Leah & Naima Penniman on the Heart of Community Building
Sisters Leah and Naima Penniman are powerful leaders in the movement for environmental justice and racial, economic and gender equity work. They are motivated by a fierce sense of justice, deep transformational love, and abounding creativity. These values guide their approach to relationship and community building, which lies at the heart of all the innovative and highly effective work they do. Leah Penniman is the co-director of Soul Fire Farm in upstate NY and Naima is one half of the creative performance duo Climbing Poetry, more details about their vast work are below. I managed to get them in one room in Brooklyn for 45 minutes a few days before Donald Trump was inaugurated to capture some of their wisdom on relationship and community building, approaches to working with people that are needed now as much as ever.
Check out their websites which are packed with information and resources...as well as this new spot: SOLUTION SPOTLIGHT -which shines a light on resilient, innovative, solution-oriented actions people are taking around the world to galvanize positive transformation in their communities and environments, and celebrate victories within grassroots movements for justice.
Leah Penniman is the co-director of Soul Fire Farm in upstate New York which works to end racism and injustice in our food system through farming and food access programs, transformative community building, Black and Latinx Farmers Immersions, alternative sentencing programs, food policy development and much more. Leah is a Fullbright award recipient and has worked with farmers across the united states, in Ghana, Haiti and Mexico and is a widely respected leader, farmer, and educator. Leah writes and speaks extensively about the science and culture of sustainable agriculture, food justice, racial justice and healing and liberation work.
Naima Penniman is a multi-dimensional artist, activist, healer and educator committed to social, environmental, racial, and sexual justice, planetary health, and love expansion. She is the co-founder/co-artistic director of CLIMBING POETREE, an internationally-acclaimed performance duo that uses art as a tool for popular education, community activism, and personal transformation. She is the founder of AYITI RESURRECT, a grassroots collective of African-heritage healers, artists, and farmers from the diaspora working in solidarity with earthquake survivors in a rural community in Haiti. She is also the co-founder of WILDSEED, Black and Brown-led, feminine-centered, queer-loving, earth-based intentional community and healing sanctuary focused on transformative justice and intergenerational responsibility. Naima is a Thai Yoga Massage practitioner who is a proud member of a collective of Black women healers called Harriet’s Apothecary, and a co-facilitator of the Black and Latino Farmers Immersion program at Soul Fire Farm, for which she is also serves on the Board. She is devoted to subverting injustice, igniting imagination, and fostering collaborations that invite people to put their deepest values into practice and promote the healing of ourselves, our communities, our lineages, and our descendants.
It's almost Valentine's Day, and we're busy talking heart work and meaningful relationship building...but we can't forget the chocolate! These sweets have a secret, and they are soooo good (and good for you)!!