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It Took a Group of Black Farmers to Start Fixing Land Ownership Problems in Detroit

With commercial real estate at a premium and out-of-town speculators holding on to land in Detroit, Black farmers had to join together to secure land access.

It took them 20 minutes to reach their goal. The campaign ultimately raised nearly $55,000.

Tepirah Rushdan was talking to her best friend about how they could help Black people in Detroit own the land where they farmed, and they just decided to go for it. The two urban farmers decided to create a GoFundMe to raise $5,000 to do that.

“That demonstrates what the need is,” said Jerry Hebron, executive director of Oakland Avenue Urban Farm. She joined Rushdan on the project, called the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund. “When you have Black farmers trying to make a living, we don’t need them to be land insecure.”

Providing Black farmers with land security was one of the reasons Hebron, Rushdan and representatives from the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) D-Town Farm launched the GoFundMe campaign.

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