Sadly, at the end of June, the ACB’s senior researcher Stephen Greenberg is departing from the ACB. In a joint letter by executive director Mariam Mayet and Stephen, they reflect on their journey together.
We are writing together, Mariam and Stephen. We have found ourselves walking the same path for a number of years now, and we have had a remarkably united and fruitful partnership. Mariam started the ACB in 2003. Stephen did his first research work with the ACB in 2004. A regular research relationship eventually turned into participation in strategic planning, then to part time work in 2013, and finally full time employment in 2017.
Our collaboration has taken us across the African continent and beyond, and we have been privileged and honoured to have interacted and worked with amazing and inspiring people, movements, organisations and networks. We as Mariam and Stephen believe that our partnership and our collaboration together with the whole ACB team has also contributed to strengthening these networks, and to working with others to raise the profile of farmer seed systems, agroecology and food sovereignty, and exposing and highlighting the threats of the Green Revolution, corporate agribusiness and imperialism on the continent.
However, at this moment of flux, we find ourselves at a place where our paths are clearly diverging. Stephen has expressed a strong inner push to focus his energy on agroecology and food systems transitions in South Africa in particular in the immediate and longer term. While this is very connected to the ACB’s work, we have discussed at length, and agree that the ACB’s support for agroecology and food systems transitions, while including South Africa, is principally focused on political/policy work that also extends to regional and international work, and insofar as it links with existing and long standing ACB work.
We remain part of the same networks, which are much larger than both of us, and much larger than the ACB. Stephen’s parting from the ACB is just a relocation to a different vantage point in the network, to focus on the things that he personally feels it is imperative for him to work on now and into the future.
Parting is inevitable. We really have worked well together for a long time now, and we intend to maintain our relationship. We are both confident that the ACB will continue with its passionate, dedicated and effective efforts for social and ecological justice in South Africa, in Africa and beyond.
Mariam and Stephen