2022 Common Ground Fair Keynote Speaker (Sunday 9/26/22): Muhidin Libah

Producer: Pepin Mittelhauser

Muhidin Libah
Executive Director of Somali Bantu Community Association

“Liberation Farms: Food Justice in Action”

Muhidin Libah is the executive director of Somali Bantu Community and has been working for Somali Bantu communities since graduating from high school in 2002. Libah graduated from the University of Southern Maine in the spring of 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in natural applied science with a biology concentration and a minor in holistic health. Before he came to the United States in 2005, he taught elementary school for four years, teaching English, math, science and agriculture to grades three, five, six, seven and eight. Since he came to the United States he has been working with nonprofit organizations in his own community.

Somali Bantu Community Association of Lewiston, Maine, is the third nongovernmental organization that he has co-founded, and Libah has consulted with seven other nonprofit organizations across New England and New York. His focus has always been food production, security and sustainability, and he wrote his thesis on that topic. Currently, he is the executive director of the organization, overseeing 11 programs in the community including the farming program, Liberation Farms, which has seen incredible success in the last two years.

The mission of Liberation Farms, the Community Farming Program, is to provide new American farmers access to, and culturally-appropriate resources for, the means of sustainable food production for themselves, their families and their communities.

In his keynote, he will speak to Liberation Farms as food justice in action. The farm is a demonstration of the success that is possible when marginalized communities have the opportunity to organize and lead themselves. It provides new American families struggling with food insecurity with the tools and resources to grow healthy, culturally appropriate foods for themselves and their community. This investment in growing nourishes body and soul as farmers ground into familiar traditions and meaningfully utilize their agricultural roots as they build new homes here in Maine.