Keynote Speaker: Karen Washington
As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, James Beard Leadership Award (2014) recipient Karen Washington has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. As a member of La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she helped launched a City Farms Market. Karen is the Just Food board Chair and a Just Food Trainer, leading workshops on food growing and food justice. Karen is a Why Hunger board member and the former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, a group that was founded to protect and preserve community gardens. She co- founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings and has been key to Farm School NYC, whose mission is to train NYC residents in urban agriculture. In 2012, Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country. Karen is Co-owner/Farmer at Rise & Root Farm, a 3-acre farm in Chester NY.
“To grow your own food gives you power and dignity. You know exactly what you’re eating because you grew it. It’s good, it’s nourishing and you did this for yourself, your family and your community.”
- Karen Washington