When Leah Penniman and her family founded Soul Fire Farm, in Petersburg, New York in 2011, they had a vision of a multi-racial, sustainable farming organization that would run food sovereignty programs with the goal of ending racism and injustice in the food system.
To achieve these goals, Soul Fire Farm offers training to Black and brown farmers, activism retreats, food justice education, subsidized food distribution, and, as of February, is leading a movement of Black farmers who are calling for reparations for centuries of slavery, systemic racism, and racial inequity in the U.S.
“If African-American people [had been] paid $20 per week for our agricultural labor rather than being enslaved, we would have trillions in the bank today,” Penniman says. She adds that those numbers don’t include the many other ways Black and brown people have been excluded from the tools that have allowed white people to succeed for centuries, such as access to credit, education, and home ownership opportunities.
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