Family Farm Defenders (Kansas Chapter)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Organizing for Power and Dignity: Visions of Black Food and Health Justice and Black Food Sovereignty"

Join us for:

"Organizing for Power and Dignity: Visions of Black Food and Health Justice and Black Food Sovereignty"

Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference: Saturday, October 15, 2011": Afternoon Breakout Session: Bronx, New York.
Workshop Description:
“Organizing for Power and Dignity: Visions of Black Food and Health Justice and Black Food Sovereignty”
1 hour and 15 minutes
Workshop Presenters and Creators:
Anan Lololi, Executive Director, Afri-Can Food Basket, Toronto, Canada (Facilitator)
AyeNay Abye, Policy Director, the Praxis Project (Co-Facilitator)
Maria Whittaker, Program Director, Local to Global Advocates for  Food Sovereignty(Co-Creator)
Abstract Description for the Program:
This strategy session for Black folks, will highlight and explore organizing led by and for Black folks to achieve concrete goals of food and health justice and food sovereignty. The three main outcomes of the session are to: 1) Identify the system of problems related to food and agriculture at various levels affecting our communities; 2) Brainstorm and share successful policy initiatives for resolution and; 3) Conclude with clear next steps on how we can build the collective organizing power of Black Farmers, Urban Gardeners and others. The session is designed as a dialogue, an open space focused on participant knowledge, sharing and engagement.
Full Description:
Afternoon Conference Session: “Organizing for Power and Dignity: Visions of Black Food and Health Justice and Black Food Sovereignty”
The Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference is in its second year of the Annual Conference. This is an important gathering that brings Black communities from across the country to discuss critical issues regarding food, health and agriculture and our communities. This session proposed is part of an existing dialogue about food and health justice and sovereignty as it pertains to Black folks. At the Community Food Security Coalition Policy Conference this past May 2011 held in Portland Oregon, the opening plenary: Leading the Movement for Food Justice: Analysis, Organizing and Power for Policy Change, moderated by Makani Themba Nixon of the Praxis Project, was the only session to receive a standing ovation during the entire four day conference. In that plenary, presenters: Jaron Browne, POWER San Francisco; Saru Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United; Rodrigo Rodriguez, South West Organizing Project, and Kolu Zigbi, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, discussed and gave strong examples of powerful organizing work by poor white and people of color to achieve policy goals. We see policy broadly defined as any actions, agreements and laws that directly improve people’s lives in concrete ways. It is important to continue the conversation, go deeper and broader, so we can build strategy across and within black communities. We think the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference is the critical space to build the conversation of organizing our people for power and dignity.
This strategizing session is designed to continue the “organizing for justice” spirit of that plenary and provide a space for we black folk to explore “organizing” for food and health justice and sovereignty to improve our lives and the lives of the poorest and most disenfranchised of our people in material and concrete ways.
In this workshop, the facilitators, will build a dialog between participants focused on 1) Identifying the system of problems related to food at various levels affecting our communities; 2) Brainstorming and sharing successful policy initiatives and 3) Concluding with clear next steps on how we can build the collective organizing power of Black Farmers, Urban Gardeners and others affected by our food and agriculture. .
Proposed Conference Project: “Visions of Black Food Justice and Sovereignty: Collective Creation of Images of Black Food Justice and Sovereignty”
This project is designed to create beautiful, inspiring images of black people working for food and health justice and sovereignty that we could use to promote our cause. I will place five large posters centrally located in the conference area where conference participants can draw or put photos of themselves or other people of African descent at work creating food justice and food sovereignty. The images should be those of real black people at work for food and health justice and sovereignty, not simply positive magazine or other media images. I will have an adhesive available and some pastels for writing and drawing.
The conference organizers could include a request for conference participants to bring images for the collage or mural as well as art materials if people wanted to draw, write or paint on the poster instead. I will then take whatever we create and have a photo negative and picture made of it that can be shared with all the conference participants through Facebook or email or on the Conference internet site. We can then use these images of us to promote black food justice and sovereignty.
For More Information on Presenters:

Bio Anan Xola Lololi
Anan Xola Lololi is a community food security (CFS) advocate, musician and a Vegan. Anan is one of the founders of the Afri-Can FoodBasket (AFB) a non-profit CFS organization that started sixteen years ago in Toronto. He has been the executive director of AFB for the last sixteen years promoting CFS and Food Justice in Toronto and all across North America. He is also the founder of the Toronto Urban Harvest Festival and the Toronto Community Food Security Diversity Network. Anan has a master’s degree in environmental studies from York University with a focus on Community Food Security and a diploma in Business Administration from Centennial College. His passion is working in low-income communities to help create food secure communities. He is a executive member of the Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative based in Milwaukee, board member of the City of Toronto Food Policy Council, Chair of Food Secure Canada Diversity Working Group, administrative and food policy consultant of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, former Board Member Toronto Region and Conservation Authority Humber Watershed Alliance, former member of the Community Food Security Coalition of North America Outreach and Diversity Committee, and was a community garden animator and food policy consultant for FoodShare Toronto. He has lectured across Canada, in the Caribbean and the United States on community food security and food justice.

AyeNay Abye, (youth) Policy Director, The Praxis Project, Communities Creating Healthy Environments, Washington D.C., AyeNay Abye was born and raised in Los Angeles. She was formerly, Lead Organizer with Californians for Justice in Oakland and Long Beach, California. At Californians For Justice AyeNay led a successful campaign, “So Fresh, So Clean”, winning $16 million dollars for Oakland High School under the landmark Williams v. California Settlement. She received her BA in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. During her time at UCSC she was heavily involved in student organizing and was supported by Dr. George Lipsitz to expand her organizing and delve into policy and research. She has now moved to Washington DC and is the Policy Director at The Praxis Project.

Maria Whittaker, inspired by the work of The Praxis Project to strengthen the capacity of communities to create sustainable progressive change, in 2012 founded Local to Global Advocates for Food Sovereignty. Whittaker, a Kansas City based attorney and food sovereignty advocate says that Local to Global Advocates for Food Sovereignty is comprised of “individuals of Black African descent and organizations with constituencies of predominantly Black Afro-descendants, from all socio-economic backgrounds, committed to grassroots community organizing to strengthen their collective power, coming together, to explore the formation of, and interest in, the creation of local, national and global alliances to represent and promote the interests of Black Afro-descendants on issues of peace and security, food and agriculture, and environmental, economic and social justice.”
The seven guiding principles of food sovereignty (by La Via Campesina, the international peasants and family farmers movement) are:
  1. The basic human right to sufficient amounts of healthy, nutritious,  culturally appropriate food;
  2. True agrarian reform including the nondiscriminatory access to land, credit, training, technology,  markets and everything needed to farm and garden;
  3. Sustainable agriculture and the preservation of natural resources;
  4. Ending corporate control of food and agriculture;
  5. Fair rather than free trade which allows the dumping of cheap crops whose production is heavily subsidized by the US government which results in the wholesale global loss of livelihoods by peasant and family farmers;
  6. Ending food and agriculture as a source of oppression, including  racism in all aspects of  our food and agriculture, and exploitation of farm and food workers; and
  7.  Social Peace is a prerequisite to food sovereignty.
Local to Global Advocates for Food Sovereignty recently launched a local initiative in the Greater Kansas City area of community members organizing themselves to transform the power relationships and structures that determine their health.


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