Planting Justice is at the forefront of a movement to create living-wage jobs for reentry people with barriers to employment while transforming their local food system into one that fosters positive relationships between people, nature, and the food that sustains us. The teams are currently made up of 20 staff, all paid a living wage with benefits, and are people directly from the communities being served. PJ has designed and built 210 permaculture gardens throughout 5 Bay Area Counties. More than 5000 people have participated in the educational programming at low-income high schools, middle schools, affordable housing apartment complexes, transitional housing/homeless shelters, aligned community service organizations, and at San Quentin State Prison. Their budget has doubled every year, with the majority of our funding coming from earned income. Gavin Raders, Executive Director, and Haleh Zandi, Education Director, are PJ’s co-founders. Both have worked on re-entry issues since 2009 as volunteer instructors inside San Quentin’s H-Unit teaching a curriculum on urban permaculture design, food justice, and sustainable food production; and as employers/mentors/allies of 10 people who have succeeded in re-entry.
Green Life is an eco-literacy and self-sufficiency peer education program that has operated inside San Quentin State Prison for 4 years that inspires a connection to the earth and others through actions that contribute to individual, community, and global transformation. Angela Sevin, Green Life’s founder, brings 20 years of entrepreneurship, socio-environmental justice, and community activism, through her roles as founder, director, and volunteer of numerous community oriented organizations globally and locally. She co-founded LEAP, an international conservation organization, and helped to start 3 alternative schools in the Bay Area. Since 2001, Angela has actively participated in workgroups, conferences and meetings focused on juvenile and adult justice, rehabilitation, and reentry. In addition to Green Life, her 10 years of volunteering at San Quentin include facilitating the Changes workshop for the Success and Stand-up programs; facilitating, sponsoring, and directing the Keepin’ It Real peer education program. She holds a master’s degree in experiential education, has completed permaculture design certification, community building facilitation certification, The Art of Hosting and Participatory Leadership, and The Work that Reconnects with Joanna Macy.
Earthseed Consulting is an Oakland-based consulting firm with a mission to reconnect diverse communities to the earth to inspire global transformation. Using regenerative strategies and new media approaches, Earthseed engages multiple stakeholders in the design and implementation of environmental projects aimed at diverse communities. With over 25 years of combined professional experience in business, media, education, and environmental sectors, the firm leverages broad networks to foster collaboration and ensure measurable success. Whether successfully delivering Toyota’s first African American Green Initiative, integrating permaculture and environmental literacy into San Francisco Unified School District, producing an original urban green living television series, and training youth to produce the Bay Area’s largest solar-powered hip hop music festival, our work represents a new model of engagement at the intersection of culture, media, environmental awareness, and sustainable solutions.
Christopher Shein is an East Bay California permaculture designer, landscaper, gardener, and author whose gardening and social activism roots run deep. Christopher has 20 years of experience teaching permaculture and environmental literacy to diverse populations. Christopher helped launch BASIL (Bay Area Seed Interchange Library) and has stayed actively involved in community gardens, school gardens, and public space food gardens. In 2002, he was invited to teach at Merritt College in the Landscape Horticulture Department, and now, Merritt has an acre of developing a food forest. Christopher’s book, The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem, was published in January 2013. Christopher’s busy schedule includes his landscaping business, Wildheart Gardens, teaching and speaking about permaculture, growing food in his backyard garden, and spending time with his wife and two daughters. Most recently, he has designed and led a permaculture design course at Merritt College specifically geared toward the reentry population.
Impact Hub Oakland
Impact Hub Oakland is a co-working space and entrepreneurship incubator founded in 2012. It is a part of a global network of 30 existing Impact Hubs worldwide (and over 50 in the making) with over 6,000 members who share ideas and replicate new models for social and for-profit enterprises. The Impact Hub network was founded with the belief that there is no shortage of good ideas to solve the issues of our time, but there is an acute lack of collaboration and support structures to help make them happen. Impact Hubs are spaces that combine the best of a trusted community, innovation lab, business incubator, and the comforts of home where meaningful encounters, exchange, and inspiration can happen between and among diverse people doing work that makes a difference in the world. Impact Hub Oakland is led by diverse people of color, and many of the founders are certified in Permaculture Design, and its principles are inherent in every aspect of their approach to social change and enterprise.
Sustainable Economies Law Center
Sustainable Economies Law Center charts the changing legal territory of the new economy, educating communities and individuals about the possibilities and limits of creative economic structures, and advocating for laws that clear the way for more sustainable economic development. SELC provides essential legal tools — education, research, advice, and advocacy — to support this transition to localized, resilient economies. Our work focuses on cooperatives, community currencies, community enterprises, local investing, cohousing, urban agriculture, & other innovative strategies.
United Roots was born from the convergence of several East Bay organizations that collectively envisioned a youth-led movement to harness arts and media to promote unity and peace in neighborhoods struggling with violence. Its beginnings date to 2000, when leading players from Cov Records of Covenant House Community Center, along with known artists and activists from Art in Action and Silence the Violence of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights developed a vision for a green youth center that could one day house the growing Turf Unity Music Project along with expanded youth and sustainability programming. By 2007, Turf Unity was gaining traction as a youth-led movement uniting leaders from rivaling turfs in the recording studio. The unprecedented sales generated from the compilations produced out of these sessions further inspired the vision for the Center, a place that could house youth businesses incubated on-site to create greater autonomy for participating youth and collaborating organizations.