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Karen Washington Wants to Revolutionize America’s Food System

Bronx-based Karen Washington fights injustice and inequalities in the US food system in various ways. An activist and urban farmer, Washington is also the co-founder of Garden of Happiness, Rise and Root farm, La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, Black Urban Growers and Black Farmer Fund. Coining the phrase “food apartheid” (as opposed to “food deserts”), she says that the country’s food system is designed to deny people of color access to healthy, affordable food; farming and land; and various other opportunities within the food and agriculture industries. She explains to Nina Lakhani at The Guardian, “The food system is not broken nor does it need to be fixed. It’s a caste system doing exactly what it’s meant to be.” Washington’s overarching hope is for a new system in which (predominantly white-led) food banks aren’t needed, and communities have all the resources necessary to “put power back into the hands of people who have been marginalized for so long.” Read more about her decades of work and predictions for urban farming at The Guardian. 

Image courtesy of Ali Smith / The Guardian

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