|UPROOT RACISM IN THE FOOD SYSTEM (why we do it)|
|End inequity in access to land, sustenance, and power in the food system. The food system is built upon land theft and genocide of indigenous people and the exploitation of Black and Brown labor. Black farmers currently operate less than 1% of the nation’s farms, having lost over 12 million acres to USDA discrimination, racist violence, and legal trickery. 85% of the people working the land in the US are Latinx migrant workers, yet only 2.5% of farms are owned and operated by Latinxs. People of color are disproportionately likely to live under food apartheid and suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and other diet related illness. Labor laws continue to permit the exploitation of farm and food workers.|
|Reverse industrial agriculture’s damage to the planet and harm to vulnerable communities. Industrial agriculture is responsible for 24% of climate change, 70% of water use, and 37% of land use. Environmental impacts of climate change, pesticide exposure, et. al. harm communities of color disproportionately. Sustainable farming practices rooted in African-Indigenous wisdom are part of the solution to feeding the world without undermining its ecology.|
|Heal from a history of oppression that has disconnected our communities from land. A history of land-based oppression and forced migration have resulted in a concentration of people of color in urban environments, often devoid of the psycho-spiritual and somatic benefits of connection to the earth. “Nature deficit disorder” can lead to ADHD, anxiety, depression, poor eyesight, and lower achievement in school. Lack of access to quality food and outdoor play is putting youth at higher risk for early onset diabetes and learning challenges, and later in life, heart disease, sleep apnea, psychological challenges, stroke, and cancer.|
|SEED COMMUNITY FOOD SOVEREIGNTY (what we do)|
|Feed people and soil – survival programs. We provide weekly doorstep deliveries of in-season, farm fresh, certified naturally-grown vegetables, herbs, eggs, and poultry to hundreds of individuals living under food apartheid and targeted by state violence. We provide this produce at subsidized rates and accept SNAP so that no one is denied access to life-giving food due to their economic status. This food is intensively cultivated on 5 acres using exclusively organic and ancestral practices that increase topsoil depth, sequester carbon, and increase soil biodiversity. The buildings on the farm are hand-constructed, using local wood, adobe, straw bales, solar heat, and reclaimed materials.|
|Train Farmer-Activists – “skill up” programs. Through our BIPOC FIRE (Black-Indigenous-People of Color Farming in Relationship with Earth) we annually train over 100 adults to take leadership as farmers and food justice organizers in their communities and 300+ youth to health their relationship with earth and imagine new futures. Using land as a tool to heal from racial trauma, we work to reverse the dangerously low percentage of farms being owned and operated by people of color and increase the leadership of people of color in the food justice movement. Our graduates receive ongoing mentorship to access resources, land, and training and are invited to join our speakers collective so they can amplify their voice in the food system.|
|Build the movement – systemic change. We collaborate with regional and national food justice networks to advance reparations, establish action platforms, and work on campaigns to shift unjust systemic practices. Each year, we inspire thousands of community members though speaking at conferences, publishing articles/book chapters, and facilitating workshops for activists to share tangible methods for dismantling racism in the food system and increasing community food sovereignty. We also host on-farm educational and community-building events for hundreds of participants and organize with our sibling farms in Haiti and Puerto Rico.|
|Uplift radical self-care. In line with our work to advance healing justice and liberation in the wider community, we commit to an internal team culture that uplifts compassionate communication, ample rest, distributed leadership, fair compensation, and investment in personal and professional development.|
2019 STRATEGIC GOALS
- Grow 20,000 pounds of vegetables, fruits, and plant medicine and 250 chickens intensively on 2 acres of land using low-till methods, sequestering 2400 pounds of carbon, nurturing soil health through rotational cover cropping and/or livestock grazing on at least 40% of land under cultivation, growing over two dozen African-indigenous heritage crops, and demonstrating several African-indigenous regenerative and humane farming practices.
- Train 130+ new farmer-activists through our BIPOC FIRE (Black-Indigenous-People of Color Farming in Relationship with Earth) and BIPOC Builders weeklong immersions, 100+ farmers through our daylong “2.0 level up” land-based-skills workshops, and 80+ alumni and established farmers through our mentorship program, deepening inclusion of “farmworkers” and local indigenous people. At least 50% of graduates go on to work as growers and/or food system changemakers.
- Strengthen connections between our local community and the Land by providing daylong food justice programs to 250+ BIPOC youth, community farm days to 300+ intergenerational community members, and “Soul Fire in the City” lawn to garden workshops for 30+ people. 90% of participants report joyful learning and connection to nature during the program as well as an expanded vision of what is possible in their own lives.
- Provide affordable, doorstep delivery of our own farm fresh organic vegetables, herbs, eggs, and meat to 80+ families (250+ individuals), at least 40% living under food apartheid and majority people of color, 60% of whom report positive health impacts.
- Awaken the hearts and minds of 3000 listeners and readers who interact with our public talks, book, and articles – as evidenced by 30+ examples of audience members reporting their concrete actions toward food justice and land sovereignty as a result of what they learned.
- Catalyze the transfer of resources, land, and power to BIPOC farmer-activists by incubating the Northeast Farmers of Color Community Land Trust, training 200+ activists through Uprooting Racism in the Food System intensives, participating in policy-organizing work with HEAL, NBFJA, USFSA, BUGS, generating 7+ matches through the reparations map, and supporting the work of at least one sibling farm internationally.
- Increase the efficiency, safety, and quality of life of staff and participants through the completion of key infrastructure and capital improvements: bathhouse and laundry addition, staff cabin, driveway repair, parking area, farm and program organizational systems, cooler expansion, equipment/wood/brooder shed, retrofit high tunnel, and improved tooling of the shop – using locally sourced and sustainable materials, practices, and design.
- Uplift radical self-care and healthy work culture, as evidenced by 90% staff reporting that they experienced regular “real talk” sessions, living wages, adequate days off, adequate professional development opportunities, participation in team decision-making, progress toward their learning goals, feeling supported by others on the team, feeling successful in their jobs, and experiencing a thriving work culture.
- Maintain the financial integrity of the organization by keeping 3+ months operating expenses in the bank as reserve, ensuring a minimum of 25% of the annual budget from earned income (farm sales, program fees, public speaking), demonstrating a financially viable farm model, maintaining ethics standards to discern sources of our funding, and stewarding long-term relationships with donors through 100% on time reporting rate and personal outreach.