“We Didn’t Get Nothing:” The Plight of Black Farmers

The central thesis to this article is that blacks were intended to work the land, but never to own the land. The progression from working the land via slavery,
to peonage, and to land ownership is explored. Africans arrived on American soil carrying with them a rich legacy in caring for the land, and while they did so in America, it was under the most onerous of conditions. Once freed, blacks became prodigious land owners, but with the onset of the twentieth century various systemic factors impacted landownership for blacks. These same factors along with
mechanization, herbicides, government policy, and the courts all served to undermine farm ownership for black Americans. The Pigford Class Action Suit is
central to understanding the complexities of the plight of the black farmer and the attempts of various advocacy groups to maintain black land ownership.

Race To Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap

The percentage of people of color in nonprofit executive director roles has remained under 20% for the past decade. To increase the number of people of color leading nonprofits, the sector needs a new narrative about the problem and new strategies to address it. Nonprofits have to transfer the responsibility for the racial leadership gap from those who are targeted by it (aspiring leaders of color), to those governing organizations.

Green roof urban farming for buildings in high-density urban cities


Many urban cities in the world are trying to enhance sustainability by improving urban greenery and promoting urban farming. By installing green roofs with urban farming, it is possible to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability for the buildings in urban cities because it can contribute to the mitigation of environmental problems, enhancement of community functions and development of urban food systems. This paper presents the findings of a research to investigate green roof urban farming for high-density urban cities like Hong Kong. The benefits and potential of rooftop urban farming are examined; some experiences in the world are described. The characteristics and constraints of high-density urban cities are studied and the situation in Hong Kong is evaluated critically. It is hoped that the research information will be useful to promoting sustainable buildings and environment in urban cities.

Growing Community Food Systems by Erika Allen

The idea of a community food system is much larger than just urban farming. It deals with everything, all the components that are needed to establish, maintain, and perpetually sustain a civilization.

Urban farming is key in the reclamation of an Earth and ecology-based value system, and it plays an important role: We need urban food production, communities growing food in an urban environment. But with a community food system, neighborhood stakeholders are the ones growing that food, moving it around, and in control of land tenure or wherever soil-, food-, and Earthbased materials are being grown. Basically we are talking about sovereignty, about having land and water rights.

This is not a new concept; indigenous communities globally struggle with powerful external entities that attempt to extract raw and refined resources from land that has traditionally been stewarded by families who understand the natural laws of replenishment and proper natural-resource management. In a locally-operated food system we engage all members of the community, taking special care to engage the most marginalized members and those most impacted by food and land degradation. We begin with simple questions:

“Where are you going to get water from, and how are you getting the water?” “Who makes the decision about how land—open space and commercial space—is being used?”

These simple questions activate civic and civil rights and accountability with government, because there are always regulatory issues and agendas that (as is often revealed) community members are unaware of and have not been included in the conversations. So true sustainability in terms of community food systems means that disenfranchised people, especially youth and their families, are involved in the process not only as beneficiaries of “good (and carbon-neutral) food” but as central participants in the planning, development, and execution of the food system, including its interlocking
parts: energy, housing, public transportation, economic development, and so on. You’re building a whole infrastructure that supports local food systems.