Karen Washington's story begins with a single tomato.
She vividly remembers how her first bite of a red, ripe tomato changed her world by teaching her how food is meant to taste.
Back in 1988, Washington teamed up with her neighbors to transform a local abandoned lot into a community garden that brings fresh, flavorful food to Bronx residents.
Following the success of this first urban garden, Washington became a community organizer. She founded Black Urban Growers as a way to encourage other African Americans to reconnect to food and agriculture. Today, the organization imparts the message that food is power to 500 members nationwide.
"Growing food is about more than just food — it’s about equity and fairness," Washington explains. "When you understand where your food comes from, it gives you power."
In an age where 25.3 million Americans lack access to affordable fresh food, we could certainly use more people like Karen. Check out this video of her incredible story, and read more about Black Urban Grower's message on NationSwell.
Screengrab courtesy of NationSwell/YouTube.