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Every Town

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Every Town's primary goal is to place at least one parcel of quality land in trust in every town in Vermont to be permanently accessed and stewarded by Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color (BIPOC).

Land cannot be owned.

The right to exist on land has been stolen, particularly from Indigenous and Black communities, and in Vermont, from Abenaki people originally. Every Town seeks to address this by creating an alternative approach to land access and organizing networks of safe, welcoming communities.

This is a multi-faceted collaboration with many details and inner workings. These are the basics:
-Land is donated by individuals and organizations and held in trust by the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC) with regenerative practices, cultural respect and community conservation easements.
-Every Town matches BIPOC Land Stewards with parcels of land and homes that meet their needs and interests.
-Land Stewards and NEFOC create an equitable, personalized contract formalizing their relationship and agreeing on terms of land use and rights.
-Land Stewards can build homes, farm, and work with the land regeneratively within the bounds of the terms of use as permanent residents.
-Land Stewards are connected with several resource networks, including a technical and skill building network primarily focused on resources for regenerative land use.
-Anti-racist mutual aid networks around the state are mobilizing to team up to increase safety in communities for BIPOC and to create systems parallel to current crisis response services. 
-This process takes time, is relationship-centered, and will not be a match for everyone expressing interest in becoming a Land Steward or Land Donor through this project.

-All people who have been disproportionately impacted by systemic oppression because of their race are eligible. 
-As we launch this project, those who already live here or have relationships with land in Vermont are being considered before others wishing to migrate from elsewhere.
-A longer term goal of this project (though already in motion) is to create space and welcoming communities for BIPOC climate refugees.
-The BIPOC Land Matching Committee is designing a democratic, horizontal structure for making decisions about selecting Land Stewards. 
-In partnership from NEFOC, we are developing relationships with people native to this land to craft agreements for their access to all land held with the Every Town project. 

More details for aspiring Land Stewards -
-Land Stewards are responsible for upholding agreements with NEFOC and creating their own infrastructure.
-Land Stewards are encouraged to participate in Every Town networks and actively engage in their communities.
-Every Town is cultivating networks for resource-sharing, safe spaces, community crisis management, and technical skills assistance (e.g. land tending, farming, design & build, etc.) to support Land Stewards in an ongoing way. We're also members of existing networks, like the ReLeaf Collective, and are collaborating to join forces and avoid redundancy.
-It's possible for a Land Steward to end their contract if they wish. We are putting thought and care into what this process will look like, considering how this project is aimed to help "level the playing field" for BIPOC, as well as to build parallel systems for thriving outside of capitalist ownership models. 

-Allies are invited into this project as Neighbors, a network that actively engages in creating anti-racist communities - with the central priority of cultivating safety - and encourages individuals to use their power to participate in unraveling systems of oppression to build a different future.
-Neighbors are guided by principles of a Just Transition and are committed to addressing white supremacy culture systemically, in our communities, on the peer-to-peer level, and internally.
-Through the Neighbors network, we offer skill building workshops, peer-to-peer support, social events, assistance with organizing community-based nodes and crisis response plans, and share resources through a mutual aid approach.

Financial contributions
We value a culture of compensation and do not expect people to work for free, despite aiming towards transitioning away from capitalism. Every Town has administrative fees and costs associated with land transfers, and offers resources that build community and shared infrastructure. Please consider contributing as a sustaining donor or a one-time donor. If you want to make a large donation and need for it to be tax deductible, please get in touch and we can arrange that through our fiscal sponsor, Community Resilience Organizations. 

*Pass this opportunity to contribute through your networks!

*Aspiring Land Stewards, Land Donors, and Neighbors can get in touch with us by email: [email redacted]


Mindy Blank
Royalton, VT

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