Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter Web Conference is Tomorrow (April 24-25 2015)

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The conference is 1 day away. Join us and Tweet about it using the hashtag #SistahVeganCon . We have limited partial and full scholarships for those who can’t afford the price. The conference is going to be recorded, so if you can’t attend the entire event in real time, you can download the recordings if you buy a ticket. Recordings are available 36 hours after the event. 

Time: 10am-5pm PDT (Los Angeles time zone) April 24-25, 2015. You can use a Smartphone, computer, or telephone to access the event.  If you register you will be entered into our raffle contest!

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Designed by Alise Eastgate (www.eastrandstudios.com)

TIME: 10am-5pm PDT Zone (Each Day)

DATES: April 24-25, 2015

Registration and Ticket Purchase: CLICK HERE

The Sistah Vegan Project’s Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter conference will bring together scholars, writers, activists and community organizers to examine the intersections of the #blacklivesmatter movement and veganism.

Designed for black vegans, vegans of color and their white allies, this interactive, online event, offers an opportunity for collaborative discussion, building networks of engagement and knowledge sharing. The conference will also work to bring forward suggestions and inspiration to build momentum for collective change.

In this time, when large numbers of people are taking to the streets under the #blacklivesmatter banner, this year’s conference’s workshops and talks ask:

– How do veganism and #blacklivesmatter intersect?

– What does a vegan praxis of “black lives matter” look like?

– What does veganism that ignores “black lives matter” look like, and what are the unintended consequences?

– Why do race and whiteness matter, and how do they operate within veganism and beyond?

– What does allyship look like within the #blacklivesmatter movement amongst non-black vegans and black non-vegans/

#Blacklivesmatter is happening because of an America in which “post-racial” rhetoric dominates the mainstream and has been accepted as truth by many white Americans.

This narrowness of perspective/thought/rhetoric extends to vegan (largely white spaces) in which embracing anti-oppression is limited to non-human animal rights and specieism and does not acknowledge other forms of oppression (systemic racism, xenophobia, etc.).

In this context, black lives really do not matter and instead work to combat racism and other forms of human oppression is seen as an unnecessary distraction from the “real work” for non-human animal liberation.

Many of us, as black vegans and as non-white and white allies, find that our politics cannot be single issue. As much as veganism provides an anti-oppression framework it must do so holistically.

We cannot ignore the connections between child slavery on cocoa plantations and the enslavement of non-human animals on factory farms. “Cruelty-free” cannot simply mean that no non-human animals were harmed during production but that the workers who produce our goods are also well treated and well compensated.

We challenge the racial and class privileges that allow mainstream vegan rhetoric to speak of lower income people of color who don’t adopt plant-based diets as lazy without seeing and understanding their realities of lack of access to good, affordable food. We question the ease with which many white vegans shrug off the Thug Kitchen controversy ; their inability to see this minstrel show as reinforcing pernicious stereotypes about black people that make it easier to accept violence against them.

We note that from the beginning #blacklivesmatter activists have insisted that queer people, feminists, people from the spectrum of classes, those who are differently abled, etc. not only be part of the movement but that their perspectives help define its strategies and goals instead of accepting “traditional” hierarchies that would put straight, cis-gender, able-bodied, middle class men in the lead.

We call and fight for a vegan, collective praxis that uses a true anti-oppression lens and embodies anti-racism, Black liberation and the dismantling of white supremacist systems and institutions in a supposed post-racial era along with the systems that abuse and oppress non-human animals.

Registration and Ticket Purchase: CLICK HERE

Sponsor the conference: Find out more about sponsorship here.

Nominate the Vegan Anti-Racist Change-makers of 2015: Click Here.



