California Institute for Rural Studies

Episode 17: Bringing Justice and Land Equity to Farmers of Color in California

The passage of the Farmer Equity Act, California Assembly Bill 1348, in October 2017 was ground-breaking. For the first time, California acknowledged the racist patterns of systematic discrimination that have been common practice in governmental agricultural institutions which have impacted farmers of color in accessing the most basic thing that farmers need: land. This pattern has deep roots in California farming history through laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Alien Land Laws, and Executive Order 9066. Recognizing that this history was continuing to play out well into the 21st century, a group of organizers called the California Farmer Justice Collaborative were able to win a victory for farmers of color by passing the Farmer Equity Act. However, four years later, organizers discuss how they see this legislation as just a first step in addressing centuries of land ownership discrimination in California. This podcast was made possible with the support of the 11th Hour Project at the Schmidt Family Foundation.

Photo credit: California Farmer Justice Collaborative.

This story was co-produced by Héktor Luis Calderón-Victoria and Li Schmidt. Podcast editors and collaborators include Caroline Collins and Ildi Carlisle-Cummins. We give special thanks to those interviewed in the episode: Florentino Collazo, Jibril Kyser, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng, Janaki Anagha, and Mai Nguyen.

Audio edits by Li Schmidt. Episode music is by Las Cafeteras and Cal Ag Roots theme music is by Nangdo. Tribe of Noise licensing information can be found here: prosearch.tribeofnoise.com/pages/terms.

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