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MLK Food Justice And Sustainability Weekend

Climate Change and 
A Chicago Public Food Forest

January 18 & 19, 2020



KAM Isaiah Israel's Food Justice and Sustainability Committee presents the 11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend. The Saturday and Sunday program includes workshops by leading growers, environmentalists, scientists, and social justice activists. 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.

All events are held at KAM Isaiah Israel, free of charge and open to the public.


Saturday, January 18 



  • Sarah Coulter, Executive Director, Calumet Collaborative

  • Annamaria Leon, Co-founder, Homan Grown

  • Andrew Margenot, Assistant Professor of Soil Science, Crop Sciences Department, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • Owen Needham, KAM Isaiah Israel Farm Manager

  • John Tandarich, Adjunct Professor, Physical Science and Engineering Department, Wilbur Wright City College of Chicago

  • Jen Walling, Executive Director, Illinois Environmental Council

  • Robert Nevel (moderator), Architect and Founder, KAM Isaiah Israel Food Justice and Sustainability Program

  • 6:30 PM | Reception

Click here to register for Saturday's workshop and reception!


Sunday, January 19

10:00 AM - 2:45 PM | WORKSHOPS

10:00 - 10:45 AM | Session 1 

Option A: Did the Lorax Get it Right? | Doriane Miller, MD, Director, Center for Community Health and Vitality, Urban Health Initiative, University of Chicago Medicine

Option B: A Natural Approach to Ecological Restoration in Your Backyard | John TandarichAdjunct Professor, Physical Science and Engineering Department, Wilbur Wright City College of Chicago

Option C: Baking With Fruits and Nuts: Exploring Traditional Food Preservation | JP McIntyrePersonal Chef

Option D: The Cost of Food for the Small Farmer | David DurstewitzFarm Lead, The Urban Canopy and Jana Kinsman, Bike-a-Bee

11:00 - 11:45 AM | Session 2

Option A: Saturated Media Extract Testing for Protected Culture and Intensively Composted Soils | Zachary GrantExtension Educator, Local Food Systems, and Small Farms, University of Illinois Extension

Option B: Building Power, Building Relationships: How to Get Things Done For the Planet Through Public Decision Makers | Jen WallingExecutive Director, Illinois Environmental Council

Option C: Food, Mood, and Mind - Keeping Your Emotional Health On Track Through Nutrition Geeta Maker Clark, MD, ABOIM, Integrative Family Medicine, Director, Integrative Nutrition and Advocacy, Co-Director, Culinary Medicine Project, Clinical Assistant Professor, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago

Option D: What's In Your Soil? | James Montgomery, PhDAssociate Professor Department of Environmental Science and Studies, De Paul University


1:00 - 1:45 PM | Session 3

Option A: GMOs: What You Need To Know | Terri ReardonOutreach Coordinator, Illinois Right To Know GMO

Option B: Mapping Soil Lead Across Chicago George Watson, MS student and Andrew MargenotAssistant Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Option C: Plant Troubleshooting | Mike McMahonFloriculturalist, Chicago Park District

Option D: Water | Maiky IberkleidFarmer, KAM Isaiah Israel Food Justice and Sustainability Program

2:00 - 2:45 PM | Session 4

Option A: Space Is The Place: Agroforestry Ideas For The Climate-Challenged Chicago of Tomorrow Dave CoulterHorticulturalist, Osage, Inc.

Option B: Local Food: Hoop House Goes to State | Nicole Virgil, Hoop House Activist

Option C: How Much Lead Can Vegetables Take Up From Soil? Evidence-based Risk Assessment, Using Chicago Soils | George WatsonMS student and Andrew MargenotAssistant Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign:  

Option D: Using Urban Ag as Safe Placemaking for Women, Children, and LGBTQIA: A "Farminist" Approach Stephanie Dunn, Founder and Executive Director, Star Farm Chicago


All events are held at KAM Isaiah Israel, free of charge and open to the public. This website will be updated as we confirm additional workshop titles and speakers, so check back soon for more details.


Click Here to Download the 2020 Program and Schedule


Tue, September 27 2022 2 Tishrei 5783