The Roots of Regenerative Solutions with Karen Washington

This talk is a Q&A with activist Karen Washington. She touches upon the history of regenerative/nature-based climate solutions that are more widely adopted today by a variety of communities, but have historically been developed by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities and cultures. This talk also addresses actions the BIPOC community is taking to offset the dangers we see happening to our ecosystems.

Karen Washington has lived in New York City all her life, and has spent decades promoting urban farming as a way for all New Yorkers to access to fresh, locally grown food. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens.

As an advocate, she stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation. As a member of the La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition, she helped launched a City Farms Market, bringing garden fresh vegetables to her neighbors. She also co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings.

In 2012 Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country, and in 2014 she was awarded with the James Beard Leadership Award. Professionally Karen was a Physical Therapist for over 30 years, and she “retired” in April 2014 to start Rise & Root Farm.

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