Urban Agriculture Activist Doria Robinson 93F Is Changing the Future of Farming

Originally from California, Robinson attended Hampshire College, worked with several organic farms in Western Massachusetts, and got involved in Hampshire’s very own Mixed Nuts Food Co-op. She is both the executive director and board member of Urban Tilth, a non-profit based in Richmond, California that has received national acclaim. Urban Tilth’s mission is rooted in creating community, building a more sustainable food system, and teaching residents about the relationships among food, health, poverty, and justice.

In a talk hosted by Wired, Robinson discussed how climate change disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income populations, shared her experiences with urban farming, and described her vision for how community-based agriculture can transform lives. “The potential of urban agriculture is reconnecting us to the land, reconnecting us to other farmers, reconnecting us to our responsibilities on earth, and actually, innovating,” she said. “It’s using this moment of climate crisis to innovate on the systems we currently take as a default.”

Robinson’s deep commitment to radical change is evidenced in her most recent accomplishment. In addition to her position at Urban Tilth, she’s now a newly elected member of the Richmond City Council. Robinson told the Richmond Pulse that over the next four years, council members will have the opportunity “to be listeners and to be truly representatives and champions of people’s needs.”

Robinson is a certified permaculture designer, nutrition educator, and yoga instructor. She is the co-founder of the Richmond Food Policy Council, former co-chair of the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance Western Region, and member of the Climate Justice Alliance and Food Sovereignty Working Group.

Photo by Paul Kuroda for the Los Angeles Times

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