Organization: Near Future Farms
Xochitl Bervera is a queer, mixed race, Latinx organizer, oyster farmer, and water and land steward based in the Gulf Coast of FL. She is the founder and Director of Near Futures Projects, an experiment in creating vibrant, delicious, sustainable, and inclusive local food systems centered in the wisdom and legacies of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.
Prior to oyster farming and water/land stewarding, Xochitl spent 25 years building community power and waging campaigns to dismantle the criminal legal system. Her work has contributed to the closure of prisons and jails, reducing the number of people behind bars, shifting policing and court system policies, and moving resources toward community-based systems of safety and wellness. She has incubated and founded 6 social justice organizations, led by those most impacted by criminalization, policing and incarceration in Louisiana and Georgia, including Families and Friends of LA’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), Women on the Rise, and the Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative. From 2013-2020, Xochitl directed the Racial Justice Action Center where she was a lead organizer and strategist with the Communities Over Cages: Close the Jail ATL Campaign.
Xochitl was trained as a historian at Sarah Lawrence College, a lawyer at NYU School of Law, a somatics practitioner with generative somatics, and an organizer in the field from Oakland to the Bronx, New Orleans to Atlanta through the teachings and methodologies of the Center for Third World Organizing and of many mentors from the Black Freedom Movement and the Immigrant Justice Movements. She has received training in farming and land stewarding from Soul Fire Farms and graduated the Oyster Aquaculture course at the Wakulla Environmental Institute.