UPDATE: Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty


Amani Olugbala and Soulfire Farm are just TWO WEEKS away, we have VERY exciting news!

We’ve been able to move this event to Hannaford Hall at USM. This means that there are *many* more tickets available for the taking. If you’re still interested in attending this event, please click on the Eventbrite link to reserve your spot! This has been an extremely popular event, so get your ticket before they’re sold out!

SPEAKER BIO: Amani Olugbala, Professional Speaker & Facilitator at Soul Fire Farm, is a storyteller and food justice advocate with over 15 years of experience in youth education and community outreach. Amani combines artistic expression, project-based learning and outdoor education tools to facilitate social justice based workshops and discussions with individuals, groups and organizations. Amani seeks to push communities to challenge presumed differences and work together in uncovering interlocked paths towards self determination and community liberation. Amani’s early work with the Natural Leaders, Brother Yusuf and the Youth Ed Venture Network, underscored the necessity of reintroduction to land as a source of healing and power for those of us who have been historically and systematically disconnected. Amani awoke a personal connection to seed while directing YO!, a youth-centered urban garden program in Albany, NY. At Soul Fire Farm’s Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion, Amani further cultivated the tools to sustain this connection and share it with others. Soul Fire Farm raises life-giving food to folks surviving food apartheid, trains farmer activists, advocates for systemic change and offers models for revolutionary thrival through love, ancestral wisdom and Earth reverence. Raptivist, spoken word artist, and abolitionist, Amani O+ is driven to uplift love, art & service as necessary expressions of rebellion against a sense of disconnection and hopelessness that threatens our collective peace and wellness.

WEBSITE FOR BOOK: www.farmingwhileblack.org

WEBSITE FOR FARM: www.soulfirefarm.org

SOCIAL MEDIA: @soulfirefarm @farmingwhileblack

Sponsored by Cooperative Development Institute, For Us, By Us Fund, Food Studies Program and Gloria S. Duclos Convocation at University of Southern Maine, Maine Initiatives, John Merck Fund and Cultivating Community

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Undoing Racism in the Food System

*Note: this event prioritizes PoC attendance and tickets are reserved for Black and brown folks. (For a ticket, email: theforusbyusfund@gmail.com)

  • Friday, March 1, 2019 at 9 AM – 4 PM
  • University of Southern Maine 1 Payson Smith Hall
  • 96 Falmouth St, Portland, Maine 04101
  • ticket Free (email to reserve a spot!)


Racism and injustice are built into the DNA of the U.S. food system. Beginning with the genocidal land theft of First Nations people, continuing with the kidnapping of Black people from the shores of West Africa for forced agricultural labor, morphing into convict leasing, expanding to the migrant guestworker program, and maturing into its current state where farm management is among the whitest professions, farm labor is predominantly brown and exploited, and people of color disproportionately live in “food apartheid” neighborhoods and suffer from diet-related illness – the system is built on stolen land and stolen labor and needs a redesign.

The good news is that there is a vibrant international network of farmers, activists, and community leaders working hard to build a just and sustainable food system. Another world is not only possible – it’s on the way.

In this heart-centered and action-oriented workshop, we will develop a common understanding of “food justice” and the specific injustices that afford resources and power to certain groups in the food system, while denying others. We will unpack our own privilege and leverage points to take action toward food justice. We will explore the successful strategies used by frontlines communities to dismantle inequity, and discuss how we can uplift and augment these efforts. Each person will leave with the workshop with clear personal and organizational “next steps” to advance food justice.

Farming While Black Book Tour: Thursday Night
Undoing Racism in Food System Workshop: Friday All Day

SPEAKER BIO: Amani Olugbala, Professional Speaker & Facilitator at Soul Fire Farm, is a storyteller and food justice advocate with over 15 years of experience in youth education and community outreach. Amani combines artistic expression, project-based learning and outdoor education tools to facilitate social justice based workshops and discussions with individuals, groups and organizations. Amani seeks to push communities to challenge presumed differences and work together in uncovering interlocked paths towards self determination and community liberation. Amani’s early work with the Natural Leaders, Brother Yusuf and the Youth Ed Venture Network, underscored the necessity of reintroduction to land as a source of healing and power for those of us who have been historically and systematically disconnected. Amani awoke a personal connection to seed while directing YO!, a youth-centered urban garden program in Albany, NY. At Soul Fire Farm’s Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion, Amani further cultivated the tools to sustain this connection and share it with others. Soul Fire Farm raises life-giving food to folks surviving food apartheid, trains farmer activists, advocates for systemic change and offers models for revolutionary thrival through love, ancestral wisdom and Earth reverence. Raptivist, spoken word artist, and abolitionist, Amani O+ is driven to uplift love, art & service as necessary expressions of rebellion against a sense of disconnection and hopelessness that threatens our collective peace and wellness.

Also check out the Farming While Black Book Tour the night before at USM.

Sponsored by Cooperative Development Institute, For Us, By Us Fund, Food Studies Program and Gloria S. Duclos Convocation at the University of Southern Maine, Maine Initiatives, John Merck Fund and Cultivating Community

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Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty

*Note: this event prioritizes PoC attendance and tickets are reserved for Black and brown folks. (For a ticket, email: theforusbyusfund@gmail.com)

  • Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
  • Hannaford Hall 88 Bedford Street, Portland, Maine 04101
  • ticket Free (email to reserve a spot!)

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 is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through programs such as the Black-Latinx 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.

Farming While Black Book Tour: Thursday Night
Undoing Racism in Food System Workshop: Friday All Day

SPEAKER BIO: Amani Olugbala, Professional Speaker & Facilitator at Soul Fire Farm, is a storyteller and food justice advocate with over 15 years of experience in youth education and community outreach. Amani combines artistic expression, project-based learning and outdoor education tools to facilitate social justice based workshops and discussions with individuals, groups and organizations. Amani seeks to push communities to challenge presumed differences and work together in uncovering interlocked paths towards self determination and community liberation. Amani’s early work with the Natural Leaders, Brother Yusuf and the Youth Ed Venture Network, underscored the necessity of reintroduction to land as a source of healing and power for those of us who have been historically and systematically disconnected. Amani awoke a personal connection to seed while directing YO!, a youth-centered urban garden program in Albany, NY. At Soul Fire Farm’s Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion, Amani further cultivated the tools to sustain this connection and share it with others. Soul Fire Farm raises life-giving food to folks surviving food apartheid, trains farmer activists, advocates for systemic change and offers models for revolutionary thrival through love, ancestral wisdom and Earth reverence. Raptivist, spoken word artist, and abolitionist, Amani O+ is driven to uplift love, art & service as necessary expressions of rebellion against a sense of disconnection and hopelessness that threatens our collective peace and wellness.

WEBSITE FOR BOOK: www.farmingwhileblack.org

WEBSITE FOR FARM: www.soulfirefarm.org

SOCIAL MEDIA: @soulfirefarm @farmingwhileblack

Sponsored by Cooperative Development Institute, For Us, By Us, Food Studies Program and Gloria S. Duclos Convocation at University of Southern Maine, Maine Initiatives, John Merck Fund and Cultivating Community

Uncategorized