Natasha Bowens, The Color of Food
I am a young, brown, female farmer in NY, and outside of growing food and herbs for low-income communities in the Bronx and Dutchess County, NY, I’ve spent the past year creating a space for farmers and food activists of color to connect, work together and share stories, history and traditional knowledge. The Color of Food is a space to raise the voices of communities of color in the movement for food justice. We are well past the development stage with a finalized map and directory of over 200 farmers worldwide. I’m also gathering stories and showing the faces of brown farmers in a photo documentary also called the Color of Food. The goals are to 1) raise awareness about racial inequities in the food system 2) empower brown farmers and communities in the food movement to take solutions into our own hands 3) repaint the picture of the food movement for communities of color – farming is rich in our culture and history and our youth need to take part!
How is your project positively impacting your community?
The worldwide community of farmers, farm workers and activists of color have given thanks and praise for the Color of Food, as well as the voice given to this issue on the Brown.Girl.Farming blog. From groups like Coalicion Rural to advocates like Vandana Shiva, the community is positively responding to the project because it impacts and facilitates our unity in this movement for a food revolution, it inspires our local communities with accessible models of successful food projects and is helping to reshape the movement with discussions about inequality, race and community empowerment.
5 days ago we completed our fundraising challenge to get our photo documentary on farmers of color off the ground. In order to start preserving traditional cultural knowledge and history about our agriculture system through the stories of our farmers, The Color of Food raised $10,000 in 60 days from our community!
We are also now in partnership with Cornell Small Farms Program to start a learning network for organizations supporting farmers of color and underserved farmers, as well as a youth apprenticeship program for youth of color in urban areas and farmers of color in rural areas.
Here is a short video clip from the community fundraising campaign: