge with the next generation. 

Donate to Acta Non Verba Today!

In the 2020 pandemic we learned just how fragile our food system really is; that allowing large scale agriculture which fosters no human connection is not reliable or sustainable. The farm to consumer pipeline fell apart and so many people were without access to essential foods. Our work facilitates a direct connection between local farmers and families in the East Bay. We are building a replicable model of food sovereignty and we need your support. 

Maria and Friend at J&M Farm

We are able to accomplish such things due to the deep affirmation and contributions of supporters like you and we look forward to deepening the impact of our work in the coming year; to do this we need your help to raise 250k. This will allow Acta Non Verba’s Farm and Food teams to continue their work of educating, organizing, and taking action to strengthen our communities resilience through food sovereignty.



Thank you for your continued support and affirmation of good in the world.

Forever In Community, 

Donate to Acta Non Verba Today!