These past 13 months have challenged us in ways many couldn’t have imagined: the Covid-19 pandemic; long-standing, anti-Black police brutality; attempts to undermine our election; the insurgency in the Capitol; widespread violence towards Asian-Americans; and numerous natural disasters. These crises have laid bare and deepened the injustices BIPOC and frontline communities have always dealt with, and provides ominous warning for climate change and other catastrophes that lay ahead.
Yet in the face of all this, we persist, in small ways and big. We resist, we innovate solutions, and we nurture each other, in family and community. Our work is, at its heart, about one of the most vital components of humanity - food. However imperfect and messy, we are all focused on ensuring food, and everything connected to it, is life-giving: to our bodies, our families, communities, and cultures; to the folks who grow, make, move, and serve it; and to the planet.
In this time of significant uncertainty mixed with tentative hope, we believe that the work of creating a sustainable, equitable and just farm and food system for all means that we must listen to the entire story. We need to hear the struggles, particularly the least visible ones, how we rise to meet them, and most importantly, what we can learn from all of it.
For our 2021 It Takes A Region conference, we want to feature food systems stories of crises and injustice, hope and resilience. What have these past 13 months revealed, exacerbated, or underscored? Who has been left behind? What can no longer stay the same? How do we organize to make change and collaborate in new ways? What histories can we learn from? How are we healing our food system and our relationship to it? How have we learned to survive and innovate? How do ensure that food and farming continue to be generative to all of us, in all the ways we engage with it?
Please share your ideas for sessions and pre-conferences in our Request for Proposals – deadline to submit is June 15, 2021.