I was excited to hear about the Veganism of Color: Virtual Conference coming up in September 2019. So I figured I’d spread the word and encourage people to explore the important work that the organizers are doing.
The conference is FREE, but you must register to reserve your spot.
Day One includes talks from the speakers listed below. Day Two is a Q&A Panel discussion with the same speakers.
I love that the conference is free and will be as accessible as possible to people around the world. At the same time, those of us who have the means might consider making a donation to Chilis On Wheels, or purchasing a book from Sanctuary Publishers (who are jointly hosting the conference).
For more information on both of these organizations, see below.
Some of the speakers I have heard of before (Starr Baker, Margaret Robinson), but most of them are new to me and I’m looking forward to knowing more about them.
Doreen Akiyo Nartey, ChildFreeAfrican.com
Veganism, Sustainable Development, and the North/South Divide
This talk will raise questions about the international development and the role of privilege in defining the responsibilities of vegan activists of color in helping to spread consistent anti-oppression around the world.
Starr Baker, Black Feminist Vegan/Fuel the People
Food Justice, Community, and Advocacy
This talk will discuss key elements of community-led food justice activism, including helpful insight on building Black/Brown vegan community, organizing vegan food justice efforts, and adding to or learning from the ones that already exist.
A Dalit’s Perspective: Casteism and Speciesism
This talk will discuss the interconnections of casteism and speciesism, including casteisms’ dependence on nonhuman animal exploitation to justify both human and nonhuman oppression (a term coined casteist speciesism).
Margaret Robinson, Academic Scholar/Lennox Island First Nation member
Decolonizing Body, Mind, and Spirit
This talk will examine how approaching veganism from an Indigenous (L’nu/Mi’kmaw) perspective can help undo colonial damage and support food sovereignty.
LoriKim Alexander, co-director of Black Cuse Pride
Black Queer Vegan Liberation
This talk will focus on the intersections of being Black, queer, and vegan while working towards liberation for both humans and nonhumans.
As you can see, there is much food for thought on the conference agenda. I think that anyone who is interested in race and social justice will get a lot out of it, so please don’t be dissuaded from attending if you’re not a vegan. I hope to ‘see’ you there, and in the meantime here is a little more information about the conference hosts.
As I’ve mentioned before, in the run up to and aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election, I all but stopped reading. With everything happening in the country and so many urgent issues to fight and focus on, I found that I didn’t have the attention span or the mental and emotional energy to sit down and read.
While I was unable to lose myself in a novel or even a short story, my eventual way back into reading was through non-fiction, specifically works that explored issues of race and social justice.
Soon after I became vegan, I sought out vegans of color in order to deepen my understanding of the interconnectedness of various forms of oppression.
As a feminist with a Master in Gender & Women’s Studies, I recognized parallels between patriarchy and the systemic structures and binary thought-processes that enable animal oppression. As a women who has experienced discrimination and levels of violence from men, I was comfortable making certain comparisons and analogies between the oppression of women and the oppression of animals.
Yet, as a white woman who has a long way to go in interrogating and dismantling my own participation in the perpetuation of white supremacy, I was confused and deeply uncomfortable at the idea of talking about the oppression of animals and the oppression of people of color in the same conversation. Intuitively I feel that all forms of oppression stem from patriarchy and white supremacy, but I don’t have the knowledge, language or experience to speak about this hugely complex and painful issue and, frankly, I think it’s better that I simply listen rather than speak.
Needless to say, I have a lot to learn and synthesize on this topic. Some of the many books I’ll be reading and contemplating in the coming weeks are all published by Sanctuary Publishers, namely:
- Veganism in an Oppressive World: A Vegans of Color Community Project
- Food Justice: A Primer
- Veganism of Color–Decentering Whiteness in Human and Nonhuman Liberation
“Countless folks aren’t critical enough about the interconnectedness of oppression and how it impacts marginalized communities as well as other animals (i.e. sexism, racism, classism, etc., which are greatly amplified under capitalism). “Veganism in an Oppressive World” is a must read for anyone committed to doing serious work around the dismantling of speciesism and all other systems of oppression that are inherently at odds with life.”-Kevin Tillman, Vegan Hip Hop Movement
Chilis on Wheels
I first heard about Chilis on Wheels when Million Dollar Vegan donated $100,000 to the non-profit so that they could provide food and support survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Through services such as meal shares, food demos, clothing drives, and mentorship, Chilis on Wheels work in areas all around the USA to help make veganism accessible to communities in need. They provide networks of support and build strong empowered communities within the areas that they serve.