Schedule

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS WILL ALSO BE RECORDED FOR REGISTRANTS TO ACCESS IF THEY CANNOT ATTEND IN REAL TIME

April 24, 2015 (PDT TIME ZONE)

10:00 am. Introduction: Why a Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter? | Dr. A. Breeze Harper (Director and Founder of the Sistah Vegan Project)

10:20 am.”Dispelling the Myth of ‘Cruelty-Free’ Commodities Within the Context of Black Lives Matter and a Racist Food System: A Dialogue Between Lauren Ornelas (Director, Food Empowerment Project) and Dr. A. Breeze Harper

11:00 am.  “Cooking Up Black Lives Matter: A Critical Race Dialogue with vegan Chef Bryant Terry” | Panelists: Chef Bryant Terry and Dr. A. Breeze Harper

11:30 am. “Locating Intersections and the Decolonization of Veganism through Black Womanist Theology” | Candace Laughinghouse, PhD Candidate (Regent University)

12:00 pm. Break

12:30 pm. “‘The Pig is a Filthy Animal': Challenging Speciesist ‘Race-Conscious’ Black Liberation Rhetoric (Before, After, and Beyond Ferguson) | A. Breeze Harper (moderator) and Kevin Tillman (Founder, Vegan Hip Hop Movement).

1:00 pm. “From Critiquing Thug Kitchen to Revealing Vermont’s Speciesist White Agricultural Narrative: pattrice jones tells us about her Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter as a White Ally” | Speakers: A. Breeze Harper (moderator) and pattrice jones (co-founder, VINE Sanctuary)

1:45 pm. “Dear White People, Black Lives Matter: An Introductory Workshop For White Vegans on Being an Ally”| Speakers: Dr. Paul Gorski (George Mason University) and Dallas Rising

2:30 pm. “ALL Black Lives Matter: Exposing and Dismantling Transphobia and Heteronormativity in Mainstream Black ‘Conscious’ Plant-Based Dietary Movement” | Speakers: Toi Scott (Afrogenderqueer.com) and Victoria Crump.

3:20-4:00 pm. Funding Pro-Vegan Anti-Racist Projects: Challenges and Strategies in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era” | Panelists: Alissa Hauser (Executive Director, The Pollination Project) and Dr. A. Breeze Harper

4-5:00 pm. The conference should end at 5pm, however, nothing is scheduled after 4:00pm because as with most ‘planned’ events, sometimes things don’t work out and talks  get delayed, there are technology issues, or Q & A runs over.


April 25, 2015
 

10:00 am  “From ‘Post-Racial’ White Vegans on Veganporn.com, to Sistah Vegan anthology, to the Black Lives Matter Movement: Dr. A. Breeze Harper Ruminates On Nearly 10 years of critical race feminist activism and scholarship at the Sistah Vegan Project”. Speaker: Dr. A. Breeze Harper (The Sistah Vegan Project).

10:30 amBlack Lives [Don’t] Matter: Michael Vick and the Demonization of Blackness Among White Vegans and Animal Rights Activists”| Speaker: Harlan Eugene Weaver, PhD (Davidson College)

11:30 am. “Pro-Vegan Self-Care for Racial Justice Activists: Building a Long-Term Community of Support”| Speaker: Jessica Rowshandel, LMSW

12:00 pm. Break

12:20 pm. Announcement of the Anti-Racist Changemakers of 2015 Award Winners and Raffle Prizes. Registrants have a chance to win a prize from one of our Pro-Vegan Anti-Racism Allies, such as T.O.F.U. Magazine, Dr. Bronner’s Soap, and Organic Angie (Raw Vegan Organic).

1:00 pm. “Memory and Betrayal: An Inquiry into Race, Empire, and Relationship During an Era of Black Lives Matter” |Speaker: Martin Rowe (co-founder and senior editor of Lantern Books)

1:30 pm. “[TITLE TO BE DETERMINED]” | Speaker: Christopher Sebastian McJetters (Vegan Publishers)

2:00 pm. “We Need a Holistic Revolution: Vegan Ethics and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement”| Speaker: Nevline Nnaji  (cofounder, New Negress Film Society)

2:30 pm. “Abolitionist Veganism and Anti-Oppression Within the Context of Black Lives Matter” | Speaker: Sarah K. Woodcock (Founder, The Abolitionist Vegan Society)

