Public Speaking and Training

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Leah Penniman is an educator, farmer, writer, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She is committed to dismantling the oppressive structures that misguide our food system, reconnecting marginalized communities to land, and upholding our responsibility to steward the land the nourishes us. Leah coordinates a subsidized farm share program that provides life-giving food for families in food apartheid neighborhoods. She also runs training programs for aspiring Black and Latinx activist-farmers, an on-farm restorative justice program that is an alternative-to-incarceration for area teens, and uprooting racism trainings for intersectional activists. Leah holds an MA in Science Education and BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University. She has been farming since 1996 and teaching since 2002. Leah’s work as a farmer and educator has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Presidential Award for Science Teaching, NYS Health Emerging Innovator Awards, Andrew Goodman Foundation, among others.  Leah’s passion is to joyfully and reverently connect community to the intricate miracle that is this living planet and to their own power as agents of positive change in the community.

She can offer presentations that stimulate the mind and heart on the following topics:

  • Youth empowerment through project-based learning
  • African-American agrarianism
  • Uprooting racism in the food system
  • International farmer solidarity – Mexico, Haiti, Ghana
  • Restorative, carbon-negative, biodiversity-positive farming practices
  • Intersection of #blacklivesmatter and #foodjustice
  • Healing through connection to earth, ancestors, and Orisa
  • Training the next generation of activist-farmers
  • Land and food as tools to end mass incarceration
  • Inclusive communication using movement and art
  • Strategic planning – mission, vision, goals, strategies, and timeline
  • Healing through connection to the earth and ancestors
  • Curriculum design for engaging learners of all ages




Please understand that we are very busy farming, running programming, and feeding our people, so our ability to leave the farm for speaking engagements is limited. Almost all of our off-farm engagements are between November and March, the “cold season.” Leah’s also writing a book and will be cutting down on travel this year. Soul Fire’s Farm Educator, Amani Olugbala is available for public speaking as are many of our program alumni. We are a also a member of the Color of Food Speakers Collective and encourage you to also reach out to our colleagues. Finally, we have compiled a list of trusted consultants who may be able to support you.