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Florida Food Forum - May's Topic:
Policy and Urban Agriculture
Join us from 12-1pm (EDT) on Friday, May 29th, for the Florida Food Forum on "Policy and Urban Agriculture." James Jiler, Founder and former Executive Director of Urban GreenWorks, will share his knowledge on this important topic. Following the presentation will be a discussion and Q&A session.
Description: James will explore the relevance of urban agriculture in the US and specifically in Florida while discussing how to build a functioning and diverse system to address food security in food insecure urban centers. James is currently writing a book titled "Food In Security" and welcomes all manner of support, comments and stories.
Bio: James Jiler is the Founder and former Executive-Director of Urban GreenWorks, a Miami-based non-profit that provides environmental programs and green job training to incarcerated men and women, youth remanded by court to drug rehab and at-risk high-school youth in low-income neighborhoods. The product is more than the formation of hard skills; GreenWorks provides an environmental artscape that blends science education, horticulture therapy and vocational training as a way to connect people to nature, and subsequently to themselves and their community. In addition the organization creates programs for communities plagued by poor access to fresh food, blighted and neglected open space, low urban tree cover, and an under-employed population of young adults. James is also an adjunct professor at Florida International University (FIU) teaching Global Environmental Studies at inner-city high schools.
James holds a Masters Degree in Forestry and Social Ecology from Yale University and is the former director of The Horticultural Society of New York’s GreenHouse Program, a jail-to-street horticulture program at New York City’s jail complex on Rikers Island. As a National model, Greenhouse has been and continues to be replicated by other jurisdictions seeking to lower the high rate of recidivism plaguing the U.S. criminal justice system.
James also works as a landscape designer and has created gardens and landscapes for historic land-marked buildings in New York City, private clients and luxury buildings in the metro area, and for schools and community groups in Baltimore, New Haven, Ahmedabad, India and Miami, Fl. In Miami he specializes in the design and installation of environmentally beneficial gardens, buildings and edible urban landscapes.
James is author of the book Doing Time in the Garden (New Village Press, 2006), which details the GreenHouse approach to rehabilitation and explores the role of gardening in jails and prisons around the country. He is currently working on a book titled “Food In Security” which examines urban food systems around and outside the US. He has appeared on NPR, CBS Sunday Morning Show, Japan, France and Canadian TV, Radio, and two recent documentaries called the “Healing Gardens” and “Dirt: The Movie” detailing his work at Rikers. In September 2012 he gave a TED talk at the Coconut Grove TEDx conference where he was a recipient of the first annual HOPE Prize.
Prior to his work in prison, James spent time working as an urban ecologist in Baltimore, New Haven, and India; and spent 6-years living in Kathmandu, Nepal working with ecological farming systems in the Himalayas and teaching at the University of Kathmandu.
Forum Host: Dell deChant is the Associate Chair of the Religious Studies Department at the University of South Florida and a member of the Board of Directors at the Florida Food Policy Council.
Disclaimer: The views of the presenters do not represent the views of the Florida Food Policy Council. We are a forum for the offering and sharing of information and encourage diversity and communication within the food system.