After being disinvited from TEDx, Bronx resident Tanya Fields creates her own local food movement event


5 thoughts on “After being disinvited from TEDx, Bronx resident Tanya Fields creates her own local food movement event

  1. K. Alexander

    Tanya Field’s tenacity in her own justice is really powerful. The Bronx is one of the lowest income places in the US- and of course, almost the entire population are people of color. The fact that Tanya started taking justice in her own hands by growing her own food proves that survival of our self (to loosely quote Alice Walker) is a high priority in a nation perpetuated by racism and patriarchy. It also proves that the “laziness” myth is a social construction in order to continue the harsh and highly screwed up system that affects the Bronx highly. However, her justice is dangerous- because capitalism is highly dependent on racism to sustain itself, and self-advocacy is the exact opposite of capitalism, then this movement can very well upsurp the fabric of capitalism (which is awesome, by the way).

  2. Alice McKusick

    Tanya Field touches on multiple issues within our capitalist economy; environmental racism, food justice and discrimination within academic spaces (to name a few). These issues interconnect and show the various injustices within this society, and the fact that Tanya Fields was denied the access to speak out in a public/academic space is disheartening but unfortunately not surprising. we see this denial happening all around us and most of the time we actually dont see it because of how the media is set up. Going off what Kadeja said; It is sad to think about all of the amazing people that have been shut out of public spaces because they threaten this system with their powerful self-advocacy and intelligence which has the power to bring the people together. Because they threaten this power structure they are routinely shut out of certain spaces. We need to be able to find a way to create spaces for those that have been discriminated against in this way (like Tanya did by creating her own event), this can also help bring people together around shared goals and experiences.

  3. Laura Tully

    Both Kadeja and Alice’s thoughts got me thinking about racism and patriarchy within social/political justice movements. Who is allowed to advocate for themselves? And who is considered dangerous to the system when they start making powerful contributions to their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of their community. Fields’ movement is comparable to the “Growing Power” movement that started out of community need in Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL. It’s similar because the organization is in very low income neighborhoods that would otherwise have little to no access to fresh food. It teaches community members urban farming techniques and sends them home with healthy vegetables/fish etc. It’s a pretty neat organization. I started thinking about why this organization is both widely recognized as a cutting edge organization and widely supported, when Field’s movement is so similar and as received absolutely no praise. I realized that the founder of Growing Power is Will Allen, the famous retired professional basketball player. I knew this before, but know I’m thinking about it completely differently. Would this project become as famous and highly supported as it is if Will Allen hadn’t been the creator? Allen is male and has tons of social capital- both really important factors when attempting to gain support and to be seen as legitimate in the world. I have absolutely no doubt that Growing Power wouldn’t have been as popular if Will Allen hadn’t previously been famous, or even a woman.

  4. Ravenna Napp-Shapiro

    This article makes me think of the last article in our reader, “Intersectionality” by Kimberlé Crenshaw. On page 1269 she writes, “…African-American victims of rape are the least likely to be believed.” Although the topics of reporting rape and applying to speak at TEDx are completely different and should be, the linkage lies in white supremacist culture’s refusal to believe African American women. My point in connecting these two articles is that if a program “designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue… at the local level” a pretty liberal agenda sounding group disinvites an African American women to a prestigious event because she would “mess it up” and wouldn’t “say the right thing” then why would I expect the patriarchal, conservative legal system to be any different? Like Feilds states, “This isn’t just about this low-income woman from the Bronx trying to start a veggie market,” said Fields. “This is about something so much more.”
    On a Prescott College level, this article makes me think of student voices on campus, whose requests are heard and honored, and whose aren’t. Administration and faculty often express the concern that because requests surrounding safety, race, gender, etc. etc. on campus are only expressed by a small group of people that they are unable to act upon these requests until they hear from a larger portion of the student body. However, this is not the actual problem. If this small group of students were all white instead of students of color, queer students, and allies, would they respond in the same way? Why must a group of completely capable, brilliant, and practical individuals need white students to be listened to by the college?

  5. Brittany

    “After re-evaluation, the organizers felt she wasn’t quite ready for this particular type of event but we’re more than willing to hold a spot open for her in the future.”
    So she did seem ready at the time that they originally invited her, but two months later she’s not ready? I can’t help but also wonder how frequently TEDx uninvites speakers. In spite of all of this however I am glad that this could end up bringing up some conversation in regards to racism, sexism, and classism. I find it beautiful that Tanya Fields is now being able to speak out about this incident as well as food justice, and how in many ways they are interconnected as well.
    If TEDx wants to be a radical, progressive, anti-racist, feminist space for people to speak, then I want it to begin to prioritize having minorities voices coming to speak. I see white men speaking everywhere, and this incident clearly proves that their are people within TEDx that are actively trying to keep it that way.

    Anyone want to create a poc queered version of TED talks? Please.


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