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How do we uproot racism in our food system?

Cultivate KC will explore Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty with the author of Farming While Black at its’ annual Friends & Family event.

Leah Penniman, author and co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, will give the keynote address at this year’s virtual event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24.

Soul Fire Farm is an Afro-indigenous centered community farm in Petersburg, NY that works to uproot racism in the food system. Penniman co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2010 and works as the farm manager to help Black and Hispanic people reclaim their rights to the food system. She has more than 20 years of farming experience in Ghana, Haiti and Mexico and has worked with the Food ProjectFarm SchoolMany Hands Organic Farm, and Youth Grow programs. Penniman also wrote Farming While Black, Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land.

The event will include a discussion panel on agriculture and social justice with Kansas City growers, including Kansas City Community Gardens. Naima Penniman, a poet and Soul Fire Farm’s program manager, will perform the closing event.

Virtual attendees will receive access to articles and research on the state of the local food system and anecdotes from partners in the farming and community gardens. The event is free, but donations will be accepted. Register at Cultivate KC.

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3 years ago

Explain “racism in food system” please? How is it present? What are the signs? Does it even really exist? Not one marketer at the farmers markets I participate in seems to be of a racist lean – we have several people of color, descent, etc. participating and not one seems to experience racism in any way. My farm banker is not a racist. Sorry, but it seems that racism is becoming a common buzz-word with no real existence to many of us. Perhaps I am wrong – please enlighten me.

Mary Nguyen
3 years ago

Hi Greg, Thanks for your comment. I can appreciate your perspective. But racism in any context isn’t always overt. In many ways it’s built into historic practices and policies that many don’t question because it might not affect them directly or even benefit them. Covert and systemic racism as well as implicit bias runs deep, especially in our country, especially in agriculture. I highly encourage you to register for this event and learn from Soul Fire Farm as well as local panelists who will share their views and experiences. We at Cultivate KC hope this is just a start to much needed conversation that will lead to action and change in addressing inequities in the food system as a whole. xMary Nguyen, Community Engagement Director @ Cultivate KC

Laura Morlan
Laura Morlan
3 years ago

Sounds amazing! You never know what common practises today resulted from selective bias in the past. One observation I’ve made is that traditional Southern produce foods are not as available in commercial or farm markets as other cultural foods, i.e., Hispanic and Asian isles. Even less information is available on how to properly cook and serve them in a healthy and flavorable manner. This is good timing since I’m planning my garden now.