What does it mean to build and be part of an Agroecological City? Over this past year, the pandemic, climate disruptions and ongoing harm caused by racial violence have challenged our urban communities and food systems in unprecedented ways. Pathways for healing and community resilience can be found in many of our urban farms throughout the East Bay and beyond. This conference seeks to engage all involved in critical conversations around what it means to build a just, sustainable and resilient Agroecological City and explore creative pathways to get there.

The idea for this virtual conference sprung from the work of our Growing Roots project team. As pandemic and social uprisings shook our worlds nearly and directly, we lifted our heads from the community-based research and extension pieces of our Sustainable Urban Farming for Resilience and Food Security project. We had questions for how we would show up for our urban ag community to advocate and live out greater justice and also for how we would continue that past this grant-funded project term. (The project will wrap up not long after the conference.) And, quite practically, we wanted to ensure that all the evidence-based learnings, education modules, and policy recommendations developed since 2018 would be shared out widely to the urban ag champions our work serves.

Out of that came the idea to organize a (virtual) convening for the many urban ag communities we are part of, have partnered with, and serve, here in the East Bay and beyond. The Growing Roots project team connected with more service providers and conveners in UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Berkeley Food Institute and now, here we are!

We look forward to being with you in virtual space and real-time in just a few weeks.