Growing Equity from the Ground Up

Organization: 
Oakland, CA
Director: 
A Community-University Partnership

“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”

- George Washington Carver

Growing Equity from the Ground Up will establish an urban gardening and farming training program to prepare community leaders to advance equity. The project aims to become the premiere national site for developing expert gardeners and farmers who are cross-trained in the knowledge and skills needed to make sustainable, healthy food production the foundation for strategic and comprehensive interventions that address the multiple interconnected economic, employment, educational, environmental, health, and nutritional challenges facing urban communities.

Apprentices will learn to transform urban communities literally from the ground up, taking direction for building healthy and sustainable communities by restoring the fertility of the land, growing and distributing organic food in an ecologically and economically sustainable way, and living a healthy lifestyle. Growing Equity from the Ground Up will not simply create the nation’s most comprehensive urban garden and farm network and urban ecological horticulture program, but it will leverage the resources of its graduates and affiliated organizations to untangle the policy knots that bind responses to the many problems undermining the wellbeing of urban communities.

Graduates of the Growing Equity from the Ground Up program will possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to develop programs that can achieve the following outcomes:

  • Reclaim unused land and restore it to productive purposes
  • Establish economically and environmentally sustainable food systems
  • Mitigate environmental hazards
  • Reduce urban blight
  • Eliminate food deserts
  • Foster economic and employment development
  • Expand healthy lifestyles and reduce obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • Strengthen civic engagement
  • Develop school gardens and farm to school programs
  • Improve diets and multiply healthy activities for youth
  • Expand educational and employment opportunities for youth
  • Reduce neighborhood violence
  • Enhance healthy neighborhood pride

As an inter/national training program, Growing Equity from the Ground Up seeks to prepare leaders who will be capable of transforming urban landscapes, improving nutrition, health, and educational outcomes, and upending economic and social structures that currently reinforce inequities for low-income, racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse urban populations. 

Ron Glass, PI/Director, CCREC: rglass@ucsc.edu

Reverend Daniel Buford: revdbuford@allen-temple.org

Click here to see the full color project brochure!