It’s more than just the engaging workshops that draw attendees. “With all our conferences, it’s the reconnection to our ancestral lineage; our past, our history, which is the winding thread and the reason we gather to celebrate,” explains co-founder Karen Washington.
Beyond connection and celebration, the conference has also resulted in positive, real-world outcomes. “This event has become a place to spark ideas and create meaningful, lasting connections. I know at least four new organizations that have started as a direct result of folks meeting at our conference and sharing a common dream, knowledge, and a desire to build something new in their local communities,” adds co-founder Regina Ginyard.
The event is organized and run by several Black women leaders, including three co-founders of Black Urban Growers: Suzanne Babb, Regina Ginyard, and Karen Washington; the organization’s first part-time staff member, Kwayera Wilson; and a local coordinator, Tasha Gomes.
About Black Urban Growers
Since 2010 Black Urban Growers has been creating a space for urban and rural farmers, food justice activists, chefs, educators, policymakers, and everyday citizens to come together and share innovative ideas, projects, and best practices for reclaiming and reshaping our community food systems.
About the Open Space Institute
The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands and sustain communities. Founded in 1974, initially, to protect significant landscapes in New York State, today, the Open Space Institute has been a partner in the protection of more than 2.3 million acres in the eastern US and Canada to promote clean air and water, combat climate change, improve access to recreation, strengthen communities, and provide for wildlife habitat.
Now in its fourth decade, Citizen Action is OSI’s longest-running program and has mentored, trained, and launched more than 150 grassroots startups in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and beyond. Participants range from community gardens and local land trusts to environmental educators and promoters of nature-based arts and activities. OSI sponsors Citizen Actions groups that address issues that are central to OSI’s mission while improving their local communities.