Planting Justice Blog
Check out the 1st post in the newest series on the Planting Justice blog: A Gardener’s Revolution! This year, Nicole Wires will be following her Planting Justice-installed garden throughout the entire bounteous California year — fall to winter to spring to summer, and back to fall.
Bilal was sentenced to 20 years in prison when he was just 17 years old. Today, Bilal is still free from state incarceration and proud of beating the statistic that 7 out 10 people who walk out of a California State Prison are back in less than one year. Bilal started his Freedom Chronicles video diary series to catalog his life after incarceration. Read his thoughts on 130 days free here.
After spending 20 years in incarceration from 17 to 37 years old, Bilal Coleman is still free from state incarceration and proud of beating the statistic that 7 out 10 people who walk out of a California State Prison are back in less than one year. Bilal started his Freedom Chronicles video diary series to catalog his life after incarceration. Read his thoughts on 210 days free here.
We decided to try our hand at crowdfunding — and ended up successfully raising over $100,000 in less than 30 days. Read to find out our tips, tricks, and methods to fundraiser for a project that you know matters.
Read our Call to Action: a Statement in Solidarity with the National Prison Strike 2016.
Check out Bilal Coleman’s Education Team update on their recent tree planting at PJ’s 5 Acre Farm in El Sobrante! A great way to celebrate Bilal’s 139th day free.
One year ago, Big Mo, Darryl (who was in San Quentin with him), Drew (the farm manager), and Siddiqqi, (Big Mo’s brother) were working together for Maurice’s first day on the farm. Read on to find out how, as time went on, what Big Mo thought was simply empty land with debris and vegetation, transformed into a working farm.
About 65% of people who leave a California State Prison end up back inside in less than one year. Read how Planting Justice is fixing that, one job at a time.
As some of you may already know, Planting Justice lost not only an employee but also a friend and a strong leader on Friday, January 22nd 2016. Siddiqqii Wilmer Osibin was a brilliant light in our community and most certainly in the Transform Your Yard team aka TYY. Read on to see how the PJ team is healing and commemorating him.
Since 2013, PJ has partnered with Actual Cafe to save paper and the planet. When customers bring their own reusable coffee cup to the cafe, instead of using a disposable paper cup for their coffee order, Actual Cafe donates 25 cents to Planting Justice. Join us and save paper cups and CO2 emissions!
Read about this year’s CCEGL International Environmental Institute for classroom and community educators, as well as other interested individuals who are committed to providing their students and communities with an understanding of the interdependence of the people and the environment locally & around the globe, and connecting this understanding to a critical literacy development.
This is the first in a series of posts about recidivism, parole and re-entry in California. Stay updated with the full series here on the Planting Justice blog.
A note of love and support from Morgan Bolender, a supporter of Planting Justice after hearing Bilal, a PJ staff’s, story outside of Berkeley Bowl. Thank you for the kind words, Morgan!
Maurice “Big Mo” Bell honors his friend Siddiqqi with this reflection upon his passing.
Kelly Curry, Planting Justice board member, honors Siddiqqi, Planting Justice brother, friend, and staff, for his loving heart and his hard work, upon learning that he is no longer with us.
In 1928, a historical farm was sold to the University of California in 1928 under the condition it would be used for agricultural research and education. Recently, the contractors Ghilotti Bros. laid surveying stakes on the ground, pulled down fencing with an excavator, and began trampling the land with a bulldozer. The next day after working hours, senior citizens from the community mobilized led the community to Occupy the Farm.
Multicultural Exchange for Solidarity in Agroecology (MESA), a non-profit in Berkeley, CA, is looking for a Lead Urban Farmer Educator for a new urban beginning farmer training and incubation program. Find out more here!
After 20 years in prison, Bilal has been free now 50 days and counting. He reflects on the hardships faced during re-entry, and gives thanks for his staff position at Planting Justice.
The Planting Justice family chose our top 10 achievements of 2015 to share with you. Curious what they are? Read more here!
Join the Foodie Freedom Fighters on Monday, January 4th, as Fighters from across the state of California gather for a Seed Freedom Rally in Sacramento to keep seed sharing from becoming illegal.
Currently, 11 out of 22 of our staff members have been formerly incarcerated, and we believe our work at Planting Justice directly contributes to reducing the level of mass incarceration – we’ve offered employment to 18 different men returning home from prison, with a zero percent recidivism rate. And, despite our efforts, the Prison Industrial Complex still operates as a violent beast that is disproportionately stealing and enslaving people of color from our communities. Hear our take on the Prison Industrial Complex here.
The United States imprisons more people, per capita, than any other nation in the world. This system of mass incarceration, which currently holds more than 2.4 million human beings in cages. So why is California spending billions of dollars on jail expansion this year?? Find out why, and what Planting Justice thinks we can use our money for instead, here.
“I don’t know how to tell you this. But I have to tell you.” Kelly’s mom faltered. Kelly reflects, “She started to tell us a story that would stay with me for the rest of my life.” Read on for the full story.
Oakland is in crisis. Our rent are rising faster than any other city in the U.S. As of 2010, Oakland had lost over 25% of our Black residents to displacement – a trend that has accelerated over the last five years. Our elected leaders are either in denial or actively working to promote gentrification. We need a new plan.
An original poem in honor of Grace Lee Boggs, upon her passing.
BUGS is “an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both rural and urban settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective Black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table.” This year, the conference will be held in Oakland, from October 16th-18th at Laney College. Sign up to attend, volunteer, or be a vendor.
Andrew Chahrour, Planting Justice’s Food Forest + Farm Manager gives the update on our farm in El Sobrante, including the new deer fence, the removal of nearly 2,000 lbs. of trash, and the launch of our volunteer program! Read more for details.
In response to the killing of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Planting Justice identified “Racism and Police Violence” as a form of oppression we wanted to address in our quarterly, day-long Workplace Justice trainings. After several months of Black Lives Matter direct actions taking place in cities across the U.S., Planting Justice staff members came together on a rainy day in January to dialogue about lived experiences of structural, systemic, institutionalized, and interpersonal racism, especially the impacts of police terrorism and the history of, as Angela Davis describes, “the unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery.” Read more to hear what we learned and discussed.