3:00 pm.  Not Business as Usual: The Praxis of Black Lives Matter in Vegan Entrepreneurship | Speaker: Hnin W. Hnin (ROC United and Eatable.com)

3:50-4:45 pm. KEYNOTE ADDRESS. “The Origins of the Criminalization of Blackness in the Context of a ‘Race Neutral’ Analysis and how it Helped Shape Policing Policies” | Speaker: Liz Ross (Founder, Coalition of Vegan Activists of Color)


HOW TO REGISTER AND PURCHASE A TICKET

For this year’s conference, we ask that participants support the ongoing work of the Sistah Vegan Project by paying for a ticket to access the event. A limited number of full and partial scholarships will be available to apply to, starting the first week of April 2015. Send an email to sistahveganconference@gmail.com for inquiries.

Your monetary support will help the many goals of the Sistah Vegan Project such as:

  • Supporting the groundbreaking book project by Dr. A. Breeze Harper: Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix).
  • Organizing yearly Sistah-Vegan conferences that leave participants with concrete tools they can implement into their personal and work lives to dismantle systemic racism with a pro-vegan/ahimsa foundation.
  • Supporting the production of an edited volume of the proceedings of the Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter conference which a publisher has already expressed interest in publishing.
  • Provide financial support for operating costs for The Sistah Vegan Project (i.e. travel to conferences, utilities to run the project, internet and web technologies, editing services, design services, etc).
  • The creation of ongoing tools and resources, such as webinars, toolkits,  and short publications that use critical race feminism and anti-speciesism to educate people about how to effectively dismantle systemic oppression and violence against people, non-human animals, and Earth’s natural resources.
  • Food and Nutritional toolkits with an emphasis on marginalized populations.

Registration and Ticket Purchase: CLICK HERE

Have questions or comments? Contact the organizer below:

Food, Wellness and the Scars of Racism and Whiteness (Pomona Talk, April 17 2015)

Dr. A. Breeze Harper Speaking at Pomona College's "Food Week".
Dr. A. Breeze Harper Speaking at Pomona College’s “Food Week”. (Photo credit Sana Javeria Kadri 2015)

Below is the video of the talk I gave at Pomona College on April 17 2015 for Food Week. I read from my new book Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England.

I do a reading of the food objects in the book and how they can tell us about racial and class power dynamics in an era of neoliberal whiteness. I also mention our conference I’m putting on that is online and interactive, The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matters.

SOCI Harper-PB_Finals

If you want to learn more about neoliberal whiteness, I suggest reading Marc Lombardo’s Economies of Whiteness  and Roland Barthes’ essay in Displacing Whiteness.

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[VIDEO] Black Rage and Ethical Consumption in an Era of Neoliberal Whiteness: UWisconsin-Madison April 13 2014 Talk

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I gave a talk on April 13, 2015 at University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was called Ethical Consumption and Black Rage in an era of Neoliberal Whiteness (Ferguson Remix).

Here is the video above. Sorry, the audio isn’t so good. But, if you have access to earphones I suggest you wear them. Closed Captioning feature doesn’t seem to understand me, so I’m working on that.

And her is info about the Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter conference that I mention in the video: http://www.sistahveganconference.com

“[Racial] Politics Make me Uncomfortable”: White Fragility and the Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter

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URL for interactive web Conference (April 24-25 2015): http://www.sistahveganconference.com

I think Marc Lombardo says it best below:

