TEXARKANA, TX., October 23, 2014 – Texas A&M University-Texarkana brings prominent practitioner of urban agriculture and author of The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities to campus as a part of its First Year Experience (FYE) Program and new thematic program and lecture series focusing on environmental issues. The event is open to the public and will include a presentation and book signing from Allen.
On Monday, November 3, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., Will Allen will present a lecture on the A&M-Texarkana campus in Eagle Hall. Allen will be available for book signing immediately following the presentation. The Office of First Year Experience is offering free copies of Allen’s book to the first 100 attendees.
Will Allen will discuss urban agriculture as a practical way to bring healthy food to underserved populations. He has firsthand experience in starting community gardens in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI. Allen is founder and CEO of Growing Power, an urban farming project in Milwaukee with a 40 acre farm that specializes in sustainable food production and community growth. His organization provides hands-on training, outreach, and technical assistance.
Allen was raised in South Carolina where his parents were sharecroppers until his family became a part of “The Great Migration”—the departure of six million African-Americans from agricultural communities in the south to northern cities.
Prior to returning to his roots as a farmer and becoming a groundbreaking leader in urban agriculture, Allen was the first African-American to play basketball at the University of Miami where he received his B.A. He had a brief career in professional basketball and worked for many years in executive positions at corporations such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter and Gamble.
Allen recognized that low-income and urban populations typically have limited access to healthy and affordable food options. As a result, he transformed the food system by creating innovative methods to cultivate, produce, and deliver healthy food to underserved communities.
Allen is a pioneer in intensive growing techniques in tight urban spaces that produce high yields of fresh vegetables and fish. He is a leader and teacher in efficient methods of composting, aquaponics, and horticulture.
In 2008, he was awarded a “Genuis Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation for his work on urban farming and sustainable food production.
A&M-Texarkana selected Allen’s book, The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities, as a common reader for first-year students and its content is incorporated across the curriculum. The reader enables students, faculty, and staff to come together as a community of learners.
Additional events on environmental issues include Dr. Susan Hammerly, Dept. of Biological Sciences at University of North Texas presenting “Working with a Broken Pedigree: An Evaluation of Inbreeding and Survival in the Critically Endangered Attwater’s Prairie Chicken” at 4 pm on December 5, and on February 24 at 7 pm, Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch and author of Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, will speak.
Additionally, several faculty members are inviting the public to attend their lectures on environmental issues: “Ruined and Lost” Destruction of the Pearl Coast in the Early Sixteenth Century, on November 12 from 12-1:15 in UC 210 with Dr. Michael Perri, Associate Professor of History; “‘Gimme Shelter:'” The Rolling Stones, Derrida, and “‘The Ends of Man'” on November 18 from 1-2:15 in UC 217 with Dr. Doug Julien, Assistant Professor of English.
For more information on Allen’s event, please contact Liz Patterson at 903-334-6722. For more information on other upcoming events, please contact Corrine Hinton at 903-223-3124 or Dr. Michael Perri at 903-223-3194.