The topics of community, small farms, fishermen, and justice concluded this month’s log lunches. Niaz Dorry is the coordinating director of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and National Family Farm Coalition and named a Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine. She began her talk by explaining to everyone how she arrived to Williamstown from Gloucester, Massachusetts: via train and bus. By taking land routes she can see the landscape of small communities and places that often go unseen. With no experience with fishermen or marine affairs, she began working for the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance in 2008. From the start, she noticed similarities between the struggles of farming communities she was familiar with and those of fishermen. Both communities were fighting industrialization and corporate greed that threatened their livelihoods and environment. One of the first things she did as coordinating director of NAMA was to join National Family Farms as the first non-farming member. Dorry created models to support fishing and farming communities to make sure they are recognized and fought for. She made everyone see that fishermen and farmers suffer from the same greed and industrialization that is blighting the planet. Instead of resisting them, she said, they need to be brought into the resistance. She explained that instead of bringing them into the conversation, her organization takes the conversation to them by meeting them on their own land. Some of the work that she does involves putting local sea food back into the community in order to give people fresh food, support local fishermen, and reduce carbon footprints. Hospitals and schools across Massachusetts have already switched their food sources thanks to NAMA. She challenged Williams College to do the same.
By: Cristina Mancilla ’20