PRESS RELEASE: Social Justice Organizations Return 43 Acres of Land to Black and Indigenous Stewardship in San Francisco Bay Area
Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and Movement Generation announce long-term partnership to care for land as part of broad Indigenous land back movement
Berkeley, Calif. (June 21, 2023) — Today, Movement Generation (MG) and Sogorea Te’ Land Trust announced that they have partnered to return 43 acres of land to Indigenous care, in the unceded Bay Miwok territory of the San Francisco East Bay Area. MG and Sogorea Te’ liberated the land title from the speculative real estate market, with Sogorea Te’ now holding the deed. The organizations have created long-term agreements together for care of the land.
Sogorea Te’ Land Trust is an urban Indigenous women-led nonprofit that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people. For more than 20 years, its founders have been organizing to protect Indigenous lands in the Bay Area, where Ohlone people have lived for thousands of years and now Indigenous peoples of many nations call home.
“Returning land to Indigenous care is healing for us and healing for the land,” says Corrina Gould, co-founder of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust and tribal chairperson of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan. “Working together with Movement Generation to create visions and commitments into the next generations allows us to reimagine relationships to this land and multiply the possibilities of our work.”
The nonprofit collective Movement Generation began organizing movements in the Bay Area to address the ecological crisis in 2007. Its collective members developed a Strategic Framework for a Just Transition, offering strategies to shift from an extractive economy to economies that are sustainable, equitable and just for all people. MG’s work involves political education, movement building and cultural strategy towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor and culture.
“Land is imperative to justice and liberation movements,” says Quinton Sankofa, Movement Generation co-director and collective member. “When the Movement for Black Lives started, we spoke with Black organizers about how we could support their work through ecological justice. Land reparations was a common refrain. But we asked ourselves: How can we demand land from white people who stole it from Indigenous peoples? We needed to build Black and Indigenous solidarity.”
Movement Generation envisions the land to become a Bay Area movement hub for deep political strategy, reconnecting with earth and ancestry, and practicing rematriation, with the support of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. Here, MG will host intergenerational programs for organizers, healers, cultural workers and earth workers to engage in grassroots ecology, building their capacity to guide their own communities towards a Just Transition and an ecologically regenerative future.
When an ally brought attention to the opportunity to purchase 43 acres that had been owned by a local family for more than a century, Movement Generation and Sogorea Te’ mobilized to liberate the land. MG anchored the funding, and Sustainable Economies Law Center, the Center for Ethical Land Transition, Reimagine Real Estate, Original Blackprint, Nuns & Nones Land Justice Project, and the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center supported the process.
Those interested in learning more are encouraged to engage with the resources offered by both organizations and support their local Indigenous-led land return work. To support Sogorea Te’ Land Trust’s critical work of rematriation, non-Indigenous people residing on the Confederated Villages of Lisjan’s territory in the East Bay can make a voluntary annual contribution to Sogorea Te’s Shuumi Land Tax.
For media inquiries, contact Dana Viloria, Movement Generation, at email@example.com.
About the partners: