Happy Women’s History Month! Women have been at the forefront of urban agriculture, food justice, and activism. We are celebrating just a couple of women who inspire us on our mission for food justice and urban agriculture. However, the list does not end here, we urge you to do more research and honor the countless women that are striving for food equality everywhere. Oh, and be sure to tag any amazing urban ag ladies in the comments of our latest Instagram post.
Tanya Fields is a food justice activist and educator. Fields is the founder and executive director of The Black Feminist Project. Fields started the Libertad Urban Farm, an organic urban garden in the Bronx, to tackle the few nutritious food options and food education accessible to low-income people, especially women of color. Tayna says in an interview with Cuisine Noir, “The farm looks beautiful and I am really proud of the fruit trees we have, but the space is not just about growing food, green space is important, but it is also a communal space. A little pocket of utopia in an area that has to exist in spite of many of the circumstances that exist simultaneously.”
Navina Khanna is an educator, policy advocate, and community organizer. Khanna’s worldview is shaped by growing food in India and the United States. Khanna states in an interview with Civil Eats, “I realized how much U.S. policy actually decides how farmers in places like India and around the world live and die.” Navina Khanna serves as the Founding Director for the Health, Environment, Agriculture, and Labor (HEAL) Alliance. It is a nonprofit coalition of multi-racial and multi-sector food and farm organizations working to improve food systems in various communities within the U.S.
Based in the Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe, Elizabeth Mpofu is the General Coordinator at La Via Campesina (LVC). The coalition is striving to promote rights and unite agricultural workers from around the world to establish a more just and sustainable food system. Mpofu is a part of many prestigious organizations such as the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF), serves as a board member of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, and represents as a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Special Ambassador in Africa for Pulses. Mpofu runs a small farm in Zimbabwe and lectures on agriculture policies at multiple organizations, such as the Bund Naturschutz (Association for the Protection of Nature).
Geum-Soon Yoon is President and Founder of Korea Women Farmers Association. Geum-Soon Yoon strives to strengthen the disenfranchised and female farmers in South Korea and worked to facilitate the first reunification movement between North and South Korean farmers. Yoon states in an interview, “Most women neither possess land nor have the right of joint possession. They are excluded from education and training, buying machinery, financial support. Only their husbands have these rights.” Yoon began a child care service for children of farmers which gives agency for women to learn useful skills. Additionally, Yoon advocates improving international policies that affect the environment and farmers’ rights.
Jamila Norman is an Atlanta-based community organizer, owner, and farmer of Patchwork City Farms in Atlanta. Norman’s initial goal was to provide fresh food to the neighborhood school system by running after-school programs to teach about urban farming. Norman states in an interview with Farm Star Living, “There's definitely a shift in terms of who farmers are. You really have to prove yourself as a woman saying you’re a farmer. People are like “yeah right” and then they come to the farm and they’re like "Wow, OK, so you really are farming!" Once they see it and get to know you, then they take you seriously. But at first, they just think it’s men’s work.”
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