As Minnesota is one of the states in which PAN does on-the-ground campaign work, we send out regular updates on PAN and partners’ work in Minnesota and beyond — from pesticide-related science to opportunities to take action. If you’d like to receive these updates via email, sign up here.
Hello from the PAN Minnesota team!
This month I was ready to send you a roundup of hopeful stories and exciting upcoming events. But then, 22-year-old Amir Locke was shot and killed by Minneapolis Police. Those of us who sit heavy with this loss are grieving, compartmentalizing, trying to heal, and mostly just managing the best we can. This February marks the anniversary of Trayvon Martin’s murder, and it brings up the memories of Jamar Clarke, Philando Castille, George Floyd, Duante Wright, and so many other Black and Brown people killed by state-sanctioned violence in Minnesota. This repetitive cycle says something about racism here that we must upend. If not, what hope do we have to address the many other looming crises we face?
I struggle to find the right words to communicate all the emotions, grief, outrage and even within all of that — hope that I have. So I’m taking a little help from a colleague in the arts, Sarah Bellamy, President of Penumbra Theater and the Center for Racial Healing:
Justice for Amir would have meant that he could one day hold his grandbabies. Justice for Amir would have meant that he could walk down any street in any city in our country and not be followed by eyes, or police, or suspicions. Justice for Amir would have meant that he never worried about having enough to eat, that his school would never be shot up, that the Earth that cradled him wouldn’t be poisoned, that the decisions of people who couldn’t actually see his light would govern his fate. Justice for Amir would have meant that we had already alleviated the inequities Black and other People of Color weather every day. Justice for Amir would mean life.
Dismantling systemic racism is a central part of PAN’s work toward healthy and just food and farming systems for all of us. For those looking to take action for racial justice and against police violence in our community, consider donating funds or labor to the Locke family and local groups (Reclaim the Block, Black Visions, REP) working for life affirming public safety, mutual aid, and beautiful Black futures!
Below, you’ll find a few announcements and upcoming events from our partners.
Zoe Hollomon, PAN Organizing Co-Director, Minnesota
MN Clean water fund
Many thanks to those of you who have already supported our partners’ fund to help Minnesotans facing well water contamination and economic hardship. With your generous donations, we’ve surpassed 60% of our fundraising goal of $5,000! We have a donor who has recently offered a matching gift of $1,000, so please consider making a donation today that will double your impact for safer drinking water!
For those in the North Central Minnesota area, Toxic Taters and partners will be hosting another free well water testing clinic at the Indigenous Farming Conference on Friday, March 4 from 1-4pm. Conference registration is not required. Please contact Tanya RedRoad at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Indigenous Farming Conference
White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) is hosting their 19th Annual Great Lakes Indigenous Farming Conference March 3-6, 2022 at Maplelag Resort in Callaway, MN. This year’s offerings will feature speakers Helga Garza, Executive Director of Agri-Cultura Network (CAN), Jose LaSalle, founder and CEO of HEMPAX, conversations on creating hemp-based energy storage devices for (micro)grid and transportation applications, live music and much more. Find more information and register on WELRP’s website.
Indigenous Hemp Conference
March 1-2 will mark the 5th Annual Indigenous Hemp Conference, hosted by Winona’s Hemp & Heritage Farm, and Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute. This conference will be both virtual and in-person at the Maplelag Resort in Callaway, MN. Local and regional hemp experts will discuss cultivation, varieties, refining, trial and local state and federal regulations, and the possible roles hemp can have for tribal economies. Find more information and register here.