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Pete Seeger, renowned folk artist, avid environmentalist and tireless social justice advocate, will be honored at the New York City Community Garden “Mayoral Forum and Grassroots Organizing Teach-In” on Saturday, April 27th. Seeger, whose art and political activism are legendary, will turn 94 on May 3rd.
Themed “Stand for Our Land,” the Forum, which will run from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, will take place in the The Great Hall of Cooper Union located at 7 East 7th Street on Manhattan’s lower east side. Mayoral hopefuls will be challenged to respond to questions regarding community garden preservation; parks funding, maintenance and accessibility; housing and community open space; urban agriculture; school gardens, and more.
Other musical artists performing include Morley, the Queens, NY native widely noted for her strong, socially conscious lyrics and her“elegant” voice; Sylvain Leroux, noted flutist, and others.
Following lunch attendees will be invited to participate in grassroots teach-ins on such topics as “Building Tenant Power,” “Defending Publicly Owned Open Space,” and “Creating more community gardens and Urban farms.”Day-long activities for children are also planned.
Ray Figueroa, President of NYCCGC, emphasizes: “Community gardens fulfill such a variety of valuable social, cultural, economic and environmental functions for so little cost that it is inconceivable how any city (including NYC) can entertain limiting their growth. Community gardens allow for important human rights to be respected, i.e., the right for people to be productively engaged in meaningfully self-determining ways which honor and preserve their sense of human dignity. Poignantly, community gardens are a way for marginalized communities to fight systemic injustices of structural oppression. The majority of these gardens are in poor areas of the city, which have higher rates of asthma and lower rates of open space equity. From an indigenous perspective, community gardens allow our communities to heal and our people to recover a humanizing sense of self in what is otherwise a very hard city.“
Organizers for the Forum encourage those planning to attend this FREE event to register at www.nyccgc.org or call 347 699 6099.