By Cori Lucas,
The creation of our own food sources independent of government-dictated farms and corporations is the most holistic method of addressing the inadequate allocation of food resources in Black communities. The Black Yield Institute puts all ideas on the table and hands to work in dynamic pursuit of food and land sovereignty. Co-founded by educator, activist, filmmaker and Baltimore-native Eric Jackson, this organization serves as a place where Black people and other Black-led organizations come together and shape ideas about how to obtain a systemically untethered future for Black people. They don’t just talk about it–they actively participate in and support the physical implementation of these ideas on their 1.25-acre plot of land! The Black Yield Institute’s ultimate objective is to birth a powerful community solely and unapologetically operated and inhabited by Black people where there is no dependence on white-owned institutions. This community would be complete with its own political and economic systems that ensure that only healthy resources are introduced to its people, all self-established and -sustaining institutes are running smoothly, and the youth are being properly educated with Afrocentric truths.
A fully-funded Black Yield Institute would beget a community sitting on hundreds of acres of land that would be shared with Black farmers and growers. Alongside these farms would be dozens of “micro-enterprises that give and provide goods and services to [the] community, and that also spends time cultivating the next generation of freedom fighters to continue [their] work.” This community would operate their own “self-containing, self-governing network of food economies” and a counsel run by community members who control what comes into it–only allowing assets that will nourish its society economically, physically, culturally and educationally. They would also offer retreat centers and spaces for those who’d like to come experience the community. By creating a society of self-established institutions, members would be able to live in harmony with the land and each other with no worry of the effects of food and land apartheid.
The Black Yield Institute has already set to work tilling lands in Baltimore for growing food sources through their Peoples Urban Agriculture program! Volunteers from around Baltimore come together to cultivate fields for crops and improve “access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food” in Black and underserved neighborhoods. The Sankara-Hamer Academy program holds educational gatherings every month and a 15-week leadership course in order to give Black people an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals in order to promote action and ideas in the fight for food and land sovereignty. The Black Yield Institute is also responsible for the Food and Land Sovereignty Network, a conglomerate of black-owned businesses, organizations and leaders in Baltimore that back the pursuit of Black liberation and sovereignty of all resources! To read up on their other initiatives, and volunteer or donate to their amazing vision, follow them @blackyield or visit their page at cllctivly.org/listing/black-yield-institute.
All February, we’re honoring a few of the many Black leaders in our community making history every day with #28DaysofBlackFutures.
This is a crowdfunding and narrative power campaign that amplifies and mobilizes resources for Black-led organizations serving Greater Baltimore.
Throughout the month, we will highlight 28 dedicated Black leaders and organizations on the ground creating programs and initiatives that drive health, wealth, safety, and culture in #Baltimore.
Let’s CELEBRATE these changemakers and SUPPORT their work! Our goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of this campaign.
Head over to 28DaysofBlackfutures.org to donate today! ❤️🖤💚
Let’s show up BIG for our Black leaders and their organizations!