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Philadelphia’s first urban agriculture strategic plan will be available for public review in May

We at Soil Generation have been organizing for land justice for growers of color in Philadelphia since 2014. Community control of land is the foundation of our collective struggle toward liberation. Whether the issue is food, education or housing, community control of resources requires community control of the land. As rapid development displaces community gardens

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5 mins read
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Grid calls for the resignation of Parks & Rec Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell

The heartache was still fresh when Fred H. Cartwright emailed us. “Our little slice of heaven is going away, tree by tree.” If you wanted to teach a class about environmental racism, and learn about the importance of trees simultaneously, the deforestation of 100-plus acres of city-owned land for a golf course in Cobbs Creek

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5 mins read
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Black-owned bookstores have been activism epicenters since the 19th century. These local shops continue to carry the torch

The FBI kept Hakim’s Bookstore, 210 S. 52nd Street, under surveillance for some time, sniffing around for subversion, says Yvonne Blake, 70. Daughter of Dawud Hakim, the store’s late founder, Blake recounts how her father had done the unthinkable in 1959 by opening an independent Black bookstore, five years before segregation would be outlawed in

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24 mins read
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Nonprofit helps returning citizens beat the odds

Pennsylvania “locks up a higher percentage of its people than almost any democracy on earth,” states the Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit in Northampton, Massachusetts, that works to end mass incarceration. In addition, more than 40,000 Philadelphians, disproportionately Black and Brown, come home each year from state and federal prisons, according to a January 31, 2017

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10 mins read
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Fairmount Water Works exhibit takes a look at how segregation reshaped African Americans’ relationship with water

In colonial Jamaica a group of enslaved women were bathing in the nude, washing clothes and likely gossiping on a riverbank when some traveling Englishmen spied them, according to Kevin Dawson, associate professor of history at the University of California, Merced, in his book “Undercurrents of Power: Aquatic Culture in the African Diaspora.” Thrilled with

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10 mins read
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Sustainability remains the motivation behind this Black, Indigenous and woman-owned home floral studio

When Snapdragon Flowers owner and designer Tolani Lawrence-Lightfoot  first became a mom she longed for a flower shop where she could bring her children to smell fresh flowers and take home bouquets. For a while, she had just that on Baltimore Avenue. Though their West Philadelphia storefront closed its doors during the summer of 2019,

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6 mins read
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Temple grad starts seed keeping business, honoring their cultural significance for farmers of color

Amirah Mitchell , founder of Sistah Seeds. Photography by Drew Dennis.  Ground Work by Jenny Roberts Amirah Mitchell has known she wanted to be a farmer since she was a 14-year-old intern with The Food Project, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit devoted to building sustainable food systems. “That’s kind of when I caught the farming bug,” Mitchell,

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8 mins read
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Germantown gallery captures unseen beauty and celebrates Black people

Steven CW Taylor founded Ubuntu Fine Art, displaying his photography from Philly and on international travels. The Beholder Story and photography by Jenny Roberts Massive, glossy photographs line the walls at Ubuntu Fine Art in Germantown. Each image serves as a portal to another time and place, says gallery owner and photographer Steven CW Taylor.

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7 mins read
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Music and dance education offer lifelong skills and opportunities for underserved students

Antoine Mapp used to approach drug-dealing teens near his West Philly home and ask if they wanted to learn to play drums to earn a few dollars. “Sometimes they’d say, ‘Get the [hell] out of here,’ then … they’d try it,” says Mapp, 41, whose grandmother started a community drumline, the West Powelton Steppers &

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8 mins read
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