Farming While Black Evening Lecture with Leah Penniman
Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice
Come join Leah Penniman, author of Farming While Black, and local farmer panelists for an evening lecture in conjunction with the Organic Growers School Spring Conference.
Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices – from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative and the CSA – have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to our decline from 14 percent of all growers in 1920 to less than 2 percent today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land. Further, Black communities suffer disproportionately from illnesses related to lack of access to fresh food and healthy natural ecosystems.
Soul Fire Farm, cofounded by author, activist, and farmer Leah Penniman, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through programs such as the Black-Indigenous Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare CSA, and Youth Food Justice leadership training, Soul Fire Farm is part of a global network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid. And now, with the new book Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm extends that work by offering the first comprehensive manual for African-heritage people ready to reclaim our rightful place of dignified agency in the food system. Join us to learn how you too can be part of the movement for food sovereignty and help build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all members of our community.
Where: Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, 285 Livingston St, Asheville, NC 28801
When: Friday, March 6, 2020, 5:30-8:30pm
Cost: $5 to $25 sliding scale. Any amount paid over $25 will be donated to a Southern Appalachian reparations project listed on the Soul Fire Farm Reparations Map.
Childcare: Provided by the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center, for children ages potty trained and over. Please indicate you would like to have childcare on your registration form. Children under potty trained age can attend with their parents.
Food: Full dinner will be sold on-site starting at 5PM thanks to Swan Boat and Cecelia’s Kitchen, and light snacks will be provided.
Leah Penniman Interview Videos
Leah’s Upcoming Lecture & Workshop
Farmland Stewardship by BIPOC
Soul Fire Farm
Awareness of Farmers of Color
The Structure of Soul Fire Farm
Panelist bios will be added as they are confirmed.
Soul Fire Farm
Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2010 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim our ancestral connection to land. As co-Executive Director, Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs – including farmer training for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for communities living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system. Leah has been farming since 1996, holds an MA in Science Education and a BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a Manye (Queen Mother) in Vodun. The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Grist 50, and the James Beard Award, among others. Her book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land is a love song for the land and her people.
The Nuri Group
K. Rashid Nuri had a powerful “burning bush” revelation while a student at Harvard. The experience set him on a global food odyssey, managing agricultural operations throughout the U.S. and 35 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Rashid saw, up close, the abuses and inefficiencies of Big Ag. His vision of community food sovereignty and food equity emerged with full clarity. He brought that vision to Atlanta in 2006, founding Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture (TLW). TLW became Atlanta’s premier urban agricultural organization, growing tons of chemical-free, nutritious food, providing jobs, and educating communities about food, nutrition, and self-sufficiency. Now as the CEO of The Nuri Group, Rashid is working to expand equitable access to the tools for success in urban centers through education, funding, partnerships and appropriate regulations for urban agriculture.
Felicia Bell is an Agriculture Specialist at NCAT, an African American farmer, born into a farming family, and co-owner of Eritaj Cookery, a restorative food cafe and education hub in Jackson, MS. Bell has over 30 years of experience working with heritage breed animals on various grazing methods.
Golden Organic Farm
Kendrick Ransome is a farmer at Golden Organic Farm, growing natural and organic produce to increase the overall health of rural communities. He is an instructor at Agriculture-Athlete Camp & Program and hopes to inspire more youth to consider agricultural careers, ultimately increasing the black farmers in America.
Kisha Burke is an educator and herbalist from Augusta, GA. She has a background in working with disenfranchised communities to promote growing and sustainability practices. She served on the board of the Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) to support local farmers, growers, and markets throughout the state of Georgia. She also worked and served on the board of Augusta Locally Grown, a non-profit that worked to preserve greenspace, support local farmers and food justice.
Rhyne Cureton AKA “Pork Rhyne,” is a domestic and international small farms swine educator who speaks on topics related to niche pig farming, increasing youth and diversity in agriculture, environmental awareness, and consumer engagement. Currently, he serves on several boards and committees for organizations such as Southern SAWG and National Young Farmers Coalition.
Patchwork Urban Farms
Farmer, permaculturalist, and food thought-leader, Sunil Patel has studied natural farming methods throughout the U.S. including 4-season biodynamic vegetables, managing a grass-fed dairy, making artisanal raw milk cheese, natural building, and helping maintain permaculture sites. He lives in Asheville where he launched Patchwork Urban Farms in 2014.
Event Coordinator, OGS Board Member, MC
Lionpaw Botanicals, Abha Farms
Tarinii Shanai is a gardener and educator. While living in rural Burkina Faso, Africa, she focused her graduate research on women-centric, biodiverse sustenance gardens. Since then she’s become an advocate for neo-traditional food and medicine ways. Tarinii loves to spend her spare time on the land co-creating on Abha Farms, located in Marshall. NC.
William Padilla-Brown is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur ‘phychologist’, urban shaman, writer, youtube vlogger, non-profit director, researcher, poet, and father. William holds Permaculture Design Certificates. William is leading the country in the field of Cordyceps cultivation.
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