Gardening Matters Kudos!
Gardening Matters was recently recognized in the 1st Annual Good Food Guide, sponsored by the Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation. The Guide highlights nonprofit organizations that are doing exemplary work in the United States in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice. We are honored by the inclusion!
On behalf of the board and staff of Gardening Matters, I am thrilled to announce the arrival of our new Executive Director, Susan Phillips, on Monday, August 25th!
Susan is a seasoned social-justice activist and educator, and a specialist in participatory processes and servant leadership. She has worked professionally with at-risk and homeless youth since the mid-1980s in Central America and the Twin Cities co-creating and managing innovative programs, and providing training on many aspects of youth development and the creation of healthy communities and workplaces.
Susan is passionate about the power of community gardening and urban agriculture to empower at-risk communities at the neighborhood scale and to address the widening opportunity gaps in our region as a whole. As she told our Search Committee:
“I was a leader in the social service sector for 20 years, but found providing services and not working to change the conditions that led folks to be in need of assistance was becoming increasingly incongruent with my values. I wanted to be working in an environment that was grounded in justice and building community. I've been a backyard gardener my whole life and passionate about food justice. Gardening Matters is the intersection of many of my life passions and I'm super stoked to be here!”
Susan served most recently as Director of Lutheran Social Service Metro Homeless Youth Programs in St. Paul. She is a member of the Community Innovation Grants Committee of Headwaters Foundation, a mentor with the Wilder Youth Leadership Initiative and an Art of Hosting practitioner. Susan has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a MA in Leadership Studies. When not engaged in community building projects, she is an avid gardener, student of life, and parent of three.
We are so fortunate to find someone of Susan’s authenticity, depth of experience and passion to engage the expanding community of urban growers in shaping our collective future. Please join us in welcoming her to Gardening Matters!
John Parker - Der Boghossian, Chair
Gardening Matters Board of Directors