Community Food Systems Mentor Profile: Karen Washington

The Community Food Systems Mentorship Program offers Network members the opportunity to work directly with a food systems expert to support their growth, learn best practices, and connect with seasoned food movement leaders. 

Karen Washington, Farmer/Activist
Rise and Root Farm

About Karen:
Karen is a farmer and activist. She is Co-owner/Farmer at Rise & Root Farm in Chester New York. An activist, food advocate; in 2010, 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 was the recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award. Karen serves on the boards of the New York Botanical Gardens, Soul Fire Farm, the Mary Mitchell Center, Black Farmer Fund, and Farm School NYC.

Areas of Expertise

  • Urban Agriculture 
  • Food and Social Justice 
  • Leadership Development 
  • Community Organizing 

Seeking to Mentor

 Communities of Color, black and brown women. I want to work with women who see themselves as leaders but find themselves stuck, learning how to shift power from those who have power over especially in marginalized communities. I can help those who want to grow in urban spaces but don’t know how especially with limited resources or want to go from urban to rural spaces. Lastly, how to find that voice to speak up and speak out while navigating a food system that lacks diversity and inclusion… 

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