A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH:

WOMXN IN VT’s FOOD SYSTEM

Join us for a virtual six-part webinar series highlighting the intersectional experiences of Womxn and Femmes in all facets of the Vermont food system, from seed to hands.

Every Thursday Starting September 10th

Presented by:

City Market is Burlington’s community-owned grocery store. Guided by our Global Ends, City Market is committed to strengthening the local food system and increasing food access for all Vermonters. Learn more about their Food for All program here.

About The Webinar Series

ShiftMeals launched as a response to the catastrophic shortcomings of the globalized food system as revealed by COVID-19. This crisis has spotlighted systemic inequities for historically marginalized communities; consider that Black, Latinx, and Indigenous americans are 5 times more likely to be hospitalized with the disease than white americans, and Womxn are losing their jobs at nearly double the rate of men. These statistics point to inequitable distributions of access to healthcare, domestic and caretaking responsibilities, and frontline and service industry jobs.

A Force To Be Reckoned With honors those most affected by this crisis by bringing together these powerful Womxn and Femme farmers, leaders, organizers, and activists. We are creating a space for collaboration, discussion, and visions for a more resilient food system in Vermont.

Everyone, regardless of gender identity or expression is invited to listen and learn from these visionary Womxn and Femmes. This is a place for the whole community to come together to listen, learn, and reflect.

To make this series as widely accessible as possible there is no charge to attend these discussions. Please consider your own situation and if you are able to extend a donation to ShiftMeals or to one of our incredible speakers.

With Support From:

Part 1: COVID-19 and Vermont’s Changing Food System

Sponsored by: Alchemist Brewery

Watch the recording here

Thursday, September 10th
12pm

Vermont’s food system is critical to our economy, state identity, and quality of life, with over 64,000 Vermonters employed by farms and food related businesses. The arrival of COVID-19 rattled the food system, amplifying weaknesses in our globalized food system while inspiring Vermonters to creatively build new tools for community food security. This discussion will focus on the impact COVID-19 has had on Vermont’s food system, assess disparities in this system, and identify lessons we take forward for a more prepared and resilient food system in the future. 

Panelists:

Anore Horton, Executive Director of Hunger Free Vermont

Brittany Sperber, Operations Manager for ShiftMeals & The Skinny Pancake

Grace Oedel, Executive Director of NOFA-Vermont

Zully Palacios, Migrant Justice

Lynn Ellen Schimoler, Working Lands Enterprise Initiative at the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

Facilitated by: 

Jean Hamilton, Executive Director of ShiftMeals

Part 2: The Future of Farming is Femme

Sponsored by: Clean Yield

Watch the recording here. 

Thursday, September 17th
12pm

Womxn are the fastest growing group of new farmers. This panel pushes us to set aside stereotypes and honor the emerging energy of femme earth tenders, activists, and organizers. These incredible womxn will examine gender based disparities in Vermont’s food system, and envision a supportive community that values womxn, provides mentorship, and continues to engage future generations of femme farmers.

Panelists:

Hannah Baxter, Gleaning and Food Rescue Manager at Intervale Center

Corie Pierce, Owner of Bread and Butter Farm

Susie Walsh Daloz, Food and Farm Director at Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. 

Angela deBettencourt, Food Rescue Coordinator at Feeding Chittenden

Facilitated by: 

Zymora Cleopatra Davinchi, BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program Manager at ShiftMeals 

Part 3: Grassroots Organizing as a Form of Local Resiliency

Sponsored by: Vermont Farm to Plate Network

Watch the recording here. 

Thursday, September 24th
12pm

Strong communities are resilient communities, able to support those in need through troubling times. This panel highlights grassroots organizers who are strengthening their communities’ ability to address and repair systemic inequities, rising food insecurity, and other vulnerabilities  that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These womxn discuss the power of grassroots organizing, strategy adaptations to the current situation, and envision what strong communities can look like in Vermont.

Panelists:

Carolina Lukac, Garden Education Manager at Vermont Community Garden Network

Cat Duffy Buxton, Co-founder of Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition

Sara Jean Whelan, Board Chair of Slow Food Vermont 

Liv Peña, Founder of Vermont Releaf Collective

Emma Schoenberg, Food Not Bombs

Alisha Laramee, New Farms for New Americans Program Specialist, AALV, Inc. 

Facilitated by: 

Sammy LeVine, GrowTeam Manager at ShiftMeals

Part 4: Vermont’s New Wave of Agriculture: Womxn in Hemp & Cannabis

Sponsored by: Heady Vermont

Watch the recording here. 

Thursday, October 1st
12pm

This panel will focus on the experience of womxn and femmes within the booming hemp and cannabis industry. We will dive into the inner workings of what it means to be a femme farmer growing hemp and cannabis in Vermont with an emphasis on the challenges that they face, the crucial need for racially conscious structural change, and how this industry can sustainably strengthen Vermont’s working landscape.

Panelists:

Harmony Edosomwan, Activist and author of Sad Black Girl 

Monica Donovan, Co-founder and CEO, Heady Vermont

Jessilyn Dolan, VT American Nurses Association/ Nurse Grown Organics

Laura Sullivan, Pipe Dreams Hempworks

Arantha Farrow, CEO of Caledonia Cannabis  

Facilitated by: 

Sammy LeVine (she/her), GrowTeam Manager at ShiftMeals

Part 5: Impactful Structural Change, Land Sovereignty, and Reparations

Sponsored by: Vermont Community Loan Fund

Watch the recording here. 

Thursday, October 8th
12pm

In this panel we explore the different approaches to building land sovereignty in Vermont. Because access to land is central to identity, culture, food production, and wealth creation, land theft has long been a tool of oppression against marginalized communities. These leaders are building alternative land-access models to strengthen their communities, increase local food security, right past wrongs, and bring lasting change to the state of Vermont. 

Panelists:

Tracy Zschau, Vice President for Conservation at Vermont Land Trust

Akua Deirdre Smith Shabaaz, BlackOUT Collective and Drinking Gourd

Alison Nihart, Agrarian Commons Board Member

Melody Walker, Elnu Abenaki Band

Steffen Glenn Gillom, President of the Windham County Branch of the NAACP

Facilitated by: 

Zymora Cleopatra Davinchi (she/her), BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program Manager at ShiftMeals 

Part 6: BIPOC Womxn and Femmes: Navigating Vermont’s Food System

Sponsored by: Seventh Generation

Watch the recording here. 

Thursday, October 15th
12pm

The purpose of this panel is to support, celebrate, and reflect on the contributions of BIPOC womxn and femmes in Vermont’s food system. Together we explore their experiences as business owners, earth tenders, healers, faces of organizations, and advocates. Additionally, we aim to build community, honor the dynamic spaces that these folx are creating specifically for marginalized Vermonters, and unpack the inequities that exist at the crossroads between race and gender within Vermont’s food system.

Panelists:

Candace Taylor, Conscious Homestead

Akua Deirdre Smith ShabaazBlackOUT Collective, Reparations Summer Coordinator and Drinking Gourd

Liv Peña, Vermont Releaf Collective

Amber Skye Arnold & Naomi Doe Moody, Susu Healing Collective

Marita Canedo, Migrant Justice

Melody Walker Brook, Elnu Abenaki Band

Facilitated by: 

Zymora Cleopatra Davinchi (she/her), BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program Manager at ShiftMeals 

Want to get involved?