*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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