Three major names in food activism were in town for Earth Day weekend: Alice Waters, Ron Finley and Will Allen.
The three led a dialogue on farming, food equity and social justice in a conversation titled “The Transformative Power of Growing, Cooking and Sharing Food” at No Studios on April 20.
Ron Finley, also known as the Gangsta Gardner, talks about gardening in South Central Los Angeles
Ron Finley, also known as the Gangsta Gardner, is a community leader and food activist from South Central, Los Angeles. Growing up in a food desert, Finley aims to turn South Central into a food forest by providing educational programming and outreach to local youth. He works to engage youth in community gardening and agricultural education.
Will Allen is a leader in urban farming and food security, and he is well known for his role as Director of Milwaukee-based organization Growing Power. He now runs Will’s Roadside Farms & Markets on Silver Spring Drive.
Alice Waters is an internationally recognized food activist, chef and author who is a leader in the Slow Food Movement. Waters is credited as the pioneer of California Cuisine, which focuses on dishes that are driven by local and sustainable ingredients.
The three discussed how urban communities like Milwaukee could become equitable in access to healthy foods through agriculture and farm education, especially in communities of color facing issues like food deserts.
Here are some organizations to look into if you’re interested in learning more about food sustainability and equity:
Alice’s Garden is an urban farm located on 20th and Fond Du Lac. Alice’s Garden focuses on promoting community development and economical growth through regenerative farming and agriculture. Visit the garden for one of their weekly walks or volunteer for one of their community garden workdays.
Walnut Way, located in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood, is a non-profit organization creating community initiatives to address economic, environmental and health concerns facing its residents. The organization offers programming for both adults and youth. Sign up for gardening workshops, farmers markets, urban agriculture classes or volunteer to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful garden with Walnut Way.
Victory Garden believes promoting food equity by building and teaching communities how to grow and maintain nutritious food. It offers a variety of adult and youth programming from classes to volunteer opportunities and internships. Take part in their Great Milwaukee Victory Garden BLITZ where over 300 volunteers install hundreds of raised bed gardens around Milwaukee.