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We Shall Not Be Moved

Community land trusts and the promise of more equitably grown food

The community land trust is an ownership model in which land is collectively controlled by community members, and it has garnered attention in recent years as a promising solution to the affordable-housing crisis. In “We Shall Not Be Moved,” published in the July issue of Harper’s Magazine, Audrea Lim tells the story of the country’s first community land trust: a farming cooperative in Albany, Georgia, called New Communities. She unearths its origins as a pioneering effort to build economic power among poor black farmers, and explores the challenges it has faced over the years, including discrimination and persecution. In this episode of the podcast, Lim joins Harper’s web editor Violet Lucca to delve into the lessons that contemporary community land trusts can learn from New Communities. They discuss the group of activists that spearheaded the formation of New Communities; the strengths and limitations of the different types of community land trusts; and how collective ownership can spur further grassroots organizing and cultural revitalization.

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July 2020

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