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I Grow Chicago Adds Environmental Justice Program

Nonprofit I Grow Chicago’s mission is to provide a safe, intergenerational haven for children and at-risk community members. Through sustainable farming and educational programs in nutrition, movement yoga and the arts, they foster creativity, wellness and empowerment for individuals in the community as a whole. This year, I Grow will introduce a new environmental justice curriculum into their summer camp to teach youth about gardening, recycling, and skills including construction, engineering and critical thinking.

Zelda Mayer, director of sustainability, says, “Environmentalism and social justice are not separate movements, but the same. When one has been systematically shut off from resources, stripped of opportunities, criminalized and blamed for the effects of poverty, it can seem pointless to care for the Earth. By bringing in resources and creating a safe haven for the community, we aim to foster hope, collaboration and possibility.”

They will host a service day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 30, toward building a community basketball court, an herb garden and beautifying the urban farm. South Side in Focus will present a free multimedia public arts exhibit, Heal Our City, from 4:30 to 7 p.m., May 20, focused on health and wellness on the South Side of Chicago, with inspiring spoken word, poetry, photo narratives, oral histories and painting.


Location: The Peace House, 6402 S. Honore, Chicago. For more information, call 312-286-7392 or visit