Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center Garden

Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center Garden

Project Lead: William Smith

Project Sponsor: Basic Needs Security Needs

TGIF Grant: $5,800

Project Theme: Environmental Justice

Application Submission

Project Description: This project will be the construction and maintenance of a student garden for the Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center. This garden will provide free and fresh produce for students, initiate opportunities for self sufficiency and healthy living, and build unity and growth around the black community. Nearly 40% of undergraduates experience food insecurity- and disproportionately the black community suffers the most. This becomes an added pressure to the already existing forces of redlining and gentrification that place black people face in many of the neighborhoods they systematically reside in. Coming to Cal should be something that is a gift for all people, specifically folks who are coming here from lower income neighborhoods and/or experiencing the struggles of the black identity that threaten their rights to basic needs.

This project also serves as a tool to close the gap between people and their food, both physically and mentally, by creating a food producing, educational space. The Fannie Lou Garden will grow culturally relevant crops using agro-ecological methods that sustain the earth while providing a context for black students to learn about the importance of reclaiming land and farming practices. In addition, we plan to engage with the larger black community outside of UC Berkeley’s campus for shared resources, workdays, workshops, special events, and guest speakers.

Project Goals:

  1. Provide a safe and convenient space for members of the black community at Berkeley to gather and share.
  2. Raised beds will be implemented for the purpose of growing vegetables, fruit, and medicinal herbs to benefit the students who use the garden space.
  3. Seating areas will also be brought in for people to come use this space for study, relaxation, or community events.
  4. Events at the garden will also be coordinated to educate students on the importance of growing their own food and ways to reclaim their right to healthy food.