Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Apr 14 2021

Climate Justice Through a Circular Economy Lens (Day 1)

April 14, 2021

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM


Chicago, IL 60612




We are inviting you to a working group discussion on achieving "Climate Justice through a Circular Economy Lens" with Erika Allen of Urban Growers Collective, and Green Era. Allen's work, employing anaerobic digesters to convert food waste into energy and nutrient-rich compost for urban agriculture, comes at the intersection of community, health, and technology. This event focuses on building partnerships between public universities and the surrounding communities while avoiding exploitative practices.

Three breakout discussions on the following topics will be held with representatives across community groups in Chicago.
Community-engaged Planning and Implementation, with Maggie Acosta of the UIC Collaboratory for Health Justice; Candace "Kandeaux" Clark of Tuskegee University; Bweza Itaagi of Grow Greater Englewood and the Urban Stewards Action Network; Deepa Gupta of Blue Lotus Advisors; and Saria Lofton of the UIC College of Nursing.
Food, Nutrition, and Spiritual Pathways, with Pastor Reshorna Fitzpatrick of the Stone Temple Church; Dr. Angela Odoms-Young of the UIC Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition; Norma Sanders of Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation; and Orrin Williams of the Urban Transformation in Chicago.
Technology and the Circular Economy, with Jason Feldman of Green Era; Joe Iosbaker of UIC's Office of Planning, Sustainability, and Project Management; Marcello Pibiri of the UIC Energy Resource Center; Camille Kerr of ChiFresh Kitchen, and Aasia Castañeda of the Chicago Food Policy Action Council and the Urban Stewards Action Network.

This event will span two days. An introductory speech followed by Q&A was given by Erika Allen on Wednesday, April 14th, from 4 to 5:30 PM and a recording can be found here:  Focused discussion groups on the topic areas listed above will take place on Thursday, April 22nd, from 4 to 5:30 PM.


Day One Agenda - April 14th, 4-5:30pm

Register in advance here

4:00 to 4:05 PM – Introduction (5 min)

4:05 to 4:35 PM – Erika Allen speaks (30 min, up to ten additional minutes)

4:35 to 4:55 – Breakout group introductions (20 min, up to 5-7 additional minutes)

(5-minute break – Zoom Poll will be given to allow choice of breakout discussion)

5:00 to 5:15 PM – Breakout discussions (15 min)

Remaining time – Conclusion


Day Two Agenda - April 22nd, 4-5:30pm

Register in advance here.

4:00 to 4:10 PM – Event Overview (10 min)

4:10 to 4:30 PM – Group Introductions (20 min)

4:30 to 5:00 PM –Breakout Sessions (30 min)

5:00 to 5:05 PM – Break (5 min)

5:05 to 5:25 PM – Whole Group Discussion (20 min)

5:25 to 5:30 PM – Conclusion (5 min)



Lily Zheng

Date posted

Mar 25, 2021

Date updated

Apr 19, 2021


Erika Allen | Co-Founder & CEO–Operations for Urban Growers Collective, President of Green ERA Educational NFP, and Co-Owner of Green Era Sustainability Partners | Plenary Featured Speaker

Erika Allen (she/her) is the Co-Founder & CEO –Operations for Urban Growers Collective and the President of Green ERA Educational NFP and Co-Owner of Green Era Sustainability Partners. Previously, Allen founded and was the Director of Growing Power –Chicago for 15-years from 2002 to 2017. Allen is the Board President of the Chicago Food Policy Action Council, and also serves on the board of Grow Greater Englewood and Growing Home. Allen received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MA in art psychotherapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and uses her experience as a visual artist to consult with individuals and organizations to support their visioning of social and economic changes. She is passionate about social justice and working with multicultural groups in the elimination of racism and oppression using integrating creative and therapeutic techniques alongside food security and community development.