Designing Urban Agriculture, Part 1: Why Now?

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Designing Urban Agriculture, Part 1: Why Now?

June 28, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

photograph depicting an urban farm in North Brookyln set against a backdrop of skyscrapers

This is the first in a three-part series that will explore the intersection of agriculture and the urban environment at this moment and at a range of scales. This session focuses on the context and policies around urban agriculture and how food plays a role in urban health and community. We will ask:

  • Why is it important for cities to create sustainable and interconnected regional agriculture systems?
  • How can we expand access to, and involvement in, urban farming practices?
  • How are gardens and farms integrated into urban systems and networks?
  • What role can urban agriculture play in advancing social justice and community development?
  • Can urban agriculture facilitate COVID recovery?

Michael Hollis, Urban Farms Director, Services for the Underserved
Valentine Cadieux, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Program Director of Environmental Studies, Hamline University
Rodney Brooks, Beginning Farmer Regional Coordinator, USDA 

Ian Marvy
, Serial Social Entrepreneur, Food Systems Innovator and Urban Farmer

About the Speakers:

Mike Hollis is the Urban Farms Director at Services for the UnderServed. In that role, he manages a multi-divisional therapeutic horticulture program for veterans, individuals, and families facing a range of challenges from mental illness, developmental disabilities, and HIV/AIDS, often compounded by histories of homelessness, substance use, poverty, and unemployment. 

Valentine Cadieux isa professor in Hamline’s Anthropology and Environment program, with a PhD and MA from the Geography and Planning program at the University of Toronto, and an AB in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and Radcliffe. She is additionally the Learning Coordinator for the Twin Cities Community Agricultural Land Trust.

Rodney Brooks grew up in rural South Georgia (Quitman) and worked during the summers as a teen harvesting crops that included tobacco, watermelons and field peas.  He previously has served as a Farm Loan Officer for over 10 years and before that as a temporary worker in the Administrative division of the Georgia state office while attending graduate school.  During his undergraduate studies he interned in the Brooks Co. (GA) field office during summer and Christmas breaks.  Rodney attained a B. S. and M. S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Fort Valley State University and the University of Georgia, respectively. Mr. Brooks resides in Leesburg and is married with 2 children.

Ian Marvy is an award-winning social entrepreneur who has been working at the intersection of food systems, restorative justice, youth, and community empowerment for 40 years. He spent more than two decades living in Red Hook, Brooklyn while working on these issue locally, nationally, and internationally. His works focuses on building stronger, healthier, more just, and equitable communities. 

Organized by

AIANY Committee on the Environment


June 28, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT