Resource Bulletin
June 2, 2020
As a white-led and predominantly white Network, the FBEN is digging into what it means to be an ally for, and active participant in, building a racially just society.

We understand that the food system, educational system, and our country's foundation are shaped by systemic racism, and we believe that our farms and gardens can be places for listening, allyship, and justice. As Network members, we have a lot of work to do. FBEN is hosting a conversation about white fragility on 6/24, as well as a conversation to listen as you share how this Network can support you while you dismantle oppressive systems in your communities (see below). We will share other opportunities to engage about race and justice in farm-based education as soon as they are scheduled.

Our Resource Advisory Committee put together this bulletin to highlight many important tools, including #BlackBirdersWeek, which we learned about through Backyard Basecamp, a project in Baltimore led by Atiya Wells, a farmer and pediatric nurse with a passion to introduce, educate, and connect families in Baltimore, especially those of color, to local outdoor spaces.
Ashley Davenport, Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT; Hallie Sykes, Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center , Carnation, WA; and Meredith Rivlin, Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center , East Thetford, VT are currently our resource advisers. Let us know if you're interested in joining this group!

-Ashley, Hallie, Meredith, Vera

This document is a compilation of numerous resources for deeper learning about, and participation in, anti-racism. As a white educator, I still have a lot of work to do and I find this collection so helpful as I seek to find articles to read and share with others in my community, books to recommend, people/groups to follow on social media, films to watch, and more. It is essential that white educators raise up black and brown voices, normalize and consume the creation and consumption of black and brown art and literature, support social justice groups financially when we can, and teach the children in our communities the same. Many of these books, films, and articles would make great material for discussion groups or book clubs. Personally, I am hoping to use these resources as a call to action to be, in the term Ibram X. Kendi has been credited for, anti-racist. Obviously this is not an exhaustive list and there are many other voices and perspectives to be heard but this is one way for me to put my words into (basic yet crucial) action, with that action being education. 


What stories do you share with the children that you teach? Are there better, more diverse books out there? How do you find them? I’ve used these tips for choosing books before, and have found it to be very helpful. Sometimes with kids’ books we get stuck trying to cram in a very adult meaning that we want to convey. While message books are very important, it’s equally important for the books we choose to represent people just living their lives, where a character’s race, gender or disability isn’t the driving conflict in the story. This resource gives you a great guideline on how to balance both sides. While I’m sharing this single resource, I encourage my fellow white educators to take a look at the entire Embrace Race resource page. 


Faced with the task of finding words in these challenging times, the intersection of environmental justice and racial justice was articulated by our Oxbow Communications Manager, Jess Eskelsen:

"Oxbow is a place of solace and connection; connection to the natural world, and to each other. We recognize that we cannot heal entire ecosystems and pursue climate justice without first unifying to achieve racial justice. All systems are intricately connected; when one system fails, we must fix it together as a community. There is work to be done - hard, uncomfortable work.
Now is the time to listen to and elevate the voices of Black scientists, teachers, farmers, and Black-led organizations. This is only the beginning."

In this vein, I wanted to call attention to three resources to help you support black businesses:
Support black businesses!

Other Resources

June 2 | Webinar

June 12 | Call in Facebook live
Every Friday, experienced Black womxn* farmers answer your call-in questions about gardening, livestock, agroforestry, plant medicine, and food preservation. 


Book | The first comprehensive manual for African-heritage people ready to reclaim their rightful place of dignified agency in the food system. 

Children's book | This book is in high demand and is currently being reprinted. If you can't find a hardcopy, watch this read-a-loud .

Article / resource collection

Racial Equity Tools
Collection of 2500+ tools, research, tips, and designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve  racial equity

Covid 19 policy demands and general food sovereignty actions

Tools for exploring equity in the classroom
Connect with us in our Google Group, Facebook, or drop us a line by email!

June 4 | 3 pm ET

This meeting will engage participants through small group discussions. Sign on at 3 pm if your camp is cancelled. Sign on at 4 pm if your camp is happening. Still undecided? You're welcome any time.
Photo: Eden Village Camp

June 5 | 1 pm ET

Join Retreat Farm, Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center, and Cedar Circle Farm to hear what virtual programming they've offered and what they've learned along the way. Photo: Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary - Mass Auduban

June 24 | 4 pm ET

What is white fragility? And how does it show up at your farm? Watch this video from Dr. Robin Diangelo, author of White Fragility, then join this discussion space.

June 25 | 4 pm ET

Racial Justice on Your Farm

How can the FBEN support you as you identify and dismantle oppressive systems in your farm community?

In 2019, we got to know the city of Baltimore, MD when FBEN's national conference was held in the region. This post from Impact Hub Baltimore caught our eyes and we wanted to share it. Wherever you live, your community probably has a list of black-owned/led businesses and organizations. Find it, and support them. Thanks!