Act: Inspiration

Farming While Black: African Diasporic Wisdom for Farming and Food Justice, Leah Penniman

January 31, 2020

Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices – from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative – have roots in African wisdom. Yet, Black farmers experience discrimination and marginalisation worldwide. Author, activist, farmer and founder of Soul Fire Farm in New York, Leah Penniman is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through programmes such as the Black-Indigenous Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare delivery programme, and reparations work, Soul Fire Farm is part of an international network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of colour, restore Afro-indigneous farming practices, and end food apartheid. Watch Leah talk about this growing global movement and how ORFC delegates can contribute and help build a food system based on justice, dignity and abundance for all members of our community.

Leah Penniman

Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer, author, and food justice activist who has been tending the soil for twenty years and organizing for an anti-racist food system for fifteen years. She currently serves as founding co-executive director of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, a people-of-color led project that works to dismantle racism in the food system. She has been recognized by the Soros Equality Fellowship, NYSHealth Emerging Innovator Awards, and Fulbright Distinguished Awards, among others. Her new book is Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land (Chelsea Green Publishing, November 2018). Find out more about Leah’s work at and follow her @soulfirefarm on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Tags: Building resilient food and farming systems, environmental racism, food justice