NEFOC Network Monthly Co-Coordinator Update: March 2019
Greetings dear Farmers of Color!
Happy spring everyone! We can feel the sap flowing, the buds getting fatter, and the seeds we’re all planting starting to stir awake. This month was a productive, creative, very internal month for us as Co-Coordinators. We welcomed new life into the world (welcome sweet Inara!) and held space for those leaving (farewell Audrey).
As we’ve been “building the house while living in it” by continuing to craft the frameworks for our strategic plan, we came to the realization that NEFOC’s Vision “to advance land sovereignty in the northeast region through permanent, secure land tenure for Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian farmers and land stewards who use the land in a sacred manner that honors our ancestors dreams - for regenerative farming, sustainable human habitat, ceremony, native ecosystem restoration, and cultural preservation.” is not the end goal- it’s the means to an end, and that end is to be whole. Healed from the myriad social, financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual effects of colonization. In order to do this effectively, we are summoning forth our individual gifts as healers and organizers to develop an appropriate plan of care for this work.
We’re tapping into allied and sibling organizations for support, encouragement, and guidance and our council has been busy trying to birth the essential governance tools to make solid decisions, set expectations, and communicate clearly.
Here is a quick update:
Events/Gatherings in which we participated
We participated in the Soul Fire Farm staff retreat!
and have been invited to:
Land Trust Alliance Conference (potential panel)
Funding opportunities we’re exploring:
Resist, Inc. (MA)
Heinz Family Philanthropies (D.C)
New World Foundation (NY)
NOAA Environmental Literacy grant
New institutional relationships we’re cultivating:
Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming
Indigenous Seedkeepers Network
Peconic Land Trust
Massachusetts Avenue Project
National Parks Service
Union of Concerned Scientists
Council & Working Group Updates:
We have met with the council this month and have scheduled another meeting to finalize essential governance processes that will enable us to communicate and make strong decisions, the first of which will be to select a state in which to incorporate, finalize interim by-laws, and to select legal support to advance towards filing articles of incorporation. We have met with Pace Law Clinic and Technical Assistance team attorney Julian Hill to begin the conversation to present various legal models to our council in preparation of signing a retainer.
Resource development planning is underway, with a draft resource development strategy midway through completion. People are excited and have been approaching us about donating or opening their land via conservation easement, which makes the completion of the resource development plan that much more important. We’ve engaged Agrarian Trust for technical assistance regarding resource development planning and organizational planning. We’re also developing a one-pager to work from for outreach and resource development conversations, based on our strategic plan..
We look forward to what the next month brings- manifesting this organization couldn’t happen without the amazing support of our council and working groups. Many thanks to Diana Warwin, Larisa Jacobson, Neftali Duran, Elizabeth O’Gilvie, Carmen Mouzon, Ulum Ahtohil, Nia Holley, Christine Hutchinson, and Keely Curliss for showing up for us again and again. It is a blessing to have such support and camaraderie in this work.
May your sap run strong, clear, and free.
Your humble Co-Coordinators,
Stephanie & Çaca