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Beginning Farmer Training Program in Allensworth

Our guest speaker, Liz Carlisle, did a good job addressing a versatile set of questions, from global politics to local agriculture and everything in between. She was well-versed on topics on race, specifically the doctrine of discovery, a papal bull sent from the Catholic Church that deemed acceptable the subjugation and enslavement of non-white people worldwide. The long-term consequences made necessary Col. Allensworth's departure from the South to find sanctuary in California. Her insight on agroecology showcased her extensive knowledge on the subject, and her gifting of her latest book, Healing Grounds, showed her profound ability to apply principles of agroecology into a method of storytelling.

Within the presentation by Liz Carlisle, there was a lack of cultural congruency that hindered the group's ability to dive deeper into conversations that highlighted the current space that Allensworth is in and the best methods for moving forward. While discussing some of the principles that led Col. Allensworth to arrive in California, when acknowledging that Allensworth was not an integrationist but rather a separatist, there was a void in her ability to build on the conversation to go in any direction. Maybe her reservation on building on this topic was done out of respect as a white woman, not wanting to seem like the authority on topics that shape Black life in America. I think it would be in better alignment for, in the future, speakers to be more reflective of the community that Col. Allensworth gave his life to save. With Black farmers in California taking up less than 1% of California's agricultural community, this may come off as challenging but also very necessary to reinforce the Legacy of the Great Col. Allensworth's specific mission and vision.

The content was delivered in a way that was easy to digest, being that it was an open forum and set up to hear from everyone who had input. I think Sonya Montgomery did a good job facilitating round table discussion, so everyone was encouraged to share their family history as it related to farming and migration for the south to the north.

The two key points that I learned from this presentation/roundtable discussion dealt with Allensworth's current population and how the program's current structure is organized. I became enlightened by the figures that highlighted the current demographics. The Allensworth community has a population of 565 people, with less than 8% of this population being people of African descent, descendants of slaves, which was Allensworth's original motivating factor for coming west. Over 90% of the Allensworth population identifies as Hispanic or Latino (Latinx). This social structure highlights a teachable moment for all Americans in regard to the distribution of reparations and how payouts and infrastructure will directly influence the lives of African descendants of slaves. Secondly, I learned of the challenges that lay ahead when considering how the development of Allensworth will support the resiliency and revolving of the Black dollar, and how this $40 million investment will, if not exclusively, be in alignment with Col. Allensworth's original plan to create a sanctuary city for African Descendants of slaves. Is it possible in today's world that something can be done exclusively for African descendants of slaves in collaboration with other cultures also seeking to be empowered?

Allensworth, a beacon of black resiliency, traces its roots to a vision born in the fertile soil of determination. Dr. Allen Allensworth and visionary pioneers laid the groundwork for a community that would redefine the narrative for black families. Their resilience, planted like seeds in the face of adversity, grew into a legacy that continues to inspire strength and fortitude. The Power of Black Resilience: Allensworth's Triumphs (

-Create Society

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