Health & Well-Being


SATURDAY (11/5)  11:00-12:15 PM

Race, Place and Injustice

This workshop will hit on multiple dimensions of wellness; Physical- Nutrition, Intellectual- Advocacy, and Environmental—Environmental Justice and Sustainability. We will highlight the issues of neighborhood conditions and health disparities as they relate to social determinants of health, environmental and food justice. We will help to define food deserts, healthy homes and the impact of environmental conditions on community health and wellness.


  • Hunter Scott, Environmental Health Watch/Rid-All Urban Farm
  • Zri Hitchcock, Environmental Health Watch/Rid-All Urban Farm
  • Isa Muhammad

*session will be recorded*

Health Is Wealth: Urban Garden & Kitchen Remedies

"There's a common idea that to live healthy you have to spend a lot of money, it's complicated & takes a lot of time! In this family friendly workshop I'll be sharing effective, simple & budget conscious remedies you can grow in an urban environment (in containers on the window sill or outside) & find in your kitchen cabinet to keep you and your family in optimal health. We will use our senses; taste, smell, touch & sight to identify common herbs & ""weeds"" that heal, we'll also make an easy winter health tonic you can store in the fridge. I'll bring in potted herbs from my garden as well as items everyone should have in the kitchen cabinet & fridge for common ailments & small medical emergencies. I'll share a short slide show of my urban garden and the many varieties I grow from indoor seed starting to mature plants and how to dry & store these herbs. We'll share our memories of childhood & family that connect us back to our legacy of natural home remedies to remind us that this is part of how we've always lived. Participants will leave with a few recipes and a resource list of items they should have in the kitchen and herbs to grow in the garden as well as where to buy them & how much they cost. (focus on African American owned businesses)


  • Cheryl Browne, Black Permaculture Network 

Cooking is a Revolutionary Act

Cooking real food is a revolutionary act. Food is about nourishment and is fundamental to our existence. The nature of food ensures that much of this work is inherently hands-on and personal while also addressing systemic, structural issues. Quite literally, food is for most people something we handle every day. As more people do not know how to cook, we have lost the means to care for ourselves. Nadine Nelson will share her projects range that can be categorized as Art interventions, regenerative placemaking, adventures in social sculpture, and old fashioned train the trainer models. Central to this work is the engagement with people in culinary education and food justice. Designing programs like Public Kitchen and Master Cooks Corps, T- Stop Meal, Living with S.O.U.L. (Sustainable, Organic, Unprocessed, and Local) Food, Harvest Mandala and others, she uses the kitchen as a revolutionary place for people to feel empowered, learn, connect to the environment, share their culture, provide fellowship, build community, and cook up solutions to brainwashed thinking that food costs too much, it is too hard to grow, not having time to cook, and the best one what about food deserts? She will share concrete examples that show how cooking can liberate the food movement and make it even more delicious.


  • Chef Nadine Nelson, Global Local Gourmet/ Kitchen Oasis

SATURDAY (11/5)  1:30-2:45 PM

Farmers from the Hood, Feeding the Community

Creating a new and interactive way to look at farming; Modernizing it while still keeping it black; Ways to produce more food for people in the community; Using ancient indigenous cultures agricultural practices. Terra Greta (Biochar) and Slash and burn (Swidden Agriculture) and Korean Natural Farming IMO's which is more modern. Then we will have an interactive slide presentation on the work we are doing as young farmers in our hood. We will show who we partner with, and give strategies that we have effectively used, as well as ones that are in the works now. We will show effective ways we have found to educate and inspire the youth of our neighborhood to get involved with growing food, social justice, and how to connect to nature. We will have some of these young ones with us so that they can personally relate some of their farming in the hood experiences, and help demonstrate some of our teaching methods that we use to inspire youth in the hood.


  • Alkebu-Lan Marcus, Mill Creek Farm
  • Micaiah Hall, Mill Creek Farm

Convening for QTIBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Intersex, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Farmers, Foodies, and Food Justice Activists

As QTIBIPOC food workers and land workers, we often finding ourselves in primarily cisgender-heteronormative spaces, our lives and work is often invisibilized within our families of origins and in communities of color. Seeing the need to come together and hold space, we launched this space at the Just Food Conference and were blown away and inspired by the dialogues and community building that took place. Different from a workshop or panel, this space is an opportunity to be visible with, connect to one another, and to share our stories/ experiences of resilience. We will emphasize collective learning and healing, for example, this gathering will be interactive, including small group discussions and sharing with each other about how we build resiliency. Indeed, being our full selves builds resiliency and expands our ability to create. Some of the support and information we hope participants will walk away with: --reduce isolation & build community --share resources with other QTIBIPOC farmers and food justice activist --addressing gender & sexuality in our families & communities --coming out as farmers to our families --listserv to stay connected post conference.


