2020 Community Conversations Series

RAFI-USA’s Come to the Table program presents “Spirit, Power, & Connection: Community Conversations.” The series is rooted in the belief that we must build strength together in order to have the power to build a more just food system. We believe that relationships are at the core of this work; and that the connections between us are rooted in our common human spirit.

RAFI-USA is partnering with organizations and communities of faith across North Carolina to host Community Conversations events in 2020 and beyond. Our hope for this Community Conversations series is that it will create opportunities for us to meet, learn from, and deepen our connections with each other as we work towards justice. We are hosting this series as a way to build connections between people, sectors, and ideas. We are excited to host speakers who have thought deeply on issues of justice in our food system, who are grounded in the work, and who can open a space to welcome the wisdom of everyone in the room.

All events are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Community Conversations Events

“What Does Community Disaster Resilience Look Like?”

Join RAFI-USA and Rural Forward NC online for a Community Conversation with Pastor Anthony Gibson and Dr. Dawn Baldwin Gibson of Peletah Ministries.

As hurricane season gets underway during a pandemic, what can communities do to prepare and care for each other? Speakers and attendees will share experiences and lessons learned, with time for small group discussions.

Date/Time:  Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 6pm – 8pm
Location: Zoom

Learn more

“What Are Your Pillars? Farming, Faith, and Narrative Investigation”

Faith, farming, and agriculture have played a central role in the development of past social justice movements. Join us for a conversation about the Black Church’s contemporary relationship with agriculture, and how both farming and faith continue to serve as pillars of personal and collective narrative-making in our communities. Guiding our conversation will be Executive Director of Word Tabernacle’s REACH Center and Come to the Table Rural Fellow Trishonda Roberson, alongside Durham historian and activist Georie Bryant. Farmer and founder of Conetoe Family Life Center Rev. Richard Joyner will be featured as well.

Date/Time:  Wednesday, July 29, 2020 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Location: Virtual

Learn more here!

Past Community Conversations Events

Under Contract and Craig Watts: “What is the Human Cost of Contract Agriculture?”

Join us for a screening of Under Contract and a discussion with RAFI-USA staff member and former contract poultry grower Craig Watts. In partnership with Congregational Church of Pinehurst, United Church of Christ

Date/Time:  March 12, 2020 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Congregational Church of Pinehurst, United Church of Christ, 895 Linden Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374

About Under Contract

For the first time in a full-length documentary, contract farmers tell their stories and industry experts reveal how the corporate production model pits farmer against farmer. Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print takes audiences on a road trip across the American South and to Southern India to understand what’s happening to farmers living under contract and what we can do to change our food system for the better. The story of the contract farmer is the story of what’s changing in rural America. Power in agriculture is changing hands, but few people know what’s happening to the farmers producing our food.

About Craig Watts

Craig is a former contract chicken grower for poultry giant Perdue. He made headlines when he teamed up with Compassion in World Farming USA to expose animal welfare issues that were rampant throughout the company’s operations. Craig has been outspoken about the power of giant meat companies, given testimony on Capitol Hill and shared his story on the Farm Aid stage with musicians Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson. Craig is currently working at RAFI-USA as a Farm Advocate.

Feel free to bring your own snacks!

Click here to RSVP
Download Event Flyer

RAFI-USA staff are currently working remotely. As we plan for how COVID-19 will change both how we do our work, and what work needs to be done, please know that we are still here. Our Farmer Hotline (866-586-6746) will operate from Monday-Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Stay tuned for more updates and information.