RAFI invites the public to join contract poultry and hog farmers from North Carolina and other parts of the southeast for the final session of its new Farmer Leadership and Racial Justice Training program. We will be discussing how to build bridges between communities impacted by industrial agriculture and increase racial equity in our food system. We are pleased to feature sustainable, pasture-raised NC meats from Rainbow Meadows Farms and prepared by Whiskey Pig Craft Butchery & Deli.
Consider attending if you are a farmer advocate, a community organizer, if you have in interest in racial justice and equity, or if you wish to show your support for farmers. Please stay with us after the presentation for discussion, and a free community dinner.
About the Farmer Leadership and Racial Justice Training Program
The goal of the program is to empower farmers to become more effective organizers and activists for their own cause. The trainings create a safe space, free from fear of retaliation and judgment from the industry, to discuss how industry practices impact communities across America. The trainings also pave a natural path to discussing racial inequity in our food system and how we can build racial justice in agriculture.RAFI held its first training session in early March. During this four-day training, we discussed systemic racism and racial equity in agriculture, as well as, identifying possible new allies and building new partnerships to strengthen our movement. In this session of the training, RAFI focused on building practical skill in community organizing, engaging elected officials, and spokesperson training.Through the sharing of stories and examination of divisive narratives, farmers were empowered to share their truths and recognized shared commonalities with people of different backgrounds. Rev. Dr. Fatimah Salleh, a RAFI Fellow and an architect of the Farmer Leadership Development and Racial Justice Training curriculum, was deeply moved by the farmers’ testimonies during the first training session. “I was moved by the farmers’ stories of standing up for themselves and others like them. This connected them to a web of other farmers and people fighting for what is right, fair and honest. After these farmers realized they shared commonalities with people who are different from them, it wasn’t a big leap to make to see how this story is happening to other people.”
About Naeema Muhammad
The final session will include a presentation by Naeema Muhammad, Co-Director of the NC Environmental Justice Network. Naeema Muhammad is currently serving as the Community Organizer/Co-Director of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN). NCEJN’s mission is to promote health and environmental equality for all people of North Carolina through community action for clean industry, safe workplaces and fair access to all human and natural resources. This gathering is important in the landscape of building a unified justice movement in our food system. Through more conversations like this, we hope to connect our bases and foster the cooperation necessary to collectively build power within rural communities, making them environmentally safe and economically prosperous for the next generation. Naeema is a founding member of BWFJ (Black Workers for Justice) in NC, a community-based organization that addresses workers’ rights issues at the workplace since 1981. She has worked on two major projects dealing with waste from industrial hog operations. The first was Community Health and Environmental Reawakening (CHER), the second was the Community Health Effects of Industrial Hog Operations (CHEIHO) project. In both projects Naeema served as a community organizer, environmental justice educator, interviewer, and participant. She has co-authored publications regarding community based participatory research (most recently in the New Solutions Health Journal), and coordinated environmental monitoring and data collection in communities. RSVP today. Please contact Tyler Whitley with questions at: [email protected]
Farm advocacy organizations like RAFI play a crucial role in giving farmers a place to turn when they hit a pit of financial distress, which can quickly lead to severe emotional and mental strain for themselves and their families.