2018 Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference Workshop Proposal Form
8th Annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners (BUGS) National Conference
October 19 - 21, 2018
North Carolina Central University
Durham, North Carolina

**Deadline to submit your workshop proposal:
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15 2018 OR until workshop slots have been filled. Submit your workshop application as soon as possible!**

Workshop related questions, comments or suggestions - please send your email to info@blackfarmersconf.org.

If you have additional questions including need-based support for workshop facilitators (subject to availability), please send an email to BUGS at info@blackfarmersconf.org.

****Part of BUGs mission is to cultivate Black leadership in the movement for food justice and food sovereignty, we require that at least ONE facilitator in your workshop be a person of African descent.****

Black Urban Growers (BUGs) is excited to announce we are now accepting presentation/workshop proposals for our 2017 Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference! This is our 7th Annual Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners National Conference.

Since 2010 we’ve been creating a space for black urban and rural farmers, chefs, foodies, food product makers, food business owners, nutritionists, herbalists, food justice activists, educators, policy makers and everyday citizens to come together and share innovative ideas, projects, and best practices for reclaiming and reshaping our food system


Asks us to dig deep and ground ourselves in the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestors, to create a space of honor and shared value for our ancestors and their traditions. We invite you to share beliefs, values and best practices from our elders.
● We invite you to develop and share workshops that explore historical narratives and storytelling about our collective Black agrarian legacies, freedom fighters who have used food and land lessons from the diaspora and what has sustained us through the decades, and how women’s work has nourished and provided us with the sustenance needed to thrive for generations.
● We invite you to develop and share workshops that explore what healing, and spirituality practices are being used to recover our relationship with the land and keeps us well in these trying times, that change the narrative and stigma around farming in our communities, or how legacy institutions, like Black Churches are developing strategies that address food insecurity and health inequalities in our communities.
● We invite you to share lessons from the South, how we reclaim and honor our past, strengthen our relationships between the North and South and explore the futures of Black farming from rural to urban places and back!

Calls for current food systems strategies that empower, liberate, connect, and re-form bonds that define our communities. We invite proposals that speak to these lessons as well as symbiotic relationships and the many ways we form bonds with the land (SOILdarity), with each other (farmer to farmer), and across geographies: land and land seeker, beginning and seasoned growers, the urban with the rural. Possible workshop content and thoughts to consider when submitting answer but aren’t limited to:
● How can farmers north and south, urban and rural stay connected, learn from one another and organize together through collective food work? How do farms serve as complex-safe spaces i.e. a healing space for black communities?
● What solutions are we considering to get away from the industrial food complex system? How can food be used as a local economic driver for black communities and/or aspiring food entrepreneurs? How do we improve working conditions and labor laws for farm and food related industry workers?What current and/or future food-related policies impact our communities?
● How do we work effectively across generations? How do we recruit and sustain young folks interested in farming? How can we utilize acres of southern land to train young farmers?

Inspired by Afro-Futurism, Abolition and Youth leadership and their vision for the future, we invite proposals that imagine our liberated future selves, and environments as we relate to and curate our African diasporic foodways and the future of Black farming. This place to explore and plant the seeds for building our self-sustaining, self-determining communities and food systems in the most expansive ways possible. Possible thoughts and themes to consider share can be, but are not limited to:
● What do healthy communities look like and what resources do we need to get there? Creative future systems that address and contain solutions to past and current barriers to cultural sustainability on the land, like land loss, tax liens, succession planning. Developing technologies that provide Black Growers and community solutions that address challenges as we move away from our current food system to make way for a new one.
● Explorations of the profound influence of black culture on food, race, nationality, sexuality and gender. Stitching together the boundaries of movement work and advancement to create a radically inclusive tapestry of black life and how Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ folks, Black feminists, Black Girl Magic, Afroecology, to name a few are connected to land and food work.
● Who or what has inspired you to this work? Or has inspired your vision of the future? “Mother Earth”, Octavia Butler, Bell Hooks? How are their influencing shaping our futures?

RECONSTRUCTION (a.k.a “catch-all” conference track)
We are all experts and have something to share. If we are imagining and creating self-reliant communities, we need the skills to build it. This track is the place to learn the PRACTICAL, TECHNICAL SKILLS we need to work the land. This is a great track for facilitators that are just interested in sharing something that you have learned that you believe will be useful to others and these land-based Black Futures we are building.
Some of the workshop topics and skills shares you should consider sharing are:
● FOOD POLICY, action planning and legal interventions that have impacted your local food ecologies.

● HEALTH AND WELLNESS practices that improve our ability to take care of ourselves, usage of herbal remedies, and food preparation & preservation demonstrations for ways we can utilize food to heal our bodies and communities.

● FARMER-TO-FARMER EXCHANGES that create a space for folks to share their knowledge, experiences, challenges and best practices that we can be used to educate each other and sustain your farm businesses. Topics can included but aren’t limited to: Selling your produce at farmers markets, preparing produce for wholesale markets, growing specialty crops, vending, value-added product making, generating financial capital for farming, farming for profit and steps to owning or leasing land for farming.

● DESIGNING THE FUTURE: Agroecological practices, funking permaculture and the Art of Afroecology could include trainings on land-based skills, seed-keeping (how do we save seeds and the history and stories connect to them, homesteading, subsistence farming.

● SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL TECHNIQUES AND TECHNOLOGIES: How do we keep our microcosm or world of soil thriving? To include workshops on Soil health and fertilizers -soil nutrients 101, building soil, composting, vermiposting, microbial & fermented DIY fertilizers, mycelium and fish emulsion use. Different types of farming- hydroponics, aquaponics, botany, propagation, irrigation, integrated pest management, crop management- crop rotation, intercropping and animal husbandry

“For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.” - Frantz Fanon. For generations, this food system has been built on the backs of our stolen labor and land. Reparations are owed. This place to determine how the bill gets paid. The discussions, strategies, policy and action planning we hope this track will generate could include:
● What does reparations look like for Black farmers and food in our communities? What are the direct/interpersonal and institutional to community reparations projects that are activated? What are local, regional and national policies that are or can be developed as frameworks and pathways to reparations, especially land-based reparations?

If you are facilitating a workshop led by youth facilitators, please make sure to check off the “youth led” workshop checkbox on the online application form.

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