‘Urban Farming, Community Organizing and Family: A Black Chef’s Journey’ at URI Nov. 15

Part of University’s fall Honors Colloquium

KINGSTON, R.I. – Oct. 18, 2022 – Black chef, community organizer and urban farmer Denzel Mitchell Jr., of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, will present at the 2022 University of Rhode Island Honors Colloquium, Tuesday, Nov. 15, on “Urban Farming, Community Organizing and Family: A Black Chef’s Journey.” Mitchell is the co-executive director of education and operations at the Farm Alliance, which he co-founded with other urban agriculturalists. Mitchell has served as a mentor to new farmers, organized farmer’s markets and advised others on starting small farms, community gardens, food co-ops and food businesses over the years.

Mitchell will speak at 7 p.m. at Edwards Hall (64 Upper College Road) on the Kingston Campus, as part of the fall Honors Colloquium, “Just Good Food,” which will be presented in person and streamed live (video links are available the day of each event at the link above). The lecture is co-sponsored by the URI Department of Africana Studies.

In 2012, after completing Future Harvest-CASA’s Beginning Farmer Training Program and with the help of a chef and food historian, Mitchell brought Baltimore’s Fish Pepper, a nearly-forgotten local heirloom, back to the culinary palette of the Chesapeake region.

He went on to teach and mentor young people in Baltimore public schools and after-school programs and serve as the farms-to-school coordinator at Great Kids Farm in Maryland. He also worked with his family and other supporters and volunteers operating Five Seeds Farm. He has served on the production committees of many urban farms in the Baltimore area and on the board of directors for Belair-Edison Neighborhood, Inc. and Acres4Change.

The URI Honors Colloquium is the University’s premier lecture series. Hosted by the University’s Honors Program, this university-wide educational forum is free and open to the public. This year’s lecture series is bringing several experts to the Kingston Campus to examine local and global food systems, examining ways to create equitable, sustainable and resilient food systems, on Tuesday evenings through Dec. 13. Three speakers remain on this fall’s colloquium schedule: Tom Philpott (Nov. 29), Mother Jones magazine; Leah Penniman (Dec. 6), Soul Fire Farm; and Ricardo Salvador (Dec. 13), Union of Concerned Scientists. Learn more about the fall colloquium.

Parking for Edwards Hall is available in Lot 1 behind the Higgins Welcome Center; please use 75 Briar Lane, Kingston, for GPS.