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 July Meetup | Food Sovereignty

Our July Meetup was centered around the Food Justice movement. It began with our traditional matriarchal and Indigenous land acknowledgement, and a pause to show respect to the agricultural workers who keep us nourished.

Our CEO Lili took a moment to highlight the inspirational work of Karen Washington, who centers her focus on a range of humanitarian issues from food apartheid to community development.

After reviewing our community guidelines, we introduced guest speaker Olinka Green.

“You can’t negotiate with a hungry stomach.” - Green

To say Olinka blew us away is an understatement. We were treated to intimate details of her journey in food justice work. A staple of her history in activism is when she joined the New Black Panther Party in 1991. Through working with The Poor Peoples’ Campaign Olinka helped her community, making sure everyone in need did not go hungry. She learned more about food sovereignty and how farming intersects with the urban ecosystem. She continually uplifts those around her and empowers her neighbors through her dedication in the fight for freedom and justice. We spoke about the history of community gardens, community fridges, Black farming during the Reconstruction, residential segregation, and how changing her zipcode saved her life.

“ There’s a time for protest and a time for plowing.” - Green
Carrots
During the Q&A, Olinka answered questions about reparations, shade tree apartheid, the importance of soil testing, and the differences between a food mirage and a food swamp. She told the audience that “those who feed you own you,” and then she left us excited to learn more about urban gardens.

Every month, The Mixed Space doubles all donations to the speaker’s preferred organization. This month, all funds were given to Daughters Across the Diaspora whose leaders were also in attendance at the meetup.
Chat recap:

We shared so many resources in the chat! We are always so grateful for the lively conversation happening during the Meetup, but July was really exceptional.

Various books were recommended by our members, including:

Mark Bittman’s Animal, Vegetable, Junk World of Wonders, a study of curiosities of the natural world
A delve into the world of the Black Panthers
A Pan-African Social Ecology Primer Affirmative Action and Whiteness

Special thanks to Jayashree Prasad-Sinha, Ashley Bull, Bonnie Lane, Trica Trowbridge, LaChere Denton, Tiffany Terrell, Trevor Tuck, Angela Brown, and Keirsha Thompson. Each one of you recommended projects & resources relating to food sovereignty, and we appreciate you! Listed below:

The Gadsden Farm Project Oral Histories

The Climate Reality Project
https://www.climaterealityproject.org/

Northern AZ Climate Change Alliance
https://www.nazcca.org/

We focus on serving our neighbors fresh, healthy food for their tables and household supplies. Our Vision is to support our neighbors on a dignified path to economic stability and provide access to aid that is barrier free.

The best plants for your garden
https://www.nwf.org/nativeplantfinder/

Driving food into communities for better health https://www.abetterwaygrocers.com/

A garden utopia in San Antonio
https://www.gardopiagardens.org/

A pilot project at Commonwealth Urban Farms in Oklahoma City http://commonwealthurbanfarms.com/mycoremediation-project/

Plants with proven qualities to naturally reduce contaminants in water and soil
https://land8.com/5-best-plants-for-phytoremediation/

Farming and Mutual Aid in the DMV area
https://www.sylvanaqua.com/