Date: Thursday, February 25th
Time: 7:00 pm EST / 4:00 pm PST
As communities of faith, what are our roles and responsibilities to food justice? What are some practical ways we can engage? You’re invited to the Faith & Food Justice Forum, a special event of the Growing Together Program, to explore food justice as ministry.
To lead us in this conversation and share about their powerful food justice programs, we will be joined Dr. Michelle Lewis of Peace Garden Project and Life Around the Table in North Carolina, and Richard Garcia of ALMA Backyard Farms based in California. Both Michelle and Richard have deep seated knowledge and experience in food justice as ministry and see their mission of restoring land and lives as integral to their identities as people of faith. The panel discussion will be followed by a brief time of Q & A with Michelle and Richard.
We hope you’ll join us for this Faith & Food Justice Forum!
Rev. Dr. Michelle Lewis is the founder and Executive Director of the Peace Garden Project, a non-profit with gardens in New York and North Carolina with the goal of addressing food justice while looking at the intersections of food justice with other justice issues. Her doctoral work focused on food justice and spirituality. Prior to returning home to North Carolina Michelle pastored a multi-racial/multi-ethnic church in New Rochelle, N.Y. and has pastored churches in Catskill, New York and East Berlin, Connecticut, and on the Outer Banks of N.C. She also served as a multi-faith Chaplain at Hartford Hospital. Michelle spent time working at the United Nations as an advisor to the Federated States of Micronesia on Climate Policy.
As of January 2021, Michelle is also the new Executive Director for Life Around the Table (LATT) an ecumenical ministry that equips Christian communities to participate in the flourishing of all creation, by cultivating practices of faithful eating and Sabbath delight.
Michelle is an Elder in full connection in the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church but is a native North Carolinian hailing from the Outer Banks. She holds a certificate in Leadership, Organizing and Action from the Harvard Kennedy School. She is the first person of color to hold joint degrees in Religion and the Environment from Yale and holds a Doctorate in Ministry from Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Richard L. Garcia is the Executive Director & Co-Founder of ALMA Backyard Farms in Los Angeles, CA.
Richard's passion to grow food comes from a long line of Filipino farmers. A Los Angeles native, Richard lives to see that no life or land is wasted in the City of Angels. Richard studied at St. John’s Seminary College and has extensive experience in pastoral ministry inside juvenile halls and prisons. As a pastoral minister, youth advocate, and urban farmer, Richard knows how growing food is a transformative way of bringing people together. Since completing an M.A.in Pastoral Theology at Loyola Marymount University, Richard incorporates principles of restorative justice into urban farming.
Before launching Alma Backyard Farms, Richard initiated garden programs for schools and restaurants. Richard trains our urban farmers to create beautiful landscapes, install raised beds, and grow food. As a skilled craftsman, Richard builds innovative outdoor structures that encourage outdoor living.