ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL Dialogues present

Resilient Communities through Agriculture

April 20, 2023, 10 – 11 AM ET

Adaptation and Resilience! 

We see these concepts explored in documentaries by Costa Boutsikaris on Native American land management practices, “INHABITANTS” and on permaculture in urban and rural settings in North America, “INHABIT” and explained in detail with real-world solutions by soil scientist, Director of Agriculture at the Glynwood Center, Laura Legnick’s highly informative book, “Resilient Agriculture.” As the climate emergency continues to create more damaging weather variability and extremes, our farmers are needing to adapt to these dramatic and subtle changes, affecting our food supply and our communities. We also need to address issues of economic, cultural, gender and race inequality, – food apartheid – as these deeply permeate our national food systems and are most relevant to the climate issue. Karen Washington, co-founder of Black Urban Growers and co-owner of Rise and Roots Farm, and Jayne Henson, founder of TransGenerational Farm, both located in the Hudson Valley region, just an hour north of New York City, offer insights into their farming practices, and their cultural and social justice activities that are focussed on resilience and inclusion.

About Our Speakers:

Costa Boutsikaris, grew up in the Hudson Valley region, New York on the ancestral territory of the Lenape Munsee People. He is a farmer and filmmaker currently living in High Falls, NY. He shot, directed and edited his first feature documentary in 2013 entitled “INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective”. This film explores ecological design solutions across the Northeast US and premiered in 2015 and has screened in over 30 countries and 25 film festivals winning multiple awards. Since being released in 2015 INHABIT has won the Audience Choice Award at the Yale Environmental Film Festival and the Princeton Environmental Film Festival and Best in Theme at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival. In 2021 he released his second feature film entitled “INHABITANTS” which follows five Native American Tribes across deserts, coastlines, forests, and prairies as they restore their traditional land management practices. “INHABITANTS” won the Audience Award at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival and Best International Feature at the Planet In Focus Film Festival.

Jayne Henson grew up in rural Kansas as part of an agriculture family. After transitioning they quickly left rural life in search of community and acceptance in New York and worked in HIV counseling and testing, after which they started working with GrowNYC’s Fresh Food Box program, which reignited the interest in agriculture and led to a manager position at SustainAbility Farm, in the Hudson Valley, NY. “The act of growing food connects us to the natural world and to each other in a way that is unique. Creating sustenance, and strength from the energies of nature should be a right of all humans, and those of us who take up this mantle should not feel excluded from it because of our gender identity, sexuality, race, class, or physical ability.” In 2019, Henson founded TransGenerational Farm, in Accord, NY, employing regenerative practices. Henson’s goal is to connect LGBTQ folks, and others who are traditionally excluded from farming to agriculture. 

Laura Lengnick is an award-winning soil scientist with 30 years of experience working as a researcher, policymaker, educator, activist and farmer to put sustainability values into action in U.S. food and farming. Lengnick is the author of “Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate”, a book with real world stories from the frontlines of climate change, resilience, and the future of food. Her research in soil health and sustainable farming systems was nationally recognized with a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award in 2002 and she served as a lead author of the 2013 USDA report, Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation. As founder and principal at Cultivating Resilience, LLC, Laura and her associates work with organizations of all kinds to integrate resilience thinking into operations and strategic planning. In 2021, Laura joined the Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming in Cold Spring, NY, as the Director of Agriculture. She lives in Asheville, NC.

Karen WashingtonKaren the Farmer, is a farmer, activist and food advocate. She is co-owner/farmer at Rise and Root Farm in Chester, New York. In 2010, she co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization supporting 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 the recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award. In 2020 Essence magazine named Karen one of their Essential Heroes, and recently in 2023 she was named the recipient of the James Beard Humanitarian Award. Karen serves on the boards of the New York Botanical Gardens, Soul Fire Farm, the Mary Mitchell Center, Black Farmer Fund, and the Green Worker Cooperative.

ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL interviews and dialogues are ongoing programs produced by the Temple of Understanding, incorporating our outreach in the area of environmental awareness and advocacy. We present a diverse range of perspectives, from scientific to spiritual views, on the climate emergency and offer a variety of solutions that we can all do easily and effectively in our everyday lives. World religious and spiritual visionaries, Indigenous leaders, scientists and social scientists, environmental activists, artists, musicians and writers, youth and elders, local and global people, all come together to address the urgency of the climate crisis through these ongoing interviews and dialogues.

See all our programs on our ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL youtube channel.

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