On Friday, July 22 the Backyard Gardener's Network hosts an evening of family fun at the Guerrilla Garden in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, LA in recognition of National Black Agriculture Awareness Week.  Special guest Dr. Samori Camara, a native New Orleanian educator and historian, will lead activities teaching the accomplishments of Dr. George Washington Carver. Co-organizers Jude's Grove, the New Orleans Liberation Academy and the Fourth World Movement Street Library are organizing activity tables on food, science, arts and reading.  

The Guerrilla Garden is a project of the Backyard Gardener's Network - a Lower 9th Ward based nonprofit organization committed to building community, reducing blight and preserving the cultural heritage of growing.  Founder, director and IATP Food and Community Fellow Jenga Mwendo is thrilled to recognize National Black Agriculture Awareness week in one of the organization's gardens.  “'Urban agriculture' is such a buzz word now.  But, in the media, you'll often find only images of white people involved.  It's important for us to recognize that growing food is also 'a black thing' and has been for a long time,” says Mwendo.  

Mwendo returned to New Orleans in 2007 after over a decade out of state and founded the Backyard Gardeners Network in 2009.  She aims to create vibrant social greenspaces in the community, as well as encourage and support the traditional practice of backyard gardening.  Mwendo is the recipient of the 2010 Cox Conserves Heroes award, is a 2010 TogetherGreen fellow and a 2011-13 IATP Food and Community Fellow.  She works and lives with her 7-year-old daughter in the Lower Ninth Ward, the neighborhood of her birth.  

Samori Camara, Ph.D., is the Founder and Director of Kamali Academy, an African-centered school in New Orleans, and is quickly becoming one of the nation's leading authorities on Black education and building independent Black educational institutions. Born and raised New Orleans, Dr. Camara is an educator, historian, life coach and motivational speaker who has developed success strategies that took him from the projects to a Ph.D..

Sponsored by the Louisiana Association of Cooperatives, a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening cooperatives and their membership, as well as developing new cooperatives throughout Louisiana.  LA Association of Cooperatives provides trainings, workshops and conferences to assist in the development and sustainability of cooperatives.