to Mar 6

CANCELLED: Black/Land Project visits Vermont

The Black/Land Project will NOT be able to present a community conversation focusing on black people’s relationship to urban, small town and rural land in Vermont on Sunday, March 5th at Goddard College, scheduled for  7:00 PM.

Mistinguette Smith will be unable to join the Undergraduate Program of Goddard College to deliver a keynote titled “Black/Land: Listening for Emergence”  on Monday, March 6th.

We regret the need to cancel with such short notice.

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10:00 AM10:00

In Search of African American Space. Brooklyn, NY. May 20, 2016

Join Black/Land team member and geographer Allison Guess in a conversation at the Pratt Institute.

An amazing group of  artists, writers, historians, and activists will be in dialogue about the search of African American spaces  from a variety of perspectives.

Find more information at the link below:


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to Jul 25

Movement for Black Lives. Cleveland, OH. July 24-26, 2015

Please join us – and thousands of others from across the U.S. — at the Movement for Black Lives National Convening in Cleveland, OH.

In addition to attending the conference session, Mistinguette Smith and Tavia Benjamin will present our workshop on Black/Land in Cleveland.

This workshop is NOT about urban agriculture! This workshop is for any black Clevelander who has ever owned a home in Glenville; loved a neighborhood on the West Side; tilled a garden in a backyard in East Cleveland; skateboarded across the Mall downtown; or fished in Lake Erie.

This interactive workshop begins with a short look at the unique history of black people’s relationships to land in Cleveland’s history :

Did you know that the first black Clevelander was a well-to-do landowner?


Which black Cleveland suburb has a micro-climate uniquely suited for orchards?


When did Cleveland’s business and residential neighborhoods become racially segregated?


Then, we will  discuss and map out how we would like to see land in our communities used in the future. These rich conversations weave together people who might otherwise not have met, and generate new ideas for how we can construct relationships to land and place.

Whether you attend our workshop, or have a conversation with us over lunch, we can’t wait to see you there!

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to Apr 5

Race, Food & Justice. April 4-5th, 2014. Cleveland,OH.

Environmental Health Watch in collaboration with Rid-All Green Partnership, and Case Western Reserve University Social Justice Institute will come together once again to present the Race, Food & Justice ConferenceThe theme for 2014 is Analyzing the Urban Food Movement through a Social Justice Lens. The two day conference will be held at Case Western Reserve University, April 4th – 5th, 2014.

On Saturday, April 5th, Allison Guess and Mistinguette Smith of The Black/Land Project will offer a Desire Mapping workshop. This is an opportunity for black Clevelanders to reflect on how they want to see land used in their communities in the future.

This workshop is sold out, although tickets for the Friday plenary may still be available here.

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to Jan 25

Service to Justice. Jan 24-25, 2014. Washington D.C.

Many of us entered social change work to be of service. But what is it we serve? Sometimes, the way we do our work actually gets in the way of justice and self-determination. What would our work look like if it was specifically organized to increase the autonomy, authority and relatedness of the communities we serve?

Join Tavia Benjamin of The Black/Land Project for a conversation about how we use the principles of self-determination in our work, and how you might apply them in your work, too.

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to Jun 23

Allied Media Conference. June 20-23, 2013. Detroit, MI

Are you going to Detroit for the Allied Media Conference? Look for Black/Land as a participant in the Research Justice track!

Black/Land team members Allison Guess and Tavia Benjamin will be discussants on the panel Tierra Y Libertad, presentingBlack/Land’s work on how black people understand and transcend the effects of historical trauma as part of organizing. Set in the context of contested public land in Detroit, Black/Land will offer a critical perspective on an aspect of organizing that is often overlooked – responding to transhistorical trauma in ways that help black people to become more self determining in the present.

We will also be at the Research Justice Network Gathering, sharing and learning with others engaged in the work oftactical, grassroots research in pursuit of social justice, and social justice movement building.

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12:00 PM12:00

Grist Magazine: Black to the Land

Grist magazine really understands that The Black/Land Project is about more than just agriculture: it’s about the very relationship between race and place.

