As a Grower and Activist, I know how important it is to be healthy and eat healthy. This virus has affected the most vulnerable population, the poor and infirm. While we all wait for the vaccine, having access to healthy food is more important than ever before. Statistics show a huge correlation between eating good food and health, yet there are folks adversely affected by food apartheid. In the name of food justice, COVID has shown it’s time to change to a food system that must be fair, equitable and just for all.
Karen Washington, Rise & Root Farm, Chester, NY
Karen Washington is a farmer and community activist, striving to make the New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, she worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens.
As an advocate, and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, she stood up and spoke out for garden protection and preservation. As a member of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she helped launch a City Farms Market, bringing fresh vegetables to the community.
Karen is a board member of Farm School NYC, leading workshops on growing food and food justice across the country, Soul Fire Farm and organization committed to undoing racism and injustice in the food system and Why Hunger a grassroots support organization aimed at ending hunger. In 2010, Co- Founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS) an organization supporting growers in both urban and rural settings, and most recently in 2019 co-founded Black Farmer Fund aimed at supporting black farms and businesses with capital and resources in New York State.
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. Recently in 2020 Essence magazine name Karen one of their Essential Heroes recipient. Since retiring from Physical Therapy in 2014, Karen is Co-owner/Farmer at Rise & Root Farm in Chester, New York.
Sunday Platform is our most important and long-standing community event. These gatherings educate, stimulate personal growth, inspire reflection and action, and strengthen our community. Sunday meetings usually begin with music, followed by greetings and a talk given by a Society Leader, member, or guest. Platforms cover a variety of topics that reflect current events, pressing social issues, and Ethical Culture philosophy. A collection basket is passed and money is shared between the Society and a charity selected for that day. While contributions are always appreciated, Sunday meetings are free and open to the public. Each Sunday meeting is followed by a luncheon and social hour.
To view previous Sunday Platform addresses and interviews, visit the Ethical NYC YouTube channel.