SATURDAY KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Natasha Bowens
Through photography and storytelling, Natasha Bowens, author of the book The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming, will introduce farmers and food activists of color revolutionizing the food system and preserving cultural foodways around the country. Their stories highlight important issues of food justice and food sovereignty such as land ownership, health, community building, and race and gender obstacles.
This presentation aims to amplify the role of communities of color in agriculture while challenging the status quo of agrarian identity and teaching us that the good food movement is about more than buying local and protecting our soil. It is about preserving culture and community, digging deep into the places we’ve overlooked and honoring those who have come before us. Blending storytelling, photography and oral history, Natasha’s keynote address will show how true food sovereignty means a place at the table for everyone.
SUNDAY: Story and Poetry Slam
Inspired by the revitalization of storytelling in Vermont and beyond, we’re opening our keynote stage on Sunday morning for a Story and Poetry Slam. We invite you (yes, you!) to submit a story or poem by January 15th to be considered for inclusion in the slam. The theme is Growing the Good Food Movement. Tell us a specific story or read us a poem about how you have experienced or are addressing, for example, farm or food equity, race, class, farm worker rights, or food sovereignty in your work or life. To submit your story or poem, call the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 and ask to be connected to extension 30. Leave a message telling us your story or poem – be sure to include your name and how we can reach you! Stories and poems must be 5 minutes or shorter. Deadline for submissions is January 15. Submissions will be reviewed by our winter conference planning team and the 5 storytellers will be notified by February 1.Hosting the Story and Poetry Slam (and performing, as well) will be Laura Brown-Lavoie. Laura is a farmer, poet, performer, and youth mentor in Providence, RI, whose 2012 Winter Conference performance was one of our most popular.
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