Be sure to read Andrea Appleton’s interview with Black/Land founder Mistinguette Smith, “Black to the Land: Project explores connections between race and place” in the June edition of the online magazine. The interview draws the connections between U-Pick farms,  redlining and the Underground Railroad.

You can find more of Appleton’s fantastic Grist posts, which focus on race and place, here.

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to Apr 26

Race Food Justice Conference. April 26, 2013. Cleveland, OH


Join Black/Land at the Race FoodJustice Conference co-convened by Case Western Reserve University, EnvironmentalHealth Watch, Growing Powerand The RidAll“Greenin’ The Ghetto” Partnership in Cleveland, Ohio coming this April!

Speakers will include:

This conference aims to create a dialog about food, farming, race, land use, health, jobs and social justice issues. It is a collaboration between Case’s Social Justice Institute, the Milwaukee-based Growing Power Inc., and two Cleveland groups — Environmental Health Watch and the Rid-All Green Partnership, operators ofan urban farm in the Kinsman neighborhood.

Events take place from 6-9PM Thursday and Friday evening, and are free to the public. Just click here to register.

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to Apr 13

Our Stories: Story Based Strategy with HAFA-DC and the Black/Land Project. April 12-13, 2013. Washington, D.C.

The Black/Land Project returns to Washington DC.. Hosted by HAFA-DC, Our Stories is a series of events for black organizers and community members with strong connections to DC. Each session will give you an opportunity to explore, express and share what upholds your personal connection to DC and the special places here.

Please register for one or both sessions.

A Lunch Discussion for Black Organizers
Friday April 12th, 12-2pm

Bread for the City SE
1640 Good Hope Rd. SE
Washington, DC 20020


Open to the Public
Saturday, April 13th, 2:30pm-5pm

Center for Green Urbanism(NEW LOCATION)
3938 Benning Road NE
Washington, DC 20019


Our colleagues at Healthy Affordable Food for All (HAFA) welcome you to their monthly gathering, where they explore personal stories and their impact on policy and social change work. There is something for everyone at the network gathering and all are welcome.

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7:00 PM19:00

Clark University. March 19, 2013. Worcester, MA.

Join us Tuesday, March 19th at 7PM for a Conversation with The Black/Land Project at Clark University. We expect the roads to be cleared by this evening, so this workshop is still scheduled to take place.

Join us for a conversation that explores how people in America define their relationships to land, and why they are the groupmost likely to take action about issues of environmental concern. 7:00PM, Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons at Clark University.

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7:00 PM19:00

James Baldwin, Emancipation and Jubilee. January 2, 2013. Forbes Library, Northampton, MA

On the biblical Sabbath of Jubilee, slaves were set free and given leave to return to the land of their people. To African-Americans enslaved in the southern U.S., the Emancipation Proclamation surely sounded like that biblical Jubilee. On December 31, 1862 they gathered in churches– the only places they could call their own– awaiting the liberty promised on the morning to come.

This week marks the 150th observance of Watch Night to mark Freedom’s Eve. It also marks 50 years since the great African-American writer James Baldwin wrote the essay “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my nephew on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation,” the essay that opens his incendiary 1963 collection The Fire Next Time.

On January 2nd at 7:00PM , join author Ekwueme Michael Thelwell (The Harder They Fall), Mistinguette Smith (The Black/Land Project) and playwright Lenelle Moïse (Expatriate) at the Forbes Library in Northampton for an evening inspired by the life and work of James Baldwin. Mistinguette will read from new work-in-progress about James Baldwin, transcending historical trauma, and the Jubilee of black relationships to land.

Click here for directions to Forbes Library.

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to Sep 24

“Staking A Claim: Self-Defining Black Relationships to Land.” Black Environmental Thought Conference II. September 21-23, 2012. Minneapolis, MN.

UPDATE: Missed us at BET? Can’t wait for the conference proceeding to be published?  You can download our presentation “Black/Land: Other People’s Stories” from our Offerings page here!

