Last Thursday we wrapped up A Force To Be Reckoned With: Womxn in VT’s Food System with our last panel BIPOC Womxn and Femmes: Navigating Vermont’s Food System, and wow — what an incredible journey this has been. Watch the webinar recording here.

Our goal with this series was to amplify and give space to the most marginalized voices in our state. Facilitated by ShiftMeals BIPOC Food Sovereignty Managers, Zymora Davinchi and Jaya Touma Shoatz, we were invited to listen to six BIPOC Womxn and Femme community leaders discuss their experiences working within Vermont’s “Food System”. 

Marita Canedo of Migrant Justice opened by reminding us that “When we talk about food… we need to talk about the people behind it…We’re part of a food system that was not created for us. We need to create our own system.”

These womxn and femmes grappled with what the term “food system” really means. 

Amber Skye Arnold of the Susu Healing Collective reflected on how referring to the human connection to food as a “system” is inherently capitalistic. 

Liv Peña from Vermont Releaf Collective and Candace Taylor of Conscious Homestead brought up how they were both introduced to the term in an institutional setting, discussing how “all of the terminology – inputs, outputs, systems, make it sound like a machine.”

Candace also shared the need to look at food from a more full circle perspective and reconstruct the relationships that we have with the land and the food we grow in it. 

Zymora prompted some concluding thoughts with the question, “How can we as individuals, organizations, and institutions best support BIPOC stewardship in VT?”

Through this discussion, it became clear that if we truly want to move towards a more whole, resilient, food future in Vermont, where all folx are empowered and have a sense of self determination, we must listen and be guided by these BIPOC Womxn and Femmes leaders. Their voices must be at the forefront of our collective future. 

We hope you all will watch this webinar, share with your networks and consider supporting these important community leaders and visionaries in their work. 

Find out more about this panel’s speakers here:

Candace Taylor, Conscious Homestead

Liv Peña, Vermont Releaf Collective

Amber Skye Arnold & Naomi Doe Moody, Susu Healing Collective

Marita Canedo, Migrant Justice

Melody Walker Brook, Elnu Abenaki Band

We want to wholeheartedly thank everyone that has made this series possible! To all of our speakers, sponsors, donors, and audience members —thank you! We hope you will join us in reimagining the future together.

This six-part webinar series was presented by City Market with support from The Skinny Pancake, High Meadows Fund and Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.