Faith-Based Farming in the United States Panel at FORUM2021
Interfaith Power & Light President Rev. Susan Hendershot leads this diverse panel of North American farmers representing different faith and spiritual traditions. They will be exploring the problems of our current food system, industrialized agriculture and food security, as well as the difficulties facing young farmers today working with sustainable organic methods. Panelists will be discussing the spiritual traditions that inform their farming practices, and perspectives on the relationship between the humans and the Earth.
Peoples’ Farm, AZ
Freedom Farm Community NY
 Rev. Susan Hendershot, (Moderator)
Interfaith Power & Light, USA
Jewish Farmer Network, NC
Soul Fire Farm, NY
Freedom Farm Community NY
Introducing Our Panelists
Clayton Harvey, 5th generational farmer, using gained Ancestral knowledge, meshed with modern-day garden techniques, Farmer Clayton is committed to educating, growing and fostering young Apache Farmers on the Fort Apache Reservation in East central Arizona. Clayton was born and raised on White Mountain Apache Reservation, he is a descendant of the legendary Chief Alchesay (A-1), the last hereditary Chief of the White Mountain Band and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for the capture and surrender of Geronimo. Alchesay left a legacy of farming that Clayton continues today. 
Edgar Hayes is a Co-founder of the Freedom Farm Community. He is also a CRE (Commissioned Ruling Elder) candidate in the Hudson River Presbytery of NY. After retiring from the FDNY for 20 years, he is currently doing pulpit supply preaching through the Presbyterian Church in Orange County, NY. On the farm, he assists with growing organic produce to share with people in need, teaches youth and young adults sustainable agriculture practices, and how to live out one’s faith. Edgar is a father of two teenage boys and helps to raise them with his wife Ann.
Ann Rader, Co-founder, Freedom Farm Community, New York. Ann is a wife, farmer, teacher, mother, mentor, hostess with the mostest, you name it, she can do it. She also holds an MA degree in Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary. Ann has been involved with youth ministry and justice work for as long as she can remember. When she’s not playing in the dirt at the farm, Ann spends her time raising two teenagers: Micah and Josiah with her husband (Edgar) of 22 years.
Shani Mink (she/her) currently resides on a farm on the East End of Long Island on Corchaug land. Mink is a seasoned farmer, experiential Jewish educator and the executive director of the Jewish Farmer Network. At the age of 18, Shani began her farming journey at Even’ Star Organic Farm while earning her degree in philosophy at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She studied at the Arava Institute, earned her permaculture design certificate at Hava V’Adam Eco-Education farm in Modi’in, Israel, worked as a farmer educator at Eden Village Camp, graduated from the Adamah Fellowship, and spent time learning Torah in Jerusalem.
Leah Penniman (li/she/ya/elle) is a Black Kreyol farmer/peyizan, mother, soil nerd, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2010 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim our ancestral connection to land. Leah has been farming since 1996, holds an MA in Science Education and a BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a Manye (Queen Mother) in Vodun. Leah trained at Many Hands Organic Farm, Farm School MA, and internationally with farmers in Ghana, Haiti, and Mexico. She also served as a high school biology and environmental science teacher for 17 years. Her book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land is a love song for the land and her people. 
FORUM2021 Sacred Food ~ Blessed Earth
Presented by the Temple of Understanding in collaboration with Marble Collegiate Church

Online Thursday September 9, 2021 10:00am - 1:30pm ET

In solidarity with other NGO’s offering a strong critique of the fall UN Food Summit, FORUM2021 explores the potential of local regenerative agriculture, highlights the growing organic farming movement and offers an interfaith moral call to redressing the harm caused by agribusiness, the industrialization of the world’s food production system.

FORUM2021 explores the ancient, respectful and regenerative ways of farming practices and our spiritual relationship to food by focusing on the Earth as an interconnected web of life. A moral and spiritual voice is essential in the transition away from the industrialized, fossil fuel and chemical intensive, global agriculture system which is degrading our Earth, contributing to the climate crisis and to the extinction of species, as well as creating severe health issues for all living beings. FORUM2021 is a call to all spiritual and religious leaders and activists for a return to local, biodiverse organic food systems which regenerate soil, water and biodiversity while providing healthy sustenance for all. 
FORUM2021 Program
Opening Prayer & Welcome

19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle for the Great Sioux Nation. 

Welcome from the Temple of Understanding: Chris Wang, TOU Board Member

Welcome to the FORUM2021: Dr. Michael Bos, Senior Minister, Marble Collegiate Church
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Reclaiming Ancient Wisdom 
to Protect Our Future
Founder, Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (India) and President of Navdanya International. World-renowned environmental thinker, activist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate.
Dr. Vandana Shiva & Lyla June Dialogue
Reclaiming Ancient Wisdom 
to Protect Our Future
Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages.

International Activists on Regenerative Farming Panel
Darcy Neill, (Moderator)
Temple of Understanding Board member
Kathryn Manga (pictured above)
Peasant Movement, KMP, Philippines 
Director of Primary Sector & Renewable Natural Resources, 
Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, Mexico
Seed Saver Network, Kenya 
Scientists on the Impact of Industrialized Agriculture Dialogue
Professor of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Daphne Miller (pictured above)
Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco, and Research Scientist at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health.
Faith-Based Farming in the United States Panel
 Rev. Susan Hendershot, (Moderator)
Interfaith Power & Light, USA
Freedom Farm Community NY
Peoples’ Farm, AZ
Jewish Farmer Network, NC
Leah Penniman (pictured above)
Soul Fire Farm, NY

A Call to Urgent Action to Support Sustainable Food Systems
Rev. Jim Antal (pictured above)
Denominational leader, climate activist, author and public theologian. Special Advisor on Climate Justice to the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.
Senior Lecturer & Research Scholar, Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies.
Universal Prayer for the Earth
A deeply moving and inspiring Interfaith service of prayers, affirmations and contemplations offered by Indigenous and world religious leaders and sacred music by renown international artists.
(Grandmother Mona Polacca pictured above)
Prayers and Offerings
Dr. Michael Bos, Imam Saffet Catovic, Samir Chatterjee & Steve Gorn,
Prof. Ephraim Isaac, Lyla June,
Chief Arvol Looking Horse,
Grandmother Mona Polacca,
Rev. Dr. John H. Vaughn (pictured above)
And more to be announced!
#Support local farmers, support your health, protect the Earth
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