"Forging Pathways to Reparations Through Food Justice & Sovereignty"
In the United States, individuals and institutions operate within a racial caste system that affords people with lighter skin colors certain privileges, privileges that many people with darker skin colors cannot access. The food system is no different, farmers, urban growers, and food systems workers and actors of color fight for equitable access to resources, opportunities, and services. To battle racial disparities experienced throughout sectors of the food supply chain, people and institutions are forging pathways for reparations and racial healing. Through encouraging dialogue and advocacy, and offering services to local communities, Food for the Spirit is one emerging organization that embraces reparations movements by organizing with communities of color to address food and land injustice, and the need for racial healing in Buffalo and throughout New York State. Ultimately, Food for the Spirit is driving resources and opportunities to low-income communities and communities of color to promote personal, institutional, and systemic change. On December 8, join Food for the Spirit’s co-founder, Rebekah Williams, for an hour of storytelling and conversation around the role of power, privilege, and accountability in racial justice pursuits and food systems change.
As a light-skinned, mixed-race Black woman raised in Buffalo NY (one of the most segregated cities in the U.S.), Rebekah Williams (she / her) is a food systems activist conscious of skin color privilege and committed to challenging race-based oppression within food systems and agriculture. In NYS, Williams organizes with Black farmers, growers, and activists to challenge and educate people about race and anti-Black racism. Williams is a community organizer, trainer, facilitator, and strategic planner focused on creating just food systems, cooperative development, racial and economic justice, youth and community advocacy, environmentalism, and the arts.
Williams is co-founder of Food for the Spirit, an organization committed to racial healing, ecological justice, and equitable food systems serving Buffalo, Western New York (WNY), the Finger Lakes, and New York State. Williams is also a board member of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, a steering committee member for Black Farmers United NYS, and a committee chair for the Good Food Buffalo Coalition. She has a degree in Social Structure, Theory and Change from SUNY Empire State College; and has completed training with the Buffalo Montessori Teacher Education Program, Center for Economic Democracy in Boston MA, HEAL Food Alliance and Movement Generation in Oakland CA, North American Students of Cooperation in Chicago IL, and Training for Change in Philadelphia PA.