Urban Agriculture Expert Will Allen to Keynote the Portland Roots Festival

August 19, 2013 · by Staff · Featured, PCRI, PDX Roots

In celebration of the PCRI’s Healthy Foods Access Initiative, we are hosting the Portland Roots Festival on September 1, 2013. We will be in Pioneer Square from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., exploring the African roots of signature dishes from some of the city’s tastiest restaurants and food carts. Come savor the vibrant flavors of global street food in a beautiful open air setting.

The event will feature African, African-American, Afro-Latin and Afro-Caribbean food vendors, performers, non-profit community groups, micro-entrepreneurs, and a key-note speech from Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc.

Mr. Allen – the son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader and now farmer, has become recognized as among the preeminent thinkers of our time on agriculture and food policy. The founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., a farm and community food center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Will is widely considered the leading authority in the expanding field of urban agriculture. At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Will promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Will trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces.

In 2008, Will was named a John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellow and was awarded a prestigious foundation “genius grant” for his work – only the second farmer ever to be so honored. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in February 2010, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching “Let’s Move!” her signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will to the Time 100 World’s Most Influential People.

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