#0080: Leah Penniman on farming, ending racism in the food system + creating your own trusted Council of Friends

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By Kara Snyder and Kara Martin Snyder. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Meet Leah Penniman. She is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2010 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim the ancestral connection to land for People of Color (POC). As co-Executive Director, Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs - including farmer training for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for communities living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system.

Leah has been farming since 1996, holds an MA in Science Education and a BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a Manye (Queen Mother) in Vodun. The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by a growing list of national organizations. Her book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land is a love song for the land and her people.

In this episode, we cover insightful and significant topics related to farm, including farming tech and positive contributions of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). Leah also recollected on being a nature-connected, bullied youth and how her experiences laid the foundation for her work in farming many years later. We also talked about food justice, including what it is and what we can do as individuals to support farms that are certified food justice by the agricultural Justice Project. Finally, we talked in-depth about solving racism in the food system, which is connected to everything.

Admittedly, I sometimes fear talking about racism in such a public way because I’m conscious of my own incompetence and white privilege. I want to acknowledge some of my gaps in this conversation and how Leah demonstrated what a graceful teacher she truly is. I'm trying to lean in, learn more, and do better on the regular. If you're listening, I hope you are, too. Enjoy this episode. Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Share it with one human you know.

Selected link love + resources from the episode: https://www.vitalcorpswellness.com/blog/lvcs-0080-leah-penniman

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