solidarity in justice
Yes, Southern Vermont and surrounding areas, we are predominantly white and rural, but we do have incredible BIPOC*-owned businesses, organizations, farms, and artists that we can learn more about and support. We started a list of local agriculture, food, garden and small-business -based information, as well as some lists compiled by others, of people and organizations who inspire us. By no means exhaustive and updated as we learn more, please get in touch if you know of someone you would like to add to the list that we all should know about, or with any other constructive commentary and information.
Check out the links below to learn more about the important things happening in our communities and sign up for email lists, follow on instagram and facebook, and donate to and purchase from New England BIPOC businesses and organizations. Keep protesting, and add your voice and actions to those demanding justice, reparations and equity.
*Black, Indigenous and People of Color
Support BIPOC initiatives & organizations by donating time, money & resources
BIPOC Land and Food Sovereignty Fund Help purchase land for black and brown farmers in Vermont! This initiative is “visioning a sustainable, food secure future for our people, looking for ways to cultivate food ourselves. A future where Black and brown people in Vermont can come together to live, heal and thrive.”
Soul Fire Farm is a BIPOC-centered community farm in Petersburg NY committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system by raising and distributing life-giving food as a means to end food apartheid. With deep reverence for the land and wisdom of our ancestors, they work to reclaim the collective right to belong to the earth and to have agency in the food system, bringing diverse communities together on this healing land to share skills on sustainable agriculture, natural building, spiritual activism, health, and environmental justice.
NEFOC The Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC), fiscally sponsored by Soul Fire Farm Institute, Inc. serves the Northeast region of the U.S. (New England/upstate NY.) NEFOC is working towards a collective vision of advancing land and food sovereignty in the northeast region through permanent and secure land tenure for POC farmers and land stewards who will use the land in a sacred manner that honors their ancestors dreams – for sustainable farming, human habitat, ceremony, native ecosystem restoration, and cultural preservation.
VFF’s Abenaki Cultural Use Land Access Project provide limited access to your forest land for present-day Abenaki people to gather plants, fungi, and animals for traditional cultural practices.
Susu Healing Collective ‘s mission is to offer an affirming space for people to practice community reciprocity; The act of giving from a place of abundance and receiving from a place of deep love and reverence while learning how to engage in community practices that dismantle systems of oppression and build systems of health, healing, wellness, and magic. The SUSU centers the voices, healing, and experiences of Black, Indigenous, People of Color and is committed to creating safer spaces for people to release trauma patterns of white supremacy, oppression, colonization, and westernized disconnection. The SUSU offers programs for all people who are ready and willing to begin or continue the path of transformation through accountability, connection, and spiritual practice.
Clemmons Family Farm is one of the oldest and largest African-American owned farms in Vermont. In 2019 they raised a hoop house where they grow traditional crops to provision their African American diaspora culinary heritage programs, Farm2Art2Table. The African diaspora includes all countries in Africa, as well as the Americas (United States, Canada, South America) and the Caribbean, representing a wide and diverse array of cultures, foods, spices and cuisines.
Fresh Start Farms in nearby Manchester NH is a collective brand for immigrant and refugee farmers participating in the New American Sustainable Agriculture Program, a program of the Organization for Refugee and Immigrant Success. We work alongside new American farmers to bring farm fresh ingredients to your table via neighborhood farm stands, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Wholesale and NH Farm to School. The organization is fiercely dedicated to both supporting new Americans to build prosperous livelihoods and safeguarding food access for vulnerable communities.
Out in the Open is building a multi-issue social justice movement of rural LGBTQ people. Donate to their Mutual Aid Fund which will distribute money to LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, +) folks, prioritizing applicants who are QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, people of color). Additional priority will be given to those who live at the intersections of systematically oppressed experiences & identities.
Lost River Racial Justice Based in Brattleboro, VT Lost River Racial Justice is dedicated to small town and rural multiracial organizing to dismantle white-supremacy and transfer power and resources to people of color communities.
The Root Social Justice Center The Root Social Justice Center is a Vermont-based, POC-led nonprofit organization focused on racial justice organizing, community advocacy, and relationship-building programming, led by their Root Collective and their Collaborative Directorship team who help the organization maintain the integrity of the center’s beliefs, purpose, and vision.
Justice for All ‘s mission is to pursue racial justice within Vermont’s criminal justice system and beyond through advocacy, education, and relationship-building.
Peace and Justice Vermont has been a leader in social justice activism in Vermont since 1979. Their Board and Staff work with community members, local businesses, non-profit organizations, activists, and volunteers to help all Vermonters achieve self-sufficiency and shared prosperity. Their Center is open to the public and offers a social justice library and a community meeting room space.
Vermont Racial Justice Alliance ‘s focus is on mitigating the direct impact and dismantling the root (systemic) origins of racism in Vermont, placing a priority on policies that generally affect change across a broad spectrum, including housing, education, employment, health services and economic development and the criminal justice system.
