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A Conversation with an Emerging Innovator: Soul Fire Farm

December 5, 2017

On December 5, 2017, NYSHealth is hosting a conversation with Soul Fire Farm, a winner of NYSHealth's 10th Anniversary Emerging Innovator Awards.

“Racism is built into the DNA of the United States’ food system. It began with the genocidal theft of land from First Nations people, and continued with the kidnapping of my ancestors from the shores of West Africa. Under the brutality of the whip and the devastation of broken families, enslaved Africans cultivated the tobacco and cotton that made America wealthy.”
- Leah Penniman

Foreign-born farmworkers of color currently make up the majority of the agricultural workforce in the United States. Additionally, more than 60% of the world's food supply comes from crops originally cultivated by Native American farmers. At its founding, this country's wealth came from tobacco and cotton, cultivated by the labor of enslaved African people. The reality is that the U.S. food system is deeply rooted in structural racism and injustice.

Please join the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) for a conversation with Leah Penniman, founder of Soul Fire Farm. Started by a family living in inner-city Albany that found it was easier to acquire weapons and drugs in their neighborhood than it was to get healthy food, Soul Fire Farm provides direct food distribution weekly to 80 families living in food deserts and works to increase the number of farmers—particularly black and Latino farmers—in New York State and nationally. Leah will be joined by a panel of alumni of Soul Fire Farm's Black Latinx Farmers Immersion Program: Ysanet Batista, Jahshana Olivierre, and Ulum Flores.

Soul Fire Farm is the only farm led by people of color in the area that offers comprehensive training and support for new Black, Latinx, and Indigenous growers. By training farmers, Soul Fire Farm supports the community by providing for its own healthy food needs and advancing food sovereignty. Leah and her team have trained more than 1,500 young people and adults in farming practices; provided educational resources on farming, cooking, and nutrition; and championed advocacy work to support farmers and improve fresh food access.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

NYSHealth Conference Room
1385 Broadway, 23rd Floor (corner of 38th Street)
New York, NY 10018

Please R.S.V.P. here by December 1, 2017. Lunch will be provided.