If we are serious about redressing the racially focused violence inherent to the functioning of our economy and our society as a whole, then we need to become much, much more attentive to the role of white liberals in managing the institutions that enable and maintain such an antidemocratic and morally abject political consensus Too often, in the face of the continual efforts of the right to rescind voting rights, roll back educational desegregation, and ensure the perpetuation of a racial caste system by less overt means (e.g., by using the Drug War as the engine for the mass incarceration of black men in particular and poor people in general1) liberal institutions and individuals are given a pass. Yes, they could do more. Yes, they could do something. But they’re all that’s standing in the way of the Republicans! What choice do we have?! In the face of this argument— if one can really call it an argument rather than a defense
mechanism— I want to suggest a counter-intuitive hypothesis concerning the political function of liberalism in general and the social function of white liberals in particular. What if the fact that white liberals benefit from white supremacy is not simply an accident? What if the simplest explanation for the fact that white liberals are as ineffective as they are at preventing the economic and social violence that pervades our society is actually the best explanation? What if the truth about white liberals is that they are just as essential to the maintenance of white supremacy as those who administer state-sanctioned racially focused violence directly in their roles as cops, prison guards, prosecutors, judges, and civic leaders? What if it is actually the intellectual, spiritual, and moral bankruptcy of white liberals that constitutes the greatest obstacle to redressing the most enduring and fundamental injustices in our society.
-Excerpt from the bookEconomies of Whiteness by Marc Lombardo

White Fragility Article: http://libjournal.uncg.edu/index.php/ijcp/article/view/249

Frantz Fanon and the psychoanalysis of racism: here

Hemp seeds for racial tension headaches: Building solidarity with mainstream vegan products companies for Black Lives Matter

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Today, another well known vegan products company responded to my request for sponsorship for our conference with a “no”. They explained that they simply cannot do it because they receive too many requests to say yes to. I answered them in a appreciative letter, letting them know that their products have been essential for my healthy pregnancies and the new book I am working on.

I think most mainstream vegan products companies probably don’t think about the ‘racial healing’ aspect of their ingredients. I am hoping that my letter can get them and many other companies who take a ‘post-racial’ approach to their marketing and meaning of their products, to think about the possibility of partnering with the Sistah Vegan Project in the future and enact solidarity with anti-racism movements with something as ‘simple’ as hemp seeds, Spirulina, kale and other super food ingredients I suggest for racial healing.

I assume the best in people and truly believe that most of the mainstream vegan companies just need a little alternative education to understand how their products can fit into anti-racism AND anti-speciesism movements at the same time. They just need to understand that eating hemp seeds for their usual post-racial mainstream animal rights vegan may mean ‘I eat chia seeds to get calcium and magnesium in a way that doesn’t hurt animals’. Alternatively, an anti-racism vegan of color dealing with racism-induced relaxation problems at night applies a different meaning to hemp seeds: “I eat hemp seeds at night because the high amount of magnesium has been proven to relax me and give me a calmer sleep through the emotional turmoil I am experiencing after Ferguson… and I don’t have to hurt a non-human animal to do it.”

Here is an excerpt from a letter I sent below to the company that just emailed me an hour ago that they are unable to sponsor us:

“I will apply again next year for your company’s consideration to sponsor our annual conference. Also I am integrating many of your products into a new book I am writing called ‘Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches’ which is part recipe book and part critical analysis of systemic racism in the USA and how eating certain vegan foods can help with the emotional and physical toll that events such as Trayvon Martin’s murder and Ferguson can have on people of color engaged in anti-racism activism. I only want to suggest ingredients made by companies that are ethical and sell mostly vegan products. The high amount of magnesium found in hemp seeds is relaxing and helps for a better sleep and brain health during stress for many of my fans and activists who ask me for tips about eating a healthy plant based diet while surviving through systemic racism. The don’t need to just survive…I want them to be able thrive, and I know your products will help.”

For more info about sponsoring our conference: http://sistahvegan.com/sponsor-the-conference/

Official Conference URL: http://www.sistahveganconference.com

Can’t attend the conference but like what we do? Donate to the Sistah Vegan Project.

Breeze Harper to Talk at U Wisconsin: “Ethical Consumption in an Era of Neoliberal Whiteness” A Critical Race Feminist Perspective.

A. Breeze Harper PhD will be speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on April 13 , 2015 at 800pm.

Title: “Ethical Consumption in an Era of Neoliberal Whiteness” A Critical Race Feminist Perspective”

Information about location and other details: http://www.wherevent.com/detail/Campus-Womens-Center-A-talk-with-Breeze-Harper-Critical-Race-Feminism-and-Food-Studies%282%29

Dr. Amie Breeze Harper
Dr. Amie Breeze Harper