Giving away a Farm in Mississippi

An experiment in Collective Process and Gifting

Wisdom & Money’s most powerful practice place for working within diverse partnerships was in Harvest Time’s (now Wisdom & Money) nine-year process with of giving away a farm in Mississippi. A gathering of organizations, primarily Southern Black-led organizations, and Harvest Time, a primarily white, wealthy, west-coast led organization—i.e. both potential recipients of the land and donors—worked collaboratively together for nine years to transfer the land in a way that supported spiritual transformation.

Without Harvest Time’s commitment to using the Be Present Empowerment Model throughout this audacious task, this experiment might have crumbled under the weight of the Big Topic issues that flared in the midst of this process.

This powerful commitment to partnership was expressed beautifully in a Memorandum of Understanding between Harvest Time (now Wisdom & Money), Community Wholeness Venture and Be Present, Inc.:

The process used to transfer the Land embodies a paradigm grounded in partnership where we seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as the Giver and Gifted work collaboratively to support the emergence of the full dream for this Promised Land. Notwithstanding the provisions for legal transfer of the Land, the Land is a Gift now, by its very being. The Gift is primary, and its Stewardship a present priority.

In response to the Call to Steward the Gift, a Whole has emerged that is comprised of and yet transcends the sum of the parties to legal transfer. While responsibilities of Giver and Gifted organizations are set forth herein, all parties, as signified by use of “We” in this document, serve the Gift and are served by the Gift.  Through our active Stewardship of the Gift together, each party becomes Giver and Gifted many times over, and our relationship to the Land and to each other transcends the roles of who gives and who receives legal title.

The land transferred to Community Wholeness Venture the summer of 2015. Despite stumbling many times over those nine years, Harvest Time steadfastly kept returning to our mission – gifting of the land in Mississippi as a doorway to spiritual transformation. We reached across historical and current divides and built effective and authentic partnerships across our differences.

Read more about this collaborative partnership with a farm in Mississippi.

Photographs by Noa Mohlabane