Evenings in the Garden - Race, Food, & Land in Detroit

MSU Tollgate Farm - Evenings in the Garden Lecture Series
 A three part series on Race, Food, & Land in Detroit.

Across the United States black farmers and black communities face major barriers related to farmland acquisition and achieving food sovereignty. These issues often go unseen and need to be discussed. MSU Extension and MSU Tollgate Farm will be facilitating a three-part lecture series to highlight the past, present, and future projections of race relations in Detroit and how race has impacted land acquisition and food sovereignty. Each session will consist of a team of MSU Extension facilitators joined by panelists from across the Detroit food systems landscape to share their lived and learned experiences. Registration fees, minus the cost of stipends for the panelists, will go toward initiatives that support the needs of Black/African-American farmers in Detroit.

- Individual sessions are $10 each or $25 for all three.
- Pre-registration is required.
Sessions will be held via Zoom from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. EST on July 30th, August 27th, and September 24th.
- Space is limited - please register early.
- For those unable to attend the live session you may opt for the recorded webinar.
- Each session is eligible for 2 hours of continuing education for Extension Master Gardeners.

- If you would like to attend but are unable to contribute financially, we have two scholarships opportunities available on a first come first serve basis.
If you are a food and farm entrepreneur please contact Jamie Rahrig rahrigj1@msu.edu with the Michigan Good Food Fund.
If you have other outstanding financial need please contact Mike Mathis mathismi@msu.edu with MSU Tollgate Farm.


July 30th, The History of Urban Agriculture and Racism in Detroit: REGISTRATION CLOSED

Gain a clear and accurate historical overview of how race relations in Detroit impacted land acquisition and food systems.

Highlight and uplift historical Black/African American voices regarding lived experiences in relation to race, land, and food within Detroit.

August 27th, Present-Day Food Sovereignty and Equitable Food Access in Detroit:

Learn about Detroit based organizations doing urban agricultural work to strengthen food access and food sovereignty.

Examine social, economic, and political barriers to land ownership and equitable food access.

September 24th, Envisioning the Future of Food and Farming in Detroit:

Articulate action items that can support the work of grassroots organizations within Detroit tackling the issues of food, land, and racial equity.

Envision what needs to change, grow, or "be weeded out" to bring forth food sovereignty in Detroit.

MSU Extension Session Facilitators

Alondra Alivizo - MSU Product Center Innovation Counselor

Naim Edwards - Director of the Detroit Partnership for Food, Learning, and Innovation

Mike Mathis - Director of MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Mike Mathis at mathismi@msu.edu.