Michener Art Museum Hosts Virtual Discussion “Black Owned Farms and Gardens: Agriculture as Activism, Community, and Healing”

DOYLESTOWN, PA – The Michener Art Museum proudly presents the virtual program Black Owned Farms and Gardens: Agriculture as Activism, Community, and Healing, THURSDAY, January 14 from 6:00-7:00PM. Inspired by the exhibition Syd Carpenter: Portraits of Our Places, this virtual panel conversation will unpack the complex histories, oppressive forces, and contemporary motivations behind African American owned community farms and gardens. Scholars and representatives from Philadelphia community farm projects will share their experiences and take questions from the audience.
FREE for Members / Pay what you wish for everyone else: $5 / $10 / $15

Panelists include:
Laquanda Dobson was born and raised in Philadelphia and is guided by a love of food, family, community and a passion for social change. She is known for creating and building lasting relationships, filling stomachs, and warming hearts with her cooking. Her love of food and culinary arts has taken her from being a banquet cook, catering events, and teaching kids, adults and seniors how to prepare recipes that are affordable, healthy, easy, accessible, and delicious. Recently she has followed her heart’s pull towards cooking for Black farmers and exploring the flavors of the African Diaspora. She is currently a member of the Black Dirt Farm Collective, Culinary Culture Coordinator / Farmer Manager at Sankofa Community Farm.

Ashley Gripper is a born and raised Philly jawn. Her food and land work focuses on Black folks’ connection and re-connection to the Creator, to ancestors, to each other, and to the earth. She is a farmer-in-training at Sankofa Community Farm, a spiritually rooted intergenerational farm uplifting people and cultures of the African diaspora, and the founder of Land Based Jawns. Ashley is also a member of Soil Generation and is currently working with them to design Philly’s first Urban Agriculture Plan. In her academic work, Ashley studies environmental health. Her research looks at the impact of urban agriculture on mental health, spirituality, and collective agency for Black people, and is supported by the Health Policy Research Scholars program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Alkebu-Lan Marcus was hired as Philadelphia Orchard Project’s (POP) Orchard Director in January 2020. He is a Philadelphia native, born and raised in West Philadelphia. Alkebu-Lan first got involved with food justice and urban farming in 2016 and previously served as the POP Orchard Assistant. He has presented at the Black Urban Growers Conference on Biochar and Indigenous Microorganisms. Alkebu-Lan was the Farm Director of Mill Creek Urban Farm from 2017 to 2019 in West Philadelphia, where he provided the 19131 and 19139 communities with locally grown produce and education. Alkebu-Lan is also a husband and father of two.

Pili X is a radical urban planner and environmental educator. X is a founding member and Director of Community Partnerships of Philly Peace Park. X’s work focuses on Land Based Programs to organize for self determination to provide relief and resources around issues such as environmental justice, food insecurity, health & wellness, and education inequality.

The Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, PA. The Museum is open Thursday, 10:00 am-8:00 pm; Friday through Saturday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm; and Sunday noon–5:00 pm. For more information, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org or call 215.340.9800.