Land In Black Hands

Developing Black Land Access, Ownership, Stewardship and Sovereignty

 

 

Land In Black Hands (LIBH) is a program of the Kingston Land Trust dedicated to the collective exploration of ecological land stewardship by the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community through education, long term land access, public engagement and forthcoming projects at the initiative's land base in the City of Kingston.


HOW IT BEGAN

meeting
Recording of inaugural LIBH conversation

 

It began in 2019 as a discussion event held during Black History Month for community members to discuss ownership/sovereignty, Black-led agricultural cooperatives, backyard gardening, plant-based entrepreneurship, self-healing through a connection with nature, and a regional movement toward secure land tenure for Black farmers and land stewards.


 

LIBH Steering Committee

 

A Land In Black Hands Steering Committee was established in conjunction with a highly successful fundraising campaign which resulted in the acquisition of 54 acres of biodiverse and farmable land bridging the City of Kingston and Ulster County to serve as the LIBH land base. We have entered into a visioning phase with the local BIPOC community to imagine how this land and the program goals might engage one another.

 

 


WHY WE DO THIS WORK 

"We recognize the profound impact of reclaiming space for Black communities. This initiative is not only about stewarding the land but also about reclaiming agency and sovereignty over our narratives, livelihoods, and futures. It represents a crucial step towards addressing historical injustices and building a more equitable and sustainable future for all," - Shaniqua Bowden, Director of Cultural Engagement and Sustainable Living, KLT

The KLT embraces the role that land trusts can play in the shared struggle for environmental and economic justice, and through the Land In Black Hands Program, aims to join a network of other organizations that are working on racial justice issues through land, including Soul Fire Farm, the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, and the Black Farmer Fund.


LAND IN BLACK HANDS LAND BASE 

land base

 

With approximately 6 acres designated for regenerative agriculture and 47 acres of biodiverse forest, wetland, and ridge habitat, the LIBH land base serves as the epicenter for the program — a dynamic hub for hands-on learning in ecological and agricultural practices. This transformative sanctuary provides land access, housing, and opportunities for land-based education for BlPOC folks. We are embarking on this project with an abundance perspective which will benefit the broader community and surrounding lands.


 

Join the mailing list for the LIBH BIPOC network

an affinity group of regional BIPOC community members who want to be informed about or participate in LIBH

* indicates required


Contact KLT’s LIBH lead, Shaniqua Bowden, at shaniqua@kingstonlandtrust.org
Join the LIBH Facebook Group

Karen Washington

Rise and Root Farm

Karen is a farmer, community activist and co-owner of Rise and Root Farm, a cooperatively run farm in the black dirt region of Orange County, NY. Rise and Root is committed to protecting the land and ecosystem and advances food justice by connecting communities in and outside of New York City with the food that’s grown on the farm. Karen, who has been a resident of the Bronx for over 26 years, spent decades promoting urban farming as a way for New Yorkers to access to fresh, locally grown food. She also co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for black growers in urban and rural settings. Among her many accomplishments, Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country in 2012, and in 2014 she was awarded the James Beard Leadership Award.

 

Ed Whitfield

Fund for Democratic Communities

Ed is a social critic, writer and community activist who has lived in Greensboro since 1970. He is co-Managing Director of the Fund for Democratic Communities. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Ed’s political activism started with attending Little Rock Central High School and beginning to do anti-war work as a teenager. Ed retired after 30 years in industry before becoming involved with philanthropy. He now speaks and writes on issues of cooperatives and economic development while continuing to be interested in issues of war and peace, as well as education and social responses to racism. Ed serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition, The Working World, and the Southern Reparations Loan Fund. While he spends much of his time practicing bass guitar, Ed can often be found playing jazz or blues flute along with singer-songwriters and bands in Greensboro and wherever he goes in the world. He recently won the “Plays the Most Instruments” award at Greensboro’s long-running Open Mic night.

 

Çaca Yvaire

Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust

As an expeditionary sculptor, cooperative developer, and political ecologist devoted to bloodshore praxis and critical planetary action, Çaca is enamored with one question: What does it take to sustain a celebration of the commons? And so Çaca minds the process of ceremony, aiming to cultivate skills and sharpen awareness in times of climate conflict and ecogrief. He is an ardent advocate for children’s rights and non-human personhood, which manifests in forging undocumented refugia and carving verse. He has worked in Tasmania, Moloka’i, New Zealand, Indonesia, Australia, and across the United States organizing and studying climate change and conflict poetics, climate migration rhetorics, and interspecies cooperative organizational theory and leadership.

 

Jalal Sabur

Freedom Food Alliance | WILDSEED

Jalal is a farmer, organizer, prison abolitionist and the co-founder of the Freedom Food Alliance and WILDSEED Community Farm & Healing Village in Millerton, NY. WILDSEED is a Black and Brown-led, feminine-centered, queer-loving, earth-based intentional community and organic farm, created as an act reparations. At WILDSEED, Jalal’s focus is engaging in farm education, the Sweet Freedom maple syrup operation, and continuing the Freedom Food Alliance work of building a Farms Not Prisons movement. The Freedom Food Alliance is a collective of small rural and urban farmers, organizers, incarcerated people and their families that use food as an organizing tool to address food sovereignty, prison abolition, and economic justice. The Alliance started Victory Bus Project which supports families of incarcerated people with transportation to prisons in the Hudson Valley with a box of farm fresh food.

Resources

  • Black Farmer Fund

    The mission of Black Farmer Fund is to create a thriving, resilient, and equitable food system by investing in black food systems entrepreneurs and communities in New York. The Black Farmer Fund will also serve as a bridge for black communities to participate in creating a food system that benefits those within and outside of black communities.

    Reparations Map by Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust

    The food system was built on the stolen land and stolen labor of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and people of color. Members of the Northeast Farmers of Color Network are claiming our sovereignty and calling for reparations of land and resources so that we can grow nourishing food and distribute it in our communities. The specific projects and resource needs of farmers of color are listed here. 

    Conservationists of Color

    An affinity group for people of color who believe in protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we love while creating healthy, thriving communities. 

  • Grow Well Kingston is a collective of organizations and individuals that support Kingston residents to grow plants and raise animals for food, medicine, natural habitat, and beauty, by supporting projects that provide knowledge, growing spaces, and resources.

  • Seeking land? Find land to use in your neighborhood or list land you would like to share with your community!

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Jun

22

burialground
6:00pm - 9:30pm

6PM Gates / 7PM Jak Lizard / 8PM Freequency Collective

with DJ Ephraim Asili and visuals by B.A. Miale

$15 adults...

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Latest News

 

 

The Kingston Land Trust (KLT) completed its latest acquisition consisting of 54 acres of land during the final week of Black History Month following a 2-month community fundraising campaign that raised upwards of $60,000. The purchase establishes a land base for its expanding Land In Black...

Tags: Land In Black Hands

The Kingston Land Trust Fundraises to Acquire 54 Acres for Land in Black Hands Program

 

KINGSTON, January 2024 — The Kingston Land Trust (KLT) announces a critical milestone in its mission to address historical inequities in land access and ownership with the launch of the Land in...

We are committed to centering the voices and needs of people of color, and specifically Black people, in our work around land access, Ownership, livelihood through the land, and land conservation.

Partnering with and Sponsoring Black-led Organizations:

On Sunday, February 17, 2019 Black History Month Kingston, in partnership with the Kingston Land Trust, The Hudson Valley Farm Hub and Scenic Hudson presented The Possibility of Land in Black Hands, a discussion about land access and economic development strategies in black communities.

Speakers shared their experiences...