The food and farming landscape in this country, like all other systems, was built on systems of slavery, indenture, and land seizure. It has been designed to rely upon the exploitation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. The pattern continues today, with Black farmers still routinely excluded from and discriminated against by USDA loan programs.
Food sovereignty as a concept stresses redistribution of power, gives us cause to seek and share land, and motivates us to push policy initiatives on every level. How we relate to the land and each other is central to the environmental movement and to our survival as a species.
Curated by Natalia Zukerman
ORGANIZATIONS AND FARMS
Black/Land gathers and analyzes stories about the relationship between black people, land and place.
We identify and amplify conversations happening inside Black communities (including African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans and African immigrants) about the relationship between Black people, land, and place in order to share their powerful traditions of resourcefulness, resilience and regeneration.
Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
The Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC LT) is a hybrid model land trust, bringing together a community land trust model and a conservation land trust model to reimagine land access as well as conservation and stewardship of communities and ecosystems with the goal of manifesting a community vision that uplifts global Indigenous, Black, and POC relationships with land, skills, and lifeways.
Believing in the inherent worth of all Black people, Black Visions co-creates spaces that conjure possibilities of change and growth, deepen our practices of resilience, and move toward greater integrity.
We organize to shape decisions for ourselves, our communities, and the world. We do this by building visionary, strategic, and sustainable movements led by Black Queer and Trans folks that can hold all of us. We know that Blackness is expansive and our work must reflect this clarity. To honor this knowing, we strive to build relationships within abundant ecosystems and across movements that address the diverse needs and futures of all Black people.
SAAFON is a regional network for Black farmers committed to using ecologically sustainable practices to manage their land and the natural systems on it in order to grow food and raise livestock that are healthy for people and the planet.
Soul Fire Farm
Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-Indigenous centered community farm committed to uprooting racism and seeding sovereignty in the food system.
Rock Steady is an LGBTQIA+ owned and operated cooperative farm, rooted in social justice, growing sustainable vegetables in Millerton, NY.
The Cooperative Gardens Commission
Founded in march 2020, the cooperative gardens commission (cgc) is a grassroots collective working toward food sovereignty in response to the covid19 pandemic and persistent injustice.
National Black Food & Justice Alliance
National Black Food and Justice Alliance (NBFJA) organizes for black food and land by increasing the visibility of visionary Black leadership, advancing Black people’s struggle for just and sustainable communities, and building power in our food systems and land stewardship.
In working for food sovereignty, land, and economic self-determination we focus on resistance, healing, and transformation.
NBFJA is a coalition of Black-led organizations, developing Black leadership, supporting Black communities, organizing Black self-determination, and building institutions for Black food sovereignty & liberation.
The Urban Creators is a platform for radical and collaborative imagination. Since 2010 we have used food, art, and education as tools to nurture resilience and self-determination in our neighborhood. Now, we are supporting the emergence of a new generation of Urban Creators, organizers, artists, growers, and local businesses who are working to build equity and collective liberation in our communities.
QUEER/WOMYN RUN ORGS
The Institute of Queer Ecology
The Institute of Queer Ecology (IQECO) is a collaborative organism looking to find and create alternatives. The solutions to environmental degradation are found on the periphery and we seek to bring them to the forefront of public consciousness. Guided by queer and feminist theory and decolonial thinking, we work to undo dangerously destructive human-centric hierarchies—or even flip them—to look at the critical importance of things happening invisibly; underground and out of sight.
We seek to democratize the production and reception of artistic research so that marginalized voices are given the space to tell their own stories, and audiences that have been historically excluded from institutions are invited into this one. We pass as an Institute as a means of infiltration: mimicking the academic model to support subversive ideas.
Our mission is to make space for collectively imagining an equitable, multispecies future. With interdisciplinary programming that oscillates between curating exhibitions and directly producing artworks/projects, the Institute of Queer Ecology enacts utopia with a goal towards building a future that prioritizes a (bio)diverse world.
Environmental Graphiti is devoted to the mission of using contemporary art to raise awareness of the facts and science of climate change. The art consists of over 75 digital paintings and several videos. Each digital image is derived from a chart graph, map, word or number relating to key facts or data about climate change.
Labor Network for Sustainability
It is the mission of the Labor Network for Sustainability to be the organized voice within the labor movement for policies that are ecologically sustainable while also advancing the movement for good jobs and a just transition for workers and communities hurt by the effects of climate change and by the transition to renewable energy.
Keepers of the Waters
Keepers of the Waters is a nonprofit organization that encourages art, science and community projects for the understanding and remediation of living water systems. It serves as an international network for people engaged in projects that transform our relationship to water.
BOOKS, MAGAZINES AND OTHER RESOURCES
Across the country, black-owned bookstores have served as community gathering spaces, support for emerging authors, and educational resources. Those listed below are open and ready for online orders, with the exception of several stores that are only taking orders over the phone, which are noted in parentheses.
Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement
By Monica M. White
Meticulously researched, trenchantly analyzed, and engagingly written, this book brings to life the culture, the theorists, the scientists, the farmers, and the organizers that have kept agriculture at the center of African American emancipation, civil rights, and present-day movements for human rights and self-determination. From a rising activist-scholar, a visionary book of remembrance and hope. –Eric Holt-Gimenez, executive director of Food First
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
By Robin Wall Kimmerer
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
Mother Earth News: The Original Guide to Living Wisely
The most popular and longest-running sustainable-lifestyle magazine, MOTHER EARTH NEWS provides wide-ranging, expert editorial coverage of organic foods, country living, green transportation, renewable energy, natural health, and green building. Lively, insightful, and on the cutting edge, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the definitive read for the growing number of Americans who choose wisely and live well.
10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming
By Natalia Bowens
Imagine the typical American farmer. Many people visualize sun-roughened skin, faded overalls, and calloused hands – hands that are usually white. While there’s no doubt the growing trend of organic farming and homesteading is changing how the farmer is portrayed in mainstream media, farmers of color are still largely left out of the picture.
The Color of Food seeks to rectify this.
Farming While Black
By Leah Penniman
Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to their 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 innovative programs such as the Black-Latinx Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare CSA, and Youth Food Justice leadership training, Penniman 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 Farming While Black, Penniman extends that work by offering the first comprehensive manual for African-heritage people ready to reclaim their rightful place of dignified agency in the food system.
Drawdown: The Book
Drawdown has become a seminal text on climate solutions, drawing on humanity’s collective wisdom about the practices and technologies that can begin to reverse the buildup of atmospheric carbon by mid-century.
The material contained within the pages of Drawdown has influenced university curricula, city climate plans, commitments by businesses, community action, philanthropic strategy, and more. This website provides a supplemental list of references used in development of the book.
Atmos is an exploration of climate and culture, a biannual magazine and digital platform curated by an ecosystem of adventurers, creatives, and journalists dedicated to pioneering progress around the world.
One Billion Rising
One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women (cisgender, transgender, and those who hold fluid identities that are subject to gender-based violence) in human history. The campaign, which launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.