State Representative Regina Lewis-Ward (D-McDonough) recently hosted the inaugural Black Farmers Ball to celebrate the achievements of Black farmers on Friday, October 28, 2022. The event’s theme, “Saving Our Land: Equity Matters,” sought to highlight the need for equitable agricultural policies in Georgia.
“The inaugural theme ‘Saving Our Land: Equity Matters’ was appropriate because racial disparities in agriculture largely contribute to the decrease in Black-owned farms,” said Rep. Lewis-Ward. “The Black Farmers Ball was an opportunity to express appreciation for their sacrifices and stand in support of equity policies. I look forward to finding legislative solutions this next legislative session that specifically address Black land loss and develop self-sustaining communities.”
Rep. Lewis-Ward was joined by State Representatives Patty Bentley (D-Butler) and Rhonda Taylor (D-Conyers), Charlotte King and other organizers. U.S. Representative David Scott provided individual letters to the honorees and congratulated the honorees during a video message. During the video recording, he also spoke about his work to support Black Farmers and the importance of uplifting their livelihood. The event also featured speaker and award winning film director, Dr. Charlene Gilbert, who discussed her documentary, “Homecoming…Sometimes I am Haunted by Memories of Red Dirt and Clay,” which chronicles the struggle of African Americans for land of their own.
The following farmers were recognized with individual distinctions: K. Rashid Nuri, Atlanta, Trailblazer Distinction; Cornelius Key, Albany, Champion Farmer; James L. Coleman Uvalda, Legacy Farmer; and Warren B. James, Montezuma, Drigger-Miller Agriculture Award.
Representative Regina Lewis-Ward represents the citizens of District 109, which includes portions of Henry, Newton and Rockdale counties. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2020 and currently serves on the Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Banks & Banking and Interstate Cooperation committees.