Thursday, January 21, 2010

MacArthur Genius and organic farming leader Will Allen coming to Seattle

Folks who've been involved in the King County Food and Fitness Initiative, Seattle's Good Food Project, and other efforts to make our food system more just and sustainable were excited when Will Allen, urban farming leader and the founder of Growing Power, won the MacArthur Genius Award in 2008.

Will is coming to Seattle on Feb 3 and will be making a range of appearances, including a visit to the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center to participate in FEEST with Delridge and White Center youth leaders.

Here are a couple of announcements from Creatives4Community and the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.

DPDTalks Got Grub

Press Release 1-15-09_will Allen

JANUARY 19, 2010
CONTACT: EDWARD HILL – 206.508.1260
McArthur Genius Fellow and Urban Farmer Will Allen Speaks to Seattle Neighborhoods

“Inside the Urban Farmer’s Studio” Caps off a Daylong Series Of Events to Help Communities Strengthen Access To Healthy Food Options

(Seattle, WA)- Seattle and King County residents and community organizations have worked with municipal and public agencies for decades to protect, manage, improve, and sustain its food shed. While most efforts have succeeded in maintaining one of the best regions in the country for a self-sustaining food system, the diversity of economic participation, equity in access to its bounty, as well as the benefits of its wealth have left many groups marginalized or locked out of opportunities.

On Wednesday, February 3 at the Yesler Terrace Community Center, Creatives 4 Community will host Mac Arthur Genius Fellow and Urban Farmer Will Allen will as special guest for a "Peoples Roundtable" with invited local grassroots organizations, urban farmers and community members. The Roundtable is part of a daylong series of events featuring Allen designed to help participants brainstorm ways that Seattle neighborhoods can improve their health, empower their residents and create access to healthy food throughout our city with simple, accessible urban growing techniques.

“Will Allen is to food what Van Jones is to energy” said Eddie Hill, urban planner and C4C’s Executive Director. “We want more communities of color and low income people to take the lead in the Green Movement and Allen’s work represents the best in the United States in urban agriculture and food justice.”

Seattle has many successful emerging programs to reduce hunger and provide access to healthy, locally grown food. Allen will sit in with youth involved with Youngstown F.E.E.S.T program to address ways youth can strengthen their participation in planning their own green future. F.E.E.S.T. which stands for Food Empowerment and Sustainability Team, is a weekly youth-led roundtable where youth prepare healthy meals and learn about food.

At 7pm at the Mercer Middle School Auditorium in Beacon Hill, Allen will cap off the day with “Inside the Urban Farmer’s Studio” a free, community-wide discussion on food, urban farming and food policy to share ideas in a question and answer session with audience members.

Will Allen is the founder and president of the Rainbow Farmer’s Cooperative. One of the only African American farmers in the State of Wisconsin, Allen has struggled vigorously to alleviate the plight of the small family farmer. Allen is also the CEO of Growing Power, a national not for profit organization supporting the development of urban community food systems. He has over fifty years experience in farming, marketing and distributing food and has shared this knowledge with youth, adults, community groups, immigrants, farmers, and consumers.

Will Allen is referred to by many as a modern day George Washington Carver, a person that Allen greatly admirers. Will Allen is known as an innovator and creator of food systems that are leading efforts in getting good food to all people worldwide. He believes that food is the cornerstone in building healthy communities and that we have a responsibility to pass on our knowledge to youth and adults about food for future sustainable food systems.

8:30am – 9:00am “Morning Meet & Greet” - Yesler Terrace Community Center (Invite Only)9:00am –Noon “Peoples Roundtable with Will” Yesler Terrace Community Center (Invite Only)
• 9 – 9:30am Introduction to Process• 9:30 – 10am Asset Mapping Exercise• 10 – 11:00am Strategy Brainstorm
• 11 – Noon Will Allen + Q&A
4:30pm – 6:30pm “Young People’s Urban Ag Session with Will” Youngstown Center (Youth Only)
7:00pm – 9:00pm Public Event: Inside the Urban Farmers Studio with Will Allen, Growing Power

This event presented by Creatives4Community, Seattle Neighborhood Group, Progressive Planners Network, Youth Planners Network, FEEST at Youngstown,

About C4CCreatives4Community (C4C) is a Washington State Non-Profit Corporation that works with community and institutional partners to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate green training and community-capacity building. C4C has more than 25 years experience in education, curriculum, training, consulting, and program management.

This event is Funded and Sponsored by The City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Vulcan Inc., Seattle Parks and Recreation.


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