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UM Sustainable Food Systems Initiative pres.

"Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty"

Leah Penniman

Leah Penniman Leah Penniman
Leah Penniman
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. 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.

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Food Literacy for All is a community-academic partnership course started in 2017. Structured as an evening lecture series, Food Literacy for All features different guest speakers each week to address challenges and opportunities of diverse food systems. The course is designed to prioritize engaged scholarship that connects theory and practice. By bringing national and global leaders, we aim to ignite new conversations and deepen existing commitments to building more equitable, health-promoting, and ecologically sustainable food systems.

The course is co-led by Cindy Leung (School of Public Health), Jerry Ann Hebron (Oakland Ave. Farm) and Lilly Fink Shapiro (Sustainable Food Systems Initiative). In partnership with Detroit Food Policy Council and FoodLab Detroit.

See here for more information: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/sustainablefoodsystems/foodliteracyforall/

Community members should register for each Food Literacy for All session here: https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/sustainablefoodsystems/community-rsvp/

This course is presented by the UM Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, with support from the Food Systems Theme in the School of Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), the Center for Latin and Caribbean Studies (LACS), the CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, the Residential College, the School of Public Health’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, the Department of English Language and Literature, the Center for Academic Innovation, and the King•Chávez•Parks Visiting Professors Program.

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