LoriKim Alexander can do it all—from her core organizing role with Black VegFest to her work in the fields of anthropology and biology. She joins us on Our Hen House to discuss how The Cypher, the organization she founded, places emphasis on veganism’s true, anti-oppressive meaning. LoriKim shares how The Cypher started off as an educational, political book club on Facebook and how it evolved into an expansive, multigenerational, and multi-orientation space for Black femme leadership. LoriKim also tells us how she became involved with Black VegFest and the importance of having a community space where she, a Black femme vegan activist, can be her true self.
Jamaican-born and world-bred, LoriKim Alexander has dedicated her life to working for social and environmental justice, specifically organizing around centering justice for LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, and people of the global majority. She uses her work in biology, anthropology, and environmental education in a synergistic way to forward Black liberation. She sees veganism as a central platform for decolonization, food justice, and combating environmental racism to galvanize the struggle to liberate all marginalized beings.
“These deeper relationships [with animals] prepared me to understand that we as sentient beings are not very far apart from each other.” – LoriKim Alexander
Highlights for Episode 638:
- How LoriKim’s childhood in Jamaica led her to a lifelong friendship with and admiration for animals
- Why LoriKim’s anguishing experience of farm-to-table eating transitioned her into veganism
- Growing up with Lulu Belle the calf and how this experience helped her form deeper relationships with non-human animals
- How vegan or vegetarian festivals can avoid being experienced as racist, homophobic, xenophobic, or misogynistic and how Black VegFest aims to create a community space
- LoriKim’s response to the pushback Black VegFest has received
- How The Cypher connects Black and Indigenous LGBTQIA+ femmes of all genders so they can work together and share their voices
- What the term “vegan minded” means and how it can be central to communities
- Why The Cypher will be taking Black trans and queer femmes into the woods for hikes
- LoriKim’s biological and anthropological research and how it has influenced her work on environmental racism
- The implementation of environmental education for people of the global majority on indigenous ecological knowledge and decolonization through veganism
- How environmental racism impacts the everyday lives of Black people living in the US
- This Rochester couple wants their ‘Net-Zero’ home to inspire more affordable, eco-friendly living
- Supreme Court agrees to hear pork producers’ challenge to California animal anti-cruelty law
Connect with LoriKim Alexander:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with Our Hen House:
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The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.
This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at awfw.org.