Panel & Fishbowl: The History of Land Grabs and How to Fight Back

history of land grabs

If you’re interested in the history of land grabs and figuring out how to fight back, RSVP to this two-part event! 

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First, our panel of speakers will discuss current and historical trends in land grabs, and the campaigns we’re leading to fight back. Whether we're advocating for state laws banning corporate ownership of farmland or leading hyper-local efforts to protect homeless moms occupying a house together, we all share one vision: for communities - both urban and rural - to collectively own and control the land that houses and feeds us. 

Then, we’ll transition into a fishbowl conversation, designed to maximize audience participation... because what’s a movement without input from the community?! Everyone has a real estate story and we want to hear yours.


Logos of Minnow, National Family Farm Coalition, organizacion Boricua de agricultura ecologica, APEN Asian Pacific Environmental Network, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, Sogorea Te Land Trust, First Nations Development Institute, Chinatown Community Land Trust, Friends of the Earth, and Sustainable Economies Law Center

Fishbowl Rules: 

The Middle: Only 2-4 people may have their microphones on at a time. 

Tapping In: To tap in, please raise your hand. The facilitator will call your name. Please briefly introduce yourself when you join the middle. 

Tapping Out: If you've been in the fishbowl for a long time and you see that someone is trying to tap-in, feel free to say "I'm tapping out." Mute yourself to officially leave the middle. That will let the facilitator know that they can tap someone in. 

Topics: The facilitator will have questions prepared in case participants run out of things to say but please feel free to come with your OWN questions and ideas about how to fight corporate land grabs! This is a participatory event! 

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About the Panelists:

Alvina Wong (APENis the Campaign & Organizing Director at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. In her role, she fights the displacement of low-income and working-class Asian immigrants and refugees while building their leadership to fight for environmental justice. Leading her team in intergenerational organizing towards community governance and power at the neighborhood, city, and regional levels, she has led campaigns to stop evictions of SRO tenants and win major community benefits. Alvina began organizing in the Chinese immigrant community as an Eva Lowe Fellow at Chinese Progressive Association, SF and prior to this, spent eight years developing and organizing young people around education access and youth incarceration issues.

Corrina Gould (Sogorea Te' Land Trust) (Lisjan Ohlone) is the chair and spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan— she was born and raised in Oakland, CA, the village of Huichin. A mother of three and grandmother of four, Corrina is the Co-Director for The Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, a women-led organization within the urban setting of her ancestral territory of the Bay Area that works to return Indigenous land to Indigenous people, the Co-Founder and Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native run organization that works on Indigenous people issues and sponsored annual Shellmound Peace Walks from 2005 to 2009. These walks brought about education and awareness of the desecration of sacred sites in the greater Bay Area. As a tribal leader, she has continued to fight for the protection of the Shellmounds, uphold her nation's inherent right to sovereignty, and stand in solidarity with her Indigenous relatives to protect our sacred waters, mountains, and lands all over the world.

Lydia Lowe (Chinatown CLT) is the Director of the Chinatown Community Land Trust, which works to stabilize Boston Chinatown through community control of land, development without displacement, permanently affordable housing, and shared neighborhood spaces. Her four decades of community activism include co-launching the first immigrant worker center in the region, helping tenants preserve more than a thousand units of affordable housing, securing bilingual ballots for Chinese and Vietnamese voters in Boston, and leading the Chinese Progressive Association for 30 years.

Noni Session (East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative) is a 3rd generation West Oaklander, Cultural Anthropologist, and Grassroots Organizer. After a 2016 run for Oakland City Council in which she garnered more than 43% of the vote, Noni came to believe her community’s clearest pathway to economic justice and to the halt of rapid displacement was a cooperative economy. Now, she's the Executive Director of EB PREC. You can reach Noni at [email protected].

A-Dae Romero-Briones (First Nations Development Institute(Kiowa/Cochiti) was born and raised in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico and comes from the Ware/Komalty/Almauty Family from Hog Creek, Oklahoma on the Kiowa side.  Mrs. Romero-Briones works as Director of Programs-Native food and Agricultural Program for First Nations Development Institute. She wrote extensively about Food Safety, the Produce Safety rule and tribes, and the protection of tribal traditional foods.  A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Romero-Briones received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Princeton University, and received a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University’s College of Law, and LLM in Food and Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas. President Obama recognized A-dae as a White House Champion of Change in Agriculture.

