We sat down with their Co-Director, Leah Penniman, to learn more about their organization, what inspires them and what we’ll accomplish together:
What year was your organization founded?
What is one of the proudest achievements of your organization?
Our food sovereignty programs reach over 10,000 people each year and include farmer training for Black and Brown growers, reparations and land return initiatives for northeast farmers, food justice workshops for urban youth, home gardens for city-dwellers living under food apartheid, doorstep harvest delivery for food insecure households, and systems and policy education for public decision-makers.
What’s one thing you’d like the OXO community to know about your organization?
We are deeply committed to respecting and caring for our home, the planet Earth. Our regenerative, carbon-sequestering farming practices, such as no-till, cover crops, mulch, compost, raised beds, agroforestry, silvopasture, and native species restoration - are part of that covenant to care for the land. We train thousands of new farmers who share that commitment. We demonstrate that it's possible to feed the population while protecting the environment.
What keeps you and your staff inspired every day?
In this moment of awakening, when society is finally keen to act for racial justice and for resilient food systems, we are grateful for the impact Soul Fire Farm is having in those conversations. People are using mutual aid, protest, policy work, and other strategies to create the equitable and sustainable society we all yearn for.
What will OXO and Soul Fire Farm do together?
OXO’s support enables us to continue vital community programs, including our Youth Food Justice Empowerment Program. This initiative focuses on the needs of urban youth, especially those in foster care or trapped in the criminal injustice system, who spend 1-5 days on the farm for intensive training on farming and harvesting, cooking with whole fresh foods, leadership, business development, and food justice.
What’s one book/article/podcast you’d recommend to someone looking to learn more about your cause?
Of course, we would love it if folks read our book "Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land."(Opens in a new window) Additionally, we recommend the writing of Dr. Monica White and Dr. Ashante Reese to learn more about food justice.
What’s one thing the OXO community can do to support your cause?
Vote! And tell your elected representatives that you care about food justice and racial justice.