ANV Director to Speak at Historic #BlackLivesMatter Event

This weekend, our own Kelly Carlisle, Executive Director of Acta Non Verba, will join hundreds of Black freedom fighters convening from around the country at the inaugural Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Kelly will host a workshop at the event titled “Farming = Healing: How Farming Saved My Life and Made Me Aware of My Blackness.”

This historic event comes at a pivotal time for the growing movement for Black lives in the United States. Black people are facing unabated police violence, increasing criminalization, a failed economic system, a broken education system and the loss of our communities to gentrification and development.

How Farming Deepens Activism—and Saves Lives

Ms. Kelly’s workshop, titled “Farming = Healing: How Farming Saved My Life & Made Me Aware of My Blackness,” will illustrate the many ways that farming—growing food, flowers, herbs and ornamentals—can transform lives.

The workshop will explore the struggles and triumphs of ordinary people who have found redemption in the soil—whose hands are both dirty and clean—and who can find peace in the process of growing and nurturing plants.

‘Non-agrarian’ participants will gain insight into how farming actually helps individuals navigate the seemingly endless stream of hateful acts perpetrated against Black people, deepens activism, and renews feelings of hope, purpose, and joy.

“I see parallels between how we farm and how we resist racism in our society,” Ms. Kelly reveals. “Farming made me a better mother, and a better activist. Farming has heightened my awareness of blackness in various spaces as a Black, Woman, Urban Farmer, and Military Veteran.”

Convergence Heralds the Vitality of the Movement

Many have taken to the streets in response to this ongoing state of emergency. During the past year, Black people from across the country have led a wave of resistance that has spread around the world. A new crop of freedom fighters has emerged and urgent desire for Black victory has been rekindled in the hearts of seasoned activists.

Now, after months of intense action, Black people need space to begin the creation of a collective mission that matches the intensity, scale, urgency, and promise of the moment. This convening presents an opportunity to reflect on our histories of struggle, build a sense of fellowship that transcends geographical boundaries, and begin to heal from the many traumas we face. Whether through topical trainings, engaging conversations or just kicking back with each other— we will strengthen a budding community that is diverse in voices, origin, perspective and strategy.

Open, and created by many voices, The Movement for Black Lives Convening will be a space to realize that promise fully on our terms as Black people. We invite all Black people invested in this movement to join the convening to shape our present and chart our future.

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