Black Ag Ecosystem Ideation Session

The Black Food Fund recently organized an ideation session for members of our Black Ag Ecosystem, including Black Oregon Land Trust, Feed’em Freedom Foundation, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, Black Futures Farm, and Mudbone Grown.

It was a beautiful day filled with joy, connection, and laughter.

Designed and facilitated by Andrew Kent X from Andrew X Consulting, the session provided a powerful opportunity to lift up our collective achievements in Black food and land justice.

The session was generously hosted by Art and Shantae of Feed’em Freedom Foundation at their beautiful 20 acre farm in Corbett, Oregon.

The day together began with a warm welcome from Shantae Johnson, executive director of Feed’em Freedom Foundation.

To get our group warmed up for the session, Andrew facilitated an embodied activity that allowed us to connected deeply with one another over music, dance, and purpose.

shiny flanary, interim executive director of the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, then facilitated the group through the setting of shared agreements, including the group’s favorite, “Pack your trash. Compost your ish.”

We then took time to reflect on the question, “What does it mean to be a good Ancestor?” and shared our ideas with one another and the full group as we threaded back to why we engage in food and land justice work.

The body of the ideation session was divided into two parts.

The first part provided us with the opportunity to acknowledge our journey and take a moment to lift up our achievements in Black food and land justice. These achievements include members of our ecosystem acquiring three farm properties in the past twelve months, implementing three successful Back to the Root conferences since 2019, and receiving multiple multimillion dollar awards including a multi-million dollar USDA Land, Capital, and Market Access grant and a $1.8M regen ag grant from the Portland Clean Energy Fund.

In the second part of the session, Andrew introduced the group to four foundational frameworks including Just Transition, Restorative Economics, the Solidarity Economy, and Integrated Capital. Following this primer, we came together to reimagine the key strategies and investments needed to advance our Black-led ecosystem and cultivate an equitable regional food economy.

The Black ecosystem will continue to vision together in 2024 with the support of a Justice Oregon for Black Lives planning grant awarded to Feed’em Freedom Foundation from Meyer Memorial Trust.