Empowerment through Practice

The work of the Education program takes place at high schools and at our 2-acre Nursery site in the Sobrante Park neighborhood of East Oakland. Our students transform underused community spaces into edible gardens at each of these sites, to provide fresh and nutritionally dense food while developing their literacy in social justice movements, ecology, and holistic wellness.  We hire staff directly from the communities where we work, and they develop important mentorship opportunities with our students through consistent weekly programming. Salvador Mateo began his PJ journey during his senior year at Fremont High School in 2010, and is now the organization’s Co-Director and President of the Board of Directors! Planting Justice Educators and community allies have developed the Plant! Cook! Organize! curriculum.

Integration through Service

The Education Program activates people most directly impacted by poverty and food injustice to create a more local and sustainable food system by developing their skills in ecological design, nutrition education, and multimedia arts that ground and connect urban gardens with local and international struggles and movements for social justice.

Discover the Lesson Plans

What is the Food System?
Survival Pending Revolution: The Black Panther Party's 10 point program
Intro to Permaculture Design
Companion Planting: Diversity Builds Resiliency
Healing Justice - Remedies from the Garden
An Ode to the Land: Poetry, Salad & Farmworker Rights
Pesticides are Poison: Practicing Integrated Pest Management
Peace and Peanuts: Practicing Mindfulness and Cover Cropping
People Before Profits: Making Vitamin Water from the Garden
Honoring our Roots: An Historical Timeline of Food Justice

Current Projects

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Keller Plaza Apartments

5321 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Planting Justice has been leading weekly workshops at this affordable housing apartment complex since March 2010. The garden has 11 raised beds as well as a three-bin composting system and it is always open to the residents. Tylen Lee has participated in this program since he was nine years old, and now at fourteen he is the youth leader, learning and applying permaculture design, simple nutritious recipes, and arts-based activities that connect work in the garden to community struggles for social justice. Keller Plaza Apartments were previously managed by Christian Church Homes and is now managed by The John Stewart Company.

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McClymonds High School

2607 Myrtle St, Oakland, CA 94607

Planting Justice has been leading weekly workshops at McClymonds High School since March 2012. The organic garden was built and maintained by Mac students and currently has 24 raised beds and 6 fruit trees as well as a three-bin composting system. Planting Justice first partnered with Jeremy Namkung’s advisory class and the following year began partnering with the McClymonds Youth and Family Center to offer workshops twice a week in the afterschool program. We now also offer workshops during the school day in partnership with teachers, currently Mr. Grace and Mr. Curry, for students to apply their knowledge using hands-on activities, develop social entrepreneurship skills, and take home the organic produce grown in their garden.

Past Projects

  • Fremont High School
  • Insight Garden Program at San Quentin Rehabilitation Center (formerly State Prison)
  • Camp Sweeney Juvenile Justice Center
  • Community Justice Garden Hubs
  • Kat Brooks
  • Explore College Preparatory School
The Impact
Youth participants each year
Paid internships each year
School partnerships
    • Planting Justice opened doors for me I never thought possible. In this environment, you’re not a number, you’re a person. You get encouraged to be in leadership positions, to introduce new things to the program. You have a lot of room to grow.

      1. Sol Mercado, Re-entry Coordinator
        Planting Justice since 2020