Get Involved! 8th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend: January 13-15, 2017

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Climate Change and Water

KAM Isaiah Israel’s Food Justice and Sustainability Committee presents the 8th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend. The focus this year is Climate Change and Water. The weekend long education and advocacy program includes a keynote address on climate change and a resilient food system, workshops on topics ranging from lead contamination in urban water, to soil carbon sequestration and improved food production, to irrigation management and rain fall mitigation structures. The weekend also features a community design workshop case study at which a three acre urban food forest will be designed for the roof of a big box store. The goal of the weekend is to provide participants with powerful tools for change and a heightened motivation to work toward a greener, more equitable and sustainable world.

January 13 – 15, 2017

All events are held at KAM Isaiah Israel and are free of charge and open to the public. Learn more and register here!


Friday, January 13
7:30 PM

Shabbat service followed by keynote address by the Director of Fresh Taste, Karen Lehman. The title of her talk is Earth, We’ve Got You Covered: Food System Resilience In the Context Of Climate Change.


Saturday, January 14
4:30 – 6:30 PM

Community Design Workshop: An Urban Food Forest Case Study, a Big Box Store

•       Annie Gill-Bloyer, Farm Manager Emerita, KAM Isaiah Israel
•       Noel Deehr, Farm Supervisor, Seminary Hill Farm, Delaware, Ohio
•       David Durstewitz, KAM Isaiah Israel Farm and Food Forest School Instructor
•       Breanne Heath, Farmer, The Pie Patch
•       Annamaria Leon, Manager, Edible Landscapes, Christy Weber Landscapes
•       Amy Coffman Phillips, Co-Founder, Biomimicry Chicago
•       Robert Nevel (moderator), Founder, KAM Isaiah Israel Food Justice and Sustainability Program

6:30 PM:  Reception


Sunday, January 15:  Workshops
10:00 AM – 2:45 PM

10:00 – 10:45 AM

  1. Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health, Duane Friend, Educator, Environmental Stewardship and Energy, University of Illinois Extension
  2. Native Species Strategies in the Era of Climate Change, Jason Zylka, Illinois Native Plant Society Northeast Chapter
  3. Water, Water Everywhere – Will We Have A Drop To Drink? Urban Lead Contamination and Shrinking Surface Water In Light Of Global Warming, Doriane C. Miller, M.D., Director, Center for Community Health and Vitality, Urban Health Initiative, University of Chicago Medicine
  4. Land, Fuel and Water: the Three Hidden Ingredients On Every Plate, JP McIntyre, Chef
  5. Soil Moisture Improvements with Biochar, Mark Moxley, Lake Street Supply and Tom Marrero, PhD, Wakefield Biochar

11:00 – 11:45 AM

  1. Cultivating Soil Microbes – Promoting Below Ground Biodiversity To Maximize Soil Ecosystem Services, Dr. Bala Chaudhary, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Studies, DePaul University
  2. Urban Farming and Gardening in the Age of Unpredictable Weather: Irrigation Management, Rain Barrel Water Safety, Rain Fall Mitigation Structures, Mulches, and Monitoring Rainfall, Zachary Grant, Local Foods and Small Farms Educator for the University of Illinois Extension
  3. Advocacy For Climate and Water: How to Make Your Voice Heard and Work Towards Positive Environmental Change, Jennifer Walling, Executive Director, Illinois Environmental Council
  4. Healing Our Food System, From Water Rights to Worker Rights, Jose Oliva, Co-Director, Food Chain Workers Alliance

12:00 – 1:00 PM:  Complimentary Lunch

1:00 – 1:45 PM

  1. Climate Variability and Soils, Duane Friend, Educator, Environmental Stewardship and Energy, University of Illinois Extension
  2. The Carbon Cycle, Soil and Climate Change: How Soil Carbon Sequestration Can Improve Food Production and Reduce Atmospheric Carbon, Breanne Heath, Farmer, The Pie Patch
  3. Root to Seed, How to Get the Best Out of Your Food, David Durstewitz, KAM Isaiah Israel Farm and Food Forest School Instructor
  4. Space to Grow: An Innovative Approach to StormwaterManagement, Elvia Rodriguez Ochoa, Neighborhood Programs Director, Openlands

2:00 – 2:45 PM

  1. The Boyz and the Bees, Urban Bee Keeping, Thad J. Smith, Cofounder and Head Beekeeper, Westside Bee Boyz LLC
  2. Inseparable Nature: Water and Soil Conservation Practices in a Time of Climate Disruption, Dave Coulter, Horticulturist & Owner; Osage Inc.
  3. Weathering Change: Self Sufficiency By Using Food As Medicine, Geeta Maker-Clark, M.D., Integrative Family Medicine, Clinical Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Integrative Medical Education, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago
  4. Urban Agriculture and Civic Engagement in Chicago, Nick Lucas, Outreach Coordinator, Advocates for Urban Agriculture

All events are held at KAM Isaiah Israel and are free of charge and open to the public. Learn more and register here!

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