Hello and greetings from the PAN Minnesota team,
Summer is always so busy with organizing, community events, the growing season, travel, and everything else! I wanted to check in quickly with some updates on our work, announcements, and action items in support of good food, agriculture, and environmental work. Enjoy!
Zoe Hollomon, Organizing Co-Director, Minnesota
Farmer & environmental policy training series
This spring, we hosted our first state policy training series for BIPOC-led farming and environmental justice organizations! Led by lobbyist and trainer Nevada Littlewolf (along with some great local policy experts), nine leaders from around the state learned lobbying essentials, storytelling for change, policy writing, relational organizing, and electoral politics. In addition to those basics, they delved into what it means to do this work as leaders of color; cohort member Charles Frempong-Longdon, Organizer with MN EJ Table shared, “I want to learn to navigate policy without losing my voice or my identity.”
Leaders from 40AcresCoop, Toxic Taters Coalition, African Growers & Producers Alliance, Communities Organizing Latinx Power & Action (COPAL) MN, MN EJ Table, White Earth Land Recovery Project, and Tulime Cooperative mapped out policy goals and met with legislative representatives on agriculture, public health, and environmental committees. With shared skills and new relationships, we’re excited for the work that lies ahead! Stay tuned next month for reflections from cohort members Wanjiru Munene and Lily Mboss of Tulime Cooperative and their plans for land access policy and organizing work.
Funding land access
Justice funders Kat Gilje of CERES Trust and Anthony Chang of Manzanita Capital Collective met with Midwest Farmers of Color Collective members in mid June to discuss funding land access and collective organizing for BIPOC Farmers in the Midwest.
“If people want solutions for many of the problems of our agricultural system, they should support farmers of color. We just need the land privilege and tools that white farmers have had for decades. We’re excited to work with Kat, Anthony and other allies to build a food system that actually works for most of us.” – Erin Sharkey, Rootsprings Farm & Retreat Coop Owner
Free water testing
The Toxic Taters Coalition and the MN Well Owners Organization are offering more free well water clinics in August in North Central MN! Bring 8oz. of your water in a clean plastic or glass container, no reservations needed and results are confidential.
- August 10th at Down Home Foods (636 Jefferson St. N. Wadena, MN) from 2pm-7pm
- August 11th at the Park Rapids Library (210 First St. W. Park Rapids, MN) from 2pm-7pm.
Some Minnesotans facing well water contamination and economic hardship need our help. Please consider making a donation of any size to the Clean Water is a Right Fund. For more information contact Toxic Taters Coordinator Tanya RedRoad at email@example.com or (701) 261-2855.
Support Line 3 activists
Line 3 defendants, including artist and activist Shanai Matteson have been charged with “conspiring, aiding and abetting” for encouraging treaty partnership and water protection. Show your support and demand charges be dropped at the Aitkin Courthouse (209 2nd St. NW, Aitkin, MN), July 13-15th from 8:30am-4pm. Find more info here, and call on Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flannigan’s administration to appoint Attorney General Keith Ellison as Special Prosecutor to resolve the harshest cases against #StopLine3 defendants.
Read more about why PAN stands against pipelines here.
#JobAlert - Indigenous Food Lab Market
The Indigenous Food Lab (IFL) Market is currently under development with North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) in Minneapolis. The IFL Market will be a retail space that features food and crafts sourced from Indigenous vendors. They are looking for an Assistant Retail Market Manager to oversee and support day to day retail operations and develop their Online Marketplace. More details and salary/benefits information can be found here.
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