  • Lucretia John, Cypress Hills Local Development Corp; KCC Urban Farm
  • Cris Izaguirre, Kingsborough Community College Urban Farm
  • Dean Jackson, Hilltop Urban Gardens

SATURDAY (11/5)  3:00-4:15 PM

Black Southern Land & Liberation: Mapping Our Intimacy with Food

This workshop will enliven the dialogue around the South’s agricultural legacy, local food justice movements and how to facilitate community dialogue through utilizing cultural traditions and technology for base-building and organizing strategy. Through communion over food we will work together to deep space vision the possibilities of how we can cultivate and propagate a social movement around food as a fundamental tool for healing and Black liberation that is soulful, enticing and offers shared values and praxis. For the last four years Fresh2health has explored Black Geographies and the socio-political landscapes of our bodies, Black Southern foodways as identity and our relationship to the land as sites of resistance. From this workshop we will activate our imaginations and enhance the impact of Fresh2health as a digital media organizing strategy and communications platform that amplifies the work and narratives of Black farmers, growers, organizers, activist and healers, supports the co-creation of original educational content and serves as resource stewarding institutional knowledge of the efforts of the Black Food Justice and Liberation work on a movement continuum. This is a call to action.


  • Alsie Parks, Fresh2health
  • Jovan Sage, Sage's Larder

Aquaponics 101: Growing Vegetables and Fish Together

This workshop will teach participants about cultivating fish and plants together in an eco-friendly system. We will cover the basic principles of aquaponics, its history, and impact in an urban environment. In addition, participants will also learn the basic principles behind aquaponics and inexpensive ways to build and sustain their own aquaponics garden indoors or outdoors. The workshop will be discussion style and interactive.


  • Eric Person, KC BUGS, BLLI, and Black City ANTs
  • Yemi Amu, Oko Farms

The Medicine of Weeds

Weeds are ever present! they are pushing up through cracks in the sidewalk and constantly showing themselves in our farm/garden beds. they are beautiful examples of how to thrive against all odds. the medicine of weeds is resiliency. in this workshop we will learn how to utilize common weeds to increase our own health, wellness and resiliency so that we too can thrive against all odds. this workshop will focus on common weeds and will explore plant identification, proper harvest techniques, the properties, energetics and medicinal/nutritional uses as well as basic medicine making.


  • Amanda David, Rootwork Herbals, People's Medicine Project

Grow Free: Developing Garden Programs in Juvenile Detention and Alternative Settings

This presentation is designed to inspire anyone involved in food justice to develop programs inside juvenile detention or alternative (JDA) settings. We will explore various programs that could be facilitated in JDA settings, the benefits of such programming, and best practices when facilitating garden programs in a detention setting. The presentation will also briefly delve in the social and political forces behind youth incarceration, and utilize a critical analysis approach towards all subjects explored in the areas of race and patriarchy. Developing gardening programs in JDA settings benefits our communities and our most vulnerable young people, especially during a time when the earth’s healing qualities and support from their community is most needed in their lives. This presentation will explore several potential programs that could be implemented in a JDA setting, such as in production, therapy, academia, cooking, health, entrepreneurship, workforce development, and more. All programs will be examined with a culturally appropriate and liberatory lens. I created, developed, and led a youth prison garden program for four years in DC. The garden space was used for several purposes, including academia, producing value-added products, conduct trainings, holding cooking competitions, donating food to shelters, workforce development, and horticultural therapy. I have also consulted several detention centers in developing JDA programs, as well as held trainings for detention center staff at multiple conferences. Through activities, participants will assess the feasibility of their organization or farm in engaging in such an endeavor, and will gain practical insight towards developing JDA garden programs. Participants will also be provided resources towards initiating JDA garden programs.


  • Mark Bowen, Rethink New Orleans

SUNDAY (11/6)  9:30-10:45AM

Developing Socially Transformative Garden Education for Youth of African Descent

Socially transformative education seeks to revise or reform the existing social order, it pulls heavily from the works of Paulo Freire. It is a revolutionary approach to education. The Urban Garden is a unique space where transformative education can take place if we are intentional about structuring the garden experience. This interactive workshop will: Discuss the research on how children of African descent learn/Overview of scholarly recommendations Share some successful lesson plans that syncretisize garden tasks with history and or food justice issues. Share, as a group, educational strategies/lesson plans in your garden/farm setting that were effective in creating awareness within the student of the oppressive social conditions people of African descent exist in. What practical solutions, if at all, were derived from this awareness. [sharing best practices] Review of the mechanics of writing a lesson plan As a group develop garden/farm based lesson plans around current social issues Share resources.


