Editor’s Note: Rebecca Barbanell is an intern at the District Sustainability Office. This article was written with Taylor McManus.
Earth week is here! Seattle Central is holding three days of events from Tuesday April 17th through the 19th. The main themes of Earth Week are “Food Justice and Resilience,” promoting social justice and environmentalism. What is neat about this event is that there are so many different ways to engage with earth day. There will be volunteer opportunities, a documentary screening, lectures, and a fair.
Here’s what you can do and when you can do it:
Tuesday April 17th
We will be digging through our trash system. We will then be sorting, weighing, and documenting the waste we generate at Seattle Central College to see how to be more effective in our efforts promoting better waste systems education. We will provide gloves, hand sanitizer, and snacks!
In BE South Plaza from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Film screening: “SEED: The Untold Story – Defending The Future of Food”
This documentary explores the threat big agribusinesses pose to the diversity of our food supply and the well-being of our farmers. Though these topics may seem hopeless to many, “SEED” takes an ultimately hopeful stance, celebrating the beauty of plant biology and the people working to protect it.
In BE 4106 at 6 p.m.
Wednesday April 18th
Lecture: Women in Food and Agriculture
Leah Litwalk of Neighborhood Farmers’ Markets Alliance and Karen Jurgensen of Seattle Culinary Academy and Quillisascut Farm School will both speak about food justice issues in the Pacific Northwest. Litwalk’s education in agriculture began as a child in her parents’ garden. She then attended the University of Washington where she majored in Environmental Studies. Her work in Environmental Studies included a capstone project through which she discovered that the vendors at farmers markets often did not understand how to help customers use government assistance programs like SNAP benefits, Senior Checks and WIC to purchase produce.
Jurgensen created a sustainability curriculum for students at Seattle Culinary Academy, which was the first of its kind in the nation. Additionally, Jurgensen has also helped establish FORKS, an organization which works to promote social and environmental justice through better food practices.
In BE 1110 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Lecture: Good Food, Healthy People
Laurie McKenzie of the Organic Seed Alliance and Aryn Stark the Dietary Director and Executive Chef of Healthcare Hospital in Jefferson County will offer their unique perspectives on supporting farmers and sustainability through buying local. McKenzie earned her MS in Plant Breeding and Horticulture from Oregon State University, which prepared her for her current work studying breeding purple broccoli, kale, carrots and other PNW friendly vegetables.
Stark worked his way up the restaurant industry until being appointed head chef at Andina, a celebrated novoperuvian restaurant in Portland’s Pearl District. After The Oregonian crowned Andina Oregon’s best restaurant, Stark moved on to Port Townsend, WA where he opened a workshop kitchen to serve as the foundation of his catering company and allow him a space to focus on farm-to-table cooking through classes and community meals. Stark has now turned his considerable passion for food towards a new endeavor as he works to bring local and nutritious food to the patients and staff at Jefferson Healthcare.
In the One World Restaurant from 3:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday April 19th
COSI Talk: “Urban Agriculture & Social Justice”
Seattle Central Library’s Conversations on Social Issues (COSI) series brings local change makers to the school to share their work with our community. This week’s talk will celebrate Earth Day by hosting Ron Harris-White who works to promote environmental and cultural education at Seattle’s Antioch University. Harris-White also helped found the Black Farmers Collective which works to build and support community through farming. He also works to promote permaculture practices through managing Morethana Farm, an organic farm and forestry project which seeks to teach healthier agricultural practices.
In Library Room A from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Earth Day Fair:
Finish off your Earth Week celebrations by joining LimeBike, Imperfect Produce, Northwest Animal Rights Network and many other sustainable businesses at the fair. This event will give you an opportunity to connect to local businesses and non-profits that are working to make Seattle a more environmentally friendly city. If that’s not enough of an incentive, there will also be food, games and prizes.
In the BE Atrium from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.