Countermarketing Staff Training Program
The Countermarketing Staff Training Program (CSTP) is a research-based training program that prepares individuals to implement countermarketing initiatives that engage youth. The training program is based on the Youth Food Educators (YOFE) program model, which the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute used to train youth to deliver original campaigns against unhealthy foods and predatory marketing to their peers and community. The main goal of the CSTP is to expand the reach of the YOFE program and add to the body of countermarketing initiatives by training new groups of youth and youth-serving organizations on how to engage young people in food countermarketing projects and become food justice leaders.
Local and national groups have expressed interest in youth countermarketing work, which propelled CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute to form the NYC Youth Food Countermarketing Network and release the YOFE toolkit. The Institute believed that developing a training program would provide vital support and information to organizations that want to launch countermarketing initiatives but are uncertain where to start. The CSTP provides guidance to organizations and interested groups on launching countermarketing projects that engage youth and provides them with strategies for cultivating the next generation of youth food justice leaders. In addition, this training educates organizations on how to implement original countermarketing campaigns and how to discuss predatory marketing to peers. By the end of training, attendees gain an understanding on advertising and targeted marketing, racial/ethnic analyses of food environments, and food marketing.
As a result of this training program, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute has expanded the reach of the YOFE program to new groups of youth and engaged multiple partners in countermarketing initiatives, which in turn develops youth leaders in food justice activism.