  • Ruby Olisemeka, Harlem Grown

Faith and Food: African Descent Faith Communities Address Food Sovereignty

In New York Agriculture awareness is essential in the lives of African descent communities in the ways in which we actively engage in the knowledge and wisdom of healing practices that leads to overall health and wellness of our minds and bodies. The effects of colonization, forced conversion to Christianity, and consumerism in the Western ideological health and food systems has affected the physical, psychological, and spirituality of African descent peoples—ultimately contributing to the genocide of African descent people worldwide. This panel will take an interdisciplinary approach in the ways in which Faith & Food can collaboratively contribute towards reparations by repairing the relationship between faith and food practices within the African Diaspora. Participants will learn Cultural Dietary Diversity & Inclusivity, African Indigenous Relationship with food, Women’s Role in Food and Faith, Reconnecting African Based Religions in America for Food Justice, and new twist Soul vegetarianism and veganism for Conscious Millennials.


Valencia Howard, Operations Manager/Dir. Faith & Food Initiative at Corbin Hill Food Project and Health Minister at AME Zion Church on the Hill in Harlem, NY.

  • Presenters:

    Manbo Dowoti Desir​, High Priestess in the Vodun Tradition, Founder & CEO of Afro-Atlantic Theologies & Treaties, Chair of the NGO Committee for the Elimination of Racism, Afrophobia, and Colorism.


    Sharon Herbert- Hayes​, Christian Lay Leader and Educator, Board Member at Faith in New York, and Director of Social Justice Ministry at Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith


    Rev. Addie Banks,​ Health & Wellness Ministry Consultant with the Groundswell Group


     David Lee,​ Eastern Religious Practice (Hinduism & Buddhism), Ayurvedic Chef


    Brother Rojo​, Ancient Kemetic Spirituality, Co-Founder of Powerful Pioneers, and Alkaline & Vegan Chef



Building Self-Reliant Communities through Permaculture

This workshop will expand our knowledge of Permaculture and how we approach the transformation of public and “private” spaces, taking us through some of the best examples from the field of building gardens and large scale sites in urban and rural settings. Chief Coker brilliantly explains the trap of urban development and manages time and time again to snap us out of a sleepwalk with the most clear and real depictions of the realities we have encountered in our collective work. From where Chief Coker and its leaders stand in the movement, they will tie into the conversation of how we have a long way to go and how we recognize that many of us are still approaching our work with a large level of ignorance that play into schemes of oppression, specifically gentrification all in the name of the movements. Chief's magnificent storytelling captivates us and helps us overstand the importance of productive partnerships as the first and most important action to working in our neighbourhoods no matter what part of the movement we subscribe to. We will all want to identify as a Permie once they are done.


  • Chief Toyin Coker Permaculture GTA BCC

Healing Through Fruit Tree Maintenance And Other Therapeutic Garden Components

In this round table, we will explore ways we heal and nurture ourselves through the maintenance of fruit trees and other green space components. We will demonstrate and discuss how and why to prune, weed, and mulch; how to stake the main trunk and branches; and to protect against bugs, wildlife, and other animals; and what disease(s) and pests to look out for. We will incite thought that will allow us to engage in a discussion on the need for us to come together in outdoor healing spaces.


  • RonDell Pooler, Rooted and Sustained LLC
  • Gerald Mcintosh, Seed Planters

Completing Food Waste Cycling Through Soil Building, Composting and Permaculture

The earth's microherds living underground process hundreds of tons of detritus daily. These subterranean machines are attracted to the basic recipe of brown (carbon) plus green (nitrogen) plus air, water and time, all which equal GOLD! Dr. Carver taught us that there is “no such thing as waste” and that soil structure is imperative to healthy plant (and planet) propagation. Learn permaculture based principles regarding soil regeneration and rejuvenation. From simple pallet bins and vermicomposting to anaerobic digesters and windrow heaps, we will see the importance and ease of composting. As Black people, we have a special affinity with the earth that courses through our veins. We have lost, by force, this love for the land and are regaining this relationship. Since we all eat, we all create food ""waste"" and can contribute to either helping or hurting our environment.


  • Sizwe Herring EarthMatters Tennessee

What's Going On, the Real Truth

Join us for a screening of the documentary Manchester Growing Together. Manchester Growing Together Farm is recognized as a model throughout the City of Pittsburgh. The garden/farm is highly acclaimed and has been celebrated for its best practices in environmental stewardship, educational pioneering, juvenile justice remediation, and community service involvement. It has been featured in The Buhl Foundation’s One Northside showcase of “quality of space.” The self-actualization that occurs everyday at our Farm is profound. We are making a difference, academically, socially, physically AND spiritually. From planting to harvesting, food preparation and nutrition, growing healthy food and building a community – in the most unconventionally ways possible. Join us won’t you?


  • Lisa Freeman, Manchester Growing Together Garden


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