Jeff Conant (Friends of the Earth US) works for Friends of the Earth US and campaigns against agrocommodity land grabbing. Previously Jeff worked with Global Justice Ecology Project where he advocated for climate justice at the U.N. and other global arenas; with International Accountability Project he co-authored a Community Guide to the Environmental and Social Safeguards of the Asian Development Bank; and with Hesperian Health Guides he co-authored A Community Guide to Environmental Health, a grassroots manual published in over a dozen languages. Jeff is also author of A Poetics of Resistance, about Mexico’s Zapatista movement, and translator of Wind in the Blood: Mayan Healing and Chinese Medicine. In his spare time he writes, raises bees, chickens and vegetables, and enjoys biking, cooking, and art of all sorts.

Neil Thapar (Minnow) As lead for Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Food and Farm Program, Neil researches, promotes, and advises on alternative legal structures of ownership that promote affordability, community ownership, and long-term sustainable stewardship. From worker-owned farms to community land trusts to land cooperatives, Neil supports the development of a racially just food and farm system that de-centers the individual and re-centers the collective. He builds partnerships with a wide range of organizations to learn about and address legal and policy challenges to achieving transformative change.

Jordan Treakle (National Family Farm CoalitionJordan has worked with family farmers and rural communities on social and economic justice issues in agriculture since 2008. Jordan’s professional career began with the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, leading grassroots organizing efforts to strengthen farmer lands rights in the southeastern U.S. in response to predatory practices by the fossil fuel industry. In 2012 he shifted his professional focus to the international policy arena with the Food and Agriculture Organization, where he worked with civil society organizations to promote agroecology, strengthen smallholder producer organizations, and implement community land rights initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Jordan holds a joint Master of Science in International Rural Development from Wageningen University (Netherlands), and received his BA in International Studies from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally from the mountains of western North Carolina, Jordan is currently based in Washington, DC.  

Jesús Vázquez Negrón (Organización Boricuá) is a Puerto Rican organizer, advocate, popular educator and activist that works in the intersections of environmental justice, agroecology, food sovereignty and climate justice at the national and international level. He has been working collectively for the past 12 years with rural, urban and coastal communities organizing mutual support efforts, political education workshops, dialogues, capacity trainings and just recovery initiatives with sovereign family farms where people work and live. He is the National Coordinator of Organización Boricuá of Ecological Agriculture of Puerto Rico, a 30 year old national platform composed by farmers, peasants, farm workers and food sovereignty activist that promote and practice agroecology as a tool to achieve food sovereignty and social justice on the archipelago. He works and collaborates internationally in the Latinamerican Coordinator of Rural Organizations, the Food Sovereignty Alliance, La Vía Campesina and the Climate Justice Alliance.


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October 29, 2020 at 12:30pm - 2pm PDT
Oakland, CA
United States
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Tia Katrina Taruc-Myers ·
David Ferris Cedar Jones Theo Amy Mejia Frankie Huynh Alyssa R Ofelia Sanchez Aileen Suzara Samantha Garfield Sachin Radhakrishnan lucia m Bethsaida Ruiz Johanna Rosen Joshua McLinden Sabrina Bazile Annette Hiatt Jordan Hammond Emily Rodriguez Dru Johnson Mylene de Guzman Ella Sevareid Carter Andrea Meg Cavanagh Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau Boyd Rossing Candis Mary-Dauphin Joy Chiu Eliza Sherpa Sarah Arndt Cristal Alejandrez Anthony Chang Victor Ceballos Fay Strongin Darnell Johnson Shawn Watson Antonio Roman-Alcalá Kassandra Hishida Elizabeth Henderson Jennifer Sowerwine Sonia Suresh Ann Maris Dollene Jones Patricia Morán Rachel Cannon sarah abdelaziz Kyanna Brown yeji jung Allie Cannington Vera Tykulsker

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