Join us at the second Black Environmental Though Conference, September 21-23, in Minneapolis, MN.  Black/Land Project founder Mistinguette Smith will join colleagues Lauret Savoy and Danyelle O’Hara for the context setting workshop “Staking a Claim: Self-Defining Black Relationships to Land.”

Please join us and other scholars, activists, farmers, artists, gardeners, environmentalists and outdoor enthusiasts from across the African diaspora in dialogues about environmental justice. There may still be some scholarship money available! Check the BET registration page for details.

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7:30 PM19:30

St. Mary’s College of Maryland. April 10, 2012.

The Black/Land Project will offer students, faculty and staff at St. Mary’s College a presentation about what we are learning about black relationships to land and place.

We will also hold a classroom presentation on “Black/Land and Sustainability” and a  facilitated workshop session on “A Different American History” for students, staff and faculty to explore in depth how black relationships to land and place shape the experience of living, working and studying at St. Mary’s today.


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to Mar 31

Beyond Fields and Factories: Black/Land returns to Flint, MI March 29-31, 2012.

The Black/Land Project will return toFlint, Michigan inMarch 2012 to offer two sessions of Black/Land Conversations:

Beyond Fields and Factories: Imagining a New Flint

In February, Black/Land conducted interviews in African-American communities in Flint.  In March, Black/Land founder Mistinguette Smith will returnwith a short presentation comparingpatterns in black people’s relationships to land and place in Flint to patterns found in other black communities in theGreat Lakes area. She will then facilitate a workshop to develop black Flintonians’ vision for land use and cultivating sense of place in Flint, with an emphasis on the North Side.

Please join us. You are an important part of this story!

The events are free, but seating is limited and reservations are required.

Reserve your seat now. Email  indicating the date/location you will attend.

As Flintonians prepare to  reshape their city with a new municipal master plan, these workshops offer a place to get involved in deciding what relationships to land and place areimportant to you and your community.

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8:00 AM08:00

Black/Land: New Questions. NOFA-VT Winter Conference. February 12, 2012. Burlington, VT.


UPDATE: Were you at this workshop? Looking for the discussion question slides? We have posted them here.

Join us at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) Winter Conference for the workshop Black/Land: New Questions.

Based on interviews with urban gardeners and rural farmers, community activists and artists, and ordinary people who tell extraordinary stories,Black/Land: New Questions begins with a slide show that describes the unique perspectives of African-American, Caribbean and African immigrants’ relationships to land and place.

In the second part of the workshop, Mistinguette Smith, Hannah Sultanand John Elder will guide small group dialogues about these relationships to land and place, and what we can learn to supportour efforts to build racially just and resilient urban/rural connections in an increasingly multicultural Vermont.

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6:00 PM18:00

October 25, 2011. Detroit preview of “Black/Land: Women’s Voices.” Wright Museum of African American History.

Mistinguette Smith will present a preview of a new work Black/Land: Women’s Voices, that focuses on black women’s relationship to land and place, includingrecent interviews with women in Michigan. Discussion of black relationship to land in Michigan, and across the US, follows. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI. 6:00PM. The event is free, but please register here, so we know you’recoming!


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7:00 PM19:00

Oct. 20, 2011. Black/Land: Care of the City. College for Creative Studies. Detroit, MI.

Mistinguette Smith will speak with students at the College for Creative Studies course “Care of the City.” Smith will share her Black/Land workshop on understanding black people’s relationship to land and place. She will facilitate a discussion about action research in service of community, and the power of story as data, intervention, and art. This event is open to CCS students and faculty only.


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1:00 PM13:00

October 20, 2011. Preview of “Black/Land: Women’s Voices”. Ann Arbor, MI

Mistinguette Smith will present a preview of a new work Black/Land: Women’s Voices, that focuses on black women’s relationship to land and place, and its implications for social policy. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ford School of Public Policy. 5:30PM. the event is free, but please register here so we’ll know you’re coming!


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