Sow Well Tots‘ Bessie Jones is an African-American mom who is passionate about early childhood education. She integrates multiple approaches for supporting and nurturing the young child, with a primary focus in Rudolf Steiner and Emmi Pikler’s philosophies. Sow Well Tots is designed to create an environment that supports the small child in slow integration and self-initiated development. Through June 22nd their Inclusion Scholarship Fund & Reopening Campaign is live, and supporters can make tax-deductible donations to Sow Well Tots through their fiscal sponsor and sister school, Vermont Wilderness School. 100% of donations will go to Sow Well Tots to fully fund their scholarships and defray the cost of reopening under COVID-19 regulations.
Mariam Diallo is a Brattleboro community member who travels to Haiti for humanitarian work with children at the Foyer Evangelique Orphanage.
Make your dollars count
Support BIPOC businesses with purchases
Shop BIPOC VT Resource List from SUSU Healing Collective
BIPOC in Agriculture and Food Resource Guide for the US
Eat & Drink at someone’s table
Savor the culinary art of area chefs, winemakers and restaurants
Three Stones Mayan Cocina owner Mucuy Bolles mother, Alejandra Bolles, taught her how to cook authentic Mayan food as a little girl, and after a 20-year professional ballet and modern dance career Mucuy and her husband Christian opened their restaurant in Brattleboro. In 2017 Three Stones was a semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award.
Tito’s Taqueria The best tacos!!! Tito operates out of a truck in Brattleboro and a restaurant with take-out in Greenfield MA.
Strafford Creamery is a one-farm, one-family dairy in central Vermont. They milk 50 Guernseys and market their amazing milk in glass bottles, and in super-premium ice cream (so good!!!). Certified organic in 1997 and bottling on their own since 2001, they are committed to sustainable agriculture and dairy without compromises.
Cai’s Dim Sum Catering Cai blends the culinary traditions of her native city of Chongqing, China, with those of her adopted state of the last three decades to create nutritious, delicious, artistic dishes. Dumplings are currently available for pickup outside their restaurant and gallery in Brattleboro.
Zafa Wines a little more up north Krista Scruggs is doing amazing, magical things growing and fermenting grapes and apples, creating different natural wines every year depending on how the fruit is behaving and expressing itself in the fields and in the winery.
Gypsy Apple Bistro maestro Chef and Sommelier Michaelangelo Wescott’s intimate Shelburne Falls MA restaurant is a one-man operation using the area’s best produce and meats to create delicious, splendid menus, with a fantastic wine list to match.
See through someone else’s eyes
Look, listen and support through art
Elle James amazing photographer and chronicler, mother, forager, gardener, designer
Beautyfull World renaissance woman: scientist, artist, storyteller, educator, and earth worker Kerrita Mayfield
I AM…: Exploring What It Means to Be a Vermont Artist a multidisciplinary art exhibition with work by 27 BIPOC artists working in Vermont, reviewed by 7DaysVT with links
CX Gallery Can Xi Silver’s beautiful artwork is present in the practice of “not only making her home an art-life center of creativity via food as art, communication as art, dealing with life issues with others as art but also her Putney School experience of taking her students to China.”
Samirah Evans dynamic, soulful vocalist and musician in the blues and jazz genres
Raise your voice
Donate to, petition, & contact lawmakers & civil rights organizations & add your voice to those demanding justice
More resources for general community reciprocity
I am a Vermonter a resource for persons of color relocating to Vermont for school, work or retirement. Read peoples’ stories about living in Vermont as a POC to learn more about their experiences!
Growing Resilience recognizes the Brattleboro community’s overwhelming desire to garden, and makes it easier for everyone to access the resources necessary to pursue gardening during this post-COVID growing season.
Rural Economic Development Initiative (a program of the VT Housing and Conservation Board) Their grant-writing support helped the Clemmons Family Farm receive a grant to establish an arts and cultural center on the farm focused on African American Heritage.
Anti-Racism Resource List a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work, compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein.
Inspiration beyond local
Equity at the Table is a practical and proactive response to the blatant gender and racial discrimination that plagues the food industry. EATT is an easy-to-navigate database for food industry professionals featuring only women/gender non-conforming individuals and focusing primarily on POC and the LGBTQ community.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man Emmanuel Acho sits down with white America to talk about the stuff we all need to talk about and question ourselves about. In his words,
“Racism is not a virus of the body; it is a virus of the mind, and unfortunately, it can be lethal. But you cannot fix a problem that you do not know you have. And if “ignorance is bliss”, in this case, bliss has caused bondage and pain for others. But there is a fix. We can all access the life-saving medicine that will cure the world’s most ailing, long-lasting pandemic. But in order to access it, we’re going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations.”
Sisters Rising Documentary is the story of six Native American women reclaiming personal and tribal sovereignty in the face of ongoing sexual violence against Indigenous women in the United States.
Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi takes audiences on a journey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today. From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals, Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history – ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.
Donell Barlow is an Ottawa/Yurok chef, health & wellness coach, native plant and ancestral foods expert, yoga teacher, author and and artist
The Sioux Chef Sean Sherman is revitalizing Native American Cuisine and in the process re-identifying North American Cuisine and reclaiming an important culinary culture long buried and often inaccessible.
Support Black Owned Restaurants is a list of black-owned restaurants you can order from now in ten cities, compiled by The Infatuation.