Historical Structural Racism in the Food System Workshop, Part II

Discover grassroots examples of resistance that are fighting systemic racism and oppression of Black, Indigenous and communities of color. Register here for event.

About this Event

Recognizing that the U.S. agricultural system was built on systemic racism and continues to oppress and dispossess Black, Indigenous and communities of color, it is important to center examples of present-day grassroots resistance by those same communities as they continue to create solutions to a problem they did not create. Learn how white people and white organizations should support these communities. We request that anyone who wasn’t able to attend Part I watches the recording before attending Part II.

After the presentation, participants will take a break, then divide into structured racial affinity spaces for one hour. Affinity groups are an opportunity for different identity groups based on race, gender, class, ability, and other identity markers to discuss topics related to their shared identity in an intentionally created safer space than in a larger group of varying differing identities. Here are two links to learn more about affinity spaces from Racial Equity Tools and Just Lead WA.

The full cost of this workshop is $45, but we encourage you to pay the fee that feels right for your budget. The speaker’s compensation is not dependent on revenue generated by the workshop. In addition to, or instead of contributing to the registration fee, we encourage you to make a financial contribution to one of these organizations:

In an effort to build a space where all participants feel safety, dignity and belonging, participants are asked to answer a few questions about their understanding of racism. We reserve the right to cancel (and refund) any registrants whose answers we feel will compromise this effort.

About the hosts:

Xavier Brown, M.S. (he/his) is a native of Washington, DC and a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He operates at the boundaries of urban agriculture, environmental sustainability, and African Diasporic culture. His work intertwines sustainability with the issues that impact stressed communities from gun violence to mass incarceration. By studying the practices of indigenous people and going back to ancestral knowledge, Xavier is creating a new sustainability movement that is healing the people and the land by reconnecting our sacred relationship to the earth.

Sade Anderson, PhD (she/her) is a mother, racial justice organizer, facilitator, and member of Black Dirt Farm Collective which focuses on reconnecting Black people throughout the African Diaspora back to land through ancestral ways of remembering, being, and living. Dr. Anderson’s food justice and sovereignty work in Wards 7 & 8 of the nation’s capital culminated in her doctoral dissertation entitled Black Food Matters: Surviving Anti-Blackness and Food Insecurity in Washington, D.C. Sade has ample experience building connections and relationships across multiple identities through gardening, cooking, political education, strategic design/planning, as well as facilitation & training.

Affinity Space Facilitators:

Beth Schermerhorn (she/they) is a racial equity community planner, organizer, facilitator, and ecological landscape designer based in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

She was raised on Hanover County, VA homegrown tomatoes; sliced every summer evening after dinner with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, along with a hefty dose of white supremacist culture on top. Beth has spent her life dedicated to dismantling white supremacist culture within herself, her community, and within work cultures while building multi-racial, multi-identity organizing spaces to build radical power, love, and community.

Her work has included building worker-owned collectives, food equity planning, racial equity facilitation and training, community planning with environmental justice communities, land access for immigrant farmers, prison abolition, and urban agriculture.

Jonathan McRay is a farmer, facilitator, and writer in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He is passionate about land care, healthy culture and community, and the renewable use of energy, from sunlight to calories to conflict!

He grew up in Central Appalachia and worked overseas before completing an MA in Conflict Transformation and Restorative Justice, during which time he helped found, garden, and mediate for an urban farm, education center, and supportive home. Jonathan regularly teaches classes and workshops on cultural ecology and restorative justice and is a member of the Speakers Collective of Soul Fire Farm, where he’s co-facilitated Uprooting Racism in the Food System training.

Through the Cambium Collective, he consults with and facilitates groups and organizations to transform conflict, understand power and oppression, and shape liberating visions and decisions. Jonathan grows beautiful and useful plants with Blacks Run Forest Farm, a riparian nursery and folk school rooted in love and living soil, committed to remediating the toxins that pollute our souls, society, and soil, from chemical leaching to white supremacy.