Virginia Farm to Table Conference 2023 SpeakeR
Dr. Gail P. Myers is a Cultural Anthropologist, Farmer, and Film Director. In 2000, while a doctoral student at The Ohio State University, she organized the first statewide conference for African American Farmers, Sustaining Communities: African American Farmers at the Crossroads. In 2004, Dr. Myers co-founded Farms to Grow, Inc. in Oakland, CA to work in partnership with African American farmers and other farmers of color to sustain their farms. Dr. Gail works in collaboration with various grassroots and coalition based organizations locally and globally. In 2018, she received the Advocate for Social Justice Award “Justie” from the Eco-Farm Association.
Currently, Dr. Myers teaches, consults, and serves on several board of directors, and travels around the country screening her first documentary, Rhythms of the Land. Dr. Myers started the documentary project in 2012 and toured 10 southern states -- Texas, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida – to interview over 30 farmers, sharecroppers, gardeners, and a 5th generation coil basket weaver. Several of the interviews were with elders ranging in ages from 92 to 109. These interviews represent generations of cultural traditions of Black farming philosophy that honors land, sustainability, God, family and love for their community.