Rethinking systems to promote sustainability
A round table discussion with Food Shift director, Dana Frasz, Sasha Duerr of the Permaculture Institute, Brahm Ahmadi of People's Community Market and Eric Holt-Giménez of Food First.
Sasha Duerr is an innovative artist, designer, teacher and an advocate for ecological regenerative design. She is the founder and current co-director of Permacouture, a San Francisco and London-based organization that employs a unique integration of textiles, fashion, food and Permaculture. She is internationally known for her creative use of dyeing natural fabrics with a revival of nontoxic, organic place-based recipes. Sasha teaches at universities and school gardens across the nation, emphasizing the importance of ecoliteracy in art. In addition, Sasha is the author of "The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes." Her work has been featured in American Craft Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post. She holds an MFA in Textiles from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and she is certified in Permaculture.
Brahm Ahmadi is an advocate, organizer and social entrepreneur whose work has brought innovation and meaningful change to West Oakland over the past decade. In 2003, Brahm co-founded People’s Grocery, a nonprofit organization that is nationally renowned for its revolutionary work toward transforming inner city food systems. People’s Grocery combines food enterprise, urban agriculture, nutrition education and youth development. In 2010, Brahm founded People’s Community Market an independent food retail business that is designed not only to provide food access to West Oaklanders, but also to revitalize the food retail system. In addition, Brahm was a founding board member of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and serves as Executive Director of the North Oakland Land Trust. He has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California and an MBA from the Presidio School of Management. Brahm’s work in social enterprise, public education, urban agriculture and organizing for equitable systems, qualify him as a true hero in the world of food justice.
Eric Holt-Gimenez is a jack of many trades within the movements toward sustainable agriculture. He has extensive experience serving the goals of food justice as an agroecologist, writer, researcher, consultant, lecturer, program organizer, advocate, and as an International Agricultural Development Specialist. Currently, he is the executive director of Food First, the Institute for Food and Development Policy. However, he may be best known as a founder of the growing Campesino-a-Campesino (farmer-to-farmer) movement. Eric has twenty years of experience organizing with farmers’ unions and NGOs in Mexico and Central America. Eric’s many publications focus on the work of farmers in Latin America. He is the author of the 2009 Food First book, Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice as well as Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz, and a Master of Sciences in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis. His vast body of work has made a tremendous influence both on the ground in Latin America, and in the minds of sustainable agriculture innovators globally.
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