About a year after consciously transitioning into a vegan lifestyle I read the book "Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak"- a thoughtful collection of essays that bring to light the connection between human rights and animal rights. It was exactly what I needed to read. It offers stories of different women's journeys into veganism in a way that helped me to understand and articulate my own journey. The fact that there are so many different voices in this book freed it from any tone of judgement or "one size fits all" thought; so found it to be a great social justice piece in general. I keep it on my shelf to reference and reread as needed. It also helped me commit to reading Majorie Spiegel's "The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery", a powerful book (with a fantastic foreword by Alice Walker) that I will also always have a copy of nearby. After reading the book, I started following the Sistah Vegan Blog. I would read it from Fiji, and make connections between what was happening in the states in comparison to what we were experiencing there. I was excited to read that Dr. A. Breeze Harper, the editor of "Sistah Vegan", was organizing an online conference- The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter that is happening this month. After connecting with Breeze I was thrilled to be able to do the artwork for the event.
I did the sketch and watercolor images for conference, and Jack did the design magic. It was a fun challenge to find an image that represents the connection between the issues while honoring each one; and the challenge made me even more excited for the perspectives that will be offered during the conference.
Online registration is up for this Interactive Web Conference. Join to ask and learn how veganism and #blacklivesmatter intersect, as well as why race and whiteness matter within veganism and beyond. Like the book, this conference is taking a holistic approach to anti-oppression work, acknowledging that these politics cannot be single issue.
Visit the Sistah Vegan Conference website for the conference schedule and online registration!