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WNYPC’s 55th Annual Dinner ft. Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm

November 11, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST


The Western New York Peace Center is proud to announce our 55th Annual Dinner:

“Planting Seeds of Justice, Harvesting Peace”

Friday, 11/11/22 | 5 – 9 PM

new location: Hayes Hall at UB South (Main St. campus) | 250 Hayes Rd, Buffalo 14214

in collaboration with UB Food Systems Planning & Health Communities Lab


Featuring Keynote Speaker, Leah Penniman, Author, Founding Co-Director and Farm Manager of Soul Fire Farm

Leah Penniman (Li*/Ya/She/He) is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. Li has over 20 years of experience as a soil steward and food sovereignty activist, having worked at the Food ProjectFarm SchoolMany Hands Organic FarmYouth Grow and with farmers internationally in Ghana, Haiti, and Mexico.

Leah co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2010 with the mission to reclaim our inherent right to belong to the earth and have agency in the food system as Black and Brown people. As co-Executive Director, Li is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs – including farmer trainings for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for people living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system. Her areas of leadership at Soul Fire include farmer training, international solidarity, perennials, writing, speaking, “making it rain,” and anything that involves heavy lifting, sweat, and soil. Li’s book “Farming While Black” is a love song for the earth and her peoples.

Leah holds an MA in Science Education and BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a Manye (Queen Mother) in Vodun. Leah has been farming since 1996 and teaching since 2002. The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Omega Sustainability Leadership Award, Presidential Award for Science Teaching, NYS Health Emerging Innovator Awards, and Andrew Goodman Foundation, among others. Her book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide is a love song to the land and her people.



We’re honored to offer the following awards at the Western New York Peace Center’s 55th Annual Dinner:

  • Families and Survivors of the 5/14 Massacre will receive the Phoenix Award to recognize their tremendous labor of love emerging from the ashes of horrific grief and trauma (copy will also be given to the May 14 Community Collecting Initiative of the Buffalo History Museum and B&EC Public Library System).
  • Yanenowi Logan, Seneca deer clan, Cornell University Environment & Sustainability student, re-establisher of Seneca Youth Council, will receive the Emerging Leader Award;
  • Dr. Charley Bowman, scientist & activist, former WNYPC Director and Environmental Justice Taskforce Chair, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.


Tickets & Menu

We are excited to announce that this event will be catered by Sunshine Vegan Eats.

Served buffet-style. All sides are vegan and will be available with either protein choice (baked chicken OR vegan meatloaf): collard greens, mac and “cheese”, string beans, and artisan bread. Dessert will be peach cobbler.


Event Vendors/Supporters

If you are interested in placing an ad in our program book and/or having a vendor table at our event, please complete the Annual Dinner Supporter form at bit.ly/wnypc_supporter22. You can also sponsor a dinner ticket. Payments can be submitted by cash or check at the office, or electronically below.


Learn more about community food systems in WNY!

The Food Systems Planning & Healthy Communities Lab (the ‘UB Food Lab), a research group led by Dr. Samina Raja and housed in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo (UB), is dedicated to research that critically examines the role of local government policy in facilitating equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities. The Lab is especially focused on community food systems as a space and level for creating positive change in our backyard (Buffalo) and the Global South.

The Food Lab’s research unfolds in collaboration with other research groups within and outside UB, as well as in partnership with community and planning organizations and local governments in the United States and globally. Drawing on its research, the Food Lab team provides technical assistance to community advocates, planners, and local governments on the use of policy and planning to create equitable food systems and healthy communities.

Visit the UB Food Lab website to learn more about their work.


November 11, 2022
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
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WNY Peace Center


Hayes Hall, UB South Campus
250 Hayes Rd
Buffalo, NY 14214 United States
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