Sustainable Communities Network is a  commnity-based  non-profit organization located in Lexington, Ky that endeavors to educate, inspire, build, create and empower sustainable  cities


Lexington KY Community Garden Map and contact info

Donations are welcome

2011 Fundraising Letter
with highlights of our work in 2010
Good Foods Film Series

Soul Food Junkies Lexington & Louisville KY


We encourage you to read our

SCN Annual Report 2009

Back 2 Nature project Report

Youth GreenCorps Report

GROWLEX Community Garden Manual

God's Worms

God's Worms doc

IMMAG Concept Paper

SCN Presentations

School Garden Workshop

Sustainable World Sourcebook

Sustainable Communities Network contributed articles, photographs and quotes for this book.


Join the Bluegrass garden network!

For list of current Community Gardens  in Lexington,





Jim Embry Year in Review March 2020- March 2021

To: Dear friends and family

RE: Remembering 2020 and Projections for 2021

March 8, 2021


As we end Black History Month and link with Women’s History Month, I share my involvements during this past year, 2020-2021, to contribute to our need to keep doing Good Trouble. I seek every day “with goodness to all concerned” to fertilize networks, to serve as a pollinator for justice and to blossom as a “imaginal cell” for species level transformation. 2021 is well underway as we continue to heal and regenerate from the various forms of pandemics: corona virus, systemic racism, longstanding patriarchy, economic inequality, climate change, & loss of biodiversity- experienced and acutely revealed in 2020. Each of us represents a vortex of change in this Great Turning as well as an ember in the cauldron of fire that propels the moral arc of the Universe to bend towards Justice!


(Quick links with more details below)

Entering and Planting 2021

1)       We Are Each Other’s Harvest by Natalie Baszile

We Are Each Other's Harvest conversation w/ Natalie Baszile and Jim Embry/

2)      Compass Conference: RegenerativeAgriculture


3)      Slow Seed Summit w/KarenWashington


4)      WRFL Radio Interview w/mickJeffries


5)      Greene Scholars

6)      Slow Food-Slow Fish & Equity

7)      SoulFeast Week

8)     NABS Diving Summit St. Lucia

9) Food Justice in Appalachia Exhibit WVU



Remembering and Composting 2020 …… Presentations:

1.       Bethel Baptist Church King Day Unity Breakfast

2.       Climate Underground: Putting Justice on the Table with Al Gore

3.       Young Farmers &Chefs: Great Remembering w/LPenniman, KWashington, JSage

4.        Slow Food Youth Network-EIJ Manifesto


5.       SlowFood- after Covid -Equity-Inclusion-Justice w/ChanowkYisrael/

6.       We-Want-To-Breathe Black Lives Matter w/Mercedes Smith

7.       BLM Group at African Cemetery No.2 pt.1

8.       BLM Group at African Cemetery No.2 pt.2

9.        NAAEE 2019 Opening

10.      UK Honors College: Local Memory and Ongoing Work of Integration

11.   Natural Start Alliance: George W. Carver & Nature Study

12.       Takoma Park Nursery School: George W. Carver

13.     NAAEE Conference -Pollinator Project

 14.  TN Local Food Summit: Conversation with Jeff Poppen


 15. Painted in Stone documentary-UK Mural panel


16. SlowFood Centering Equity & Justice


17. Slow Food Leader Summit w/chef Phil Jones



1)       "Martin Acres is the Place to Be"—Middle Tennessee Local Table Magazine’s 2020 Annual Guide

2)      http://www.stellanatura.com/sample.html

3)         The Martin Family Legacy                                                                                    4)  Chance or Circumstanc by James Mapp





1)      https://i-was-here.org/https://www.blacksoilky.com/,  https://naaee.org/

2)      https://slowfoodusa.org/about/, https://terramadresalonedelgusto.com/en/

3)      https://www.blackurbangrowers.org/http://saafon.org/, https://nabsdivers.org/

4)      https://goodfoods.coop/https://www.ballew-estates.org/,    https://www.soulfeastweek.com/




Entering and Planting 2021 w/descriptions

1) We Are Each Other’s Harvest 



Novelist Baszile (Queen Sugar) explores the legacy of “Black and brown farmers” in this winning anthology of essays, poems, photographs, and interviews……” Jim Embry, founder of Sustainable Communities Network, looks at how Indigenous agricultural traditions and communal structures can help fight climate change and racial inequality. 

 We Are Each Other's Harvest conversation w/ Natalie Baszile and Jim Embry/


Conversations Series: We Are Each Other’s Harvest
Exploring food and farming with Black and Indigenous Leaders in the Food System

Friday, March 26th via Zoom, 12pm Alaska Time / 1pm Pacific Time / 4pm Eastern Time

Join us for a conversation with author and filmmaker Natalie Baszile about her upcoming book: We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy, an anthology of essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories. We Are Each Other’s Harvest elevates the voices and stories of Black farmers and people of color, celebrating their perseverance and resilience, while spotlighting the challenges they continue to face. Hosted by Melony Edwards, Natalie will be joined by Jim Embry, a lifelong social, food justice and agrarian intellectual activist. Both Melony and Jim are featured in Natalie’s new book.


2)      CompassConference:New Green Economy-RegenerativeAgriculture

(my responses at these time frames-Embry presents at 21:51-26:05; 26:50-29:49; 48:30-52:04)



The New Green Economy Compass Conference held a workshop on Regenerative Agriculture on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 at noon, featuring Jim Embry of the Sustainable Communities Network, Qiana Mickie of QJM Multiprise, Tim Van Meter of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and Zach Wolf of Caney Fork Farms. This is just one of several workshops at the at the New Green Economy Conference, a conference focused on enabling people from organizations throughout the Tennessee Valley region to learn about and strategize around approaches to economic development that foster both sustainability and equitable employment.


Schedule: https://mcusercontent.com/e39c60c5ac34f4a79dbfbdcb4/files/90688c85-c532-451f-9284-26f479522258/Compass_Conference_Program_Q.pdf





3)      Slow Seed Summit/with Mama KarenWashington


The Slow Seed Summit is a virtual gathering of growers, experts and activists to discuss seed sovereignty, seed preservation and other central topics in the world of seeds.

Feb 28: Seeds Tell the Untold Stories and Time Holds Them to be Discovered, with Karen Washington moderated by Jim Embry. “Many people are now rediscovering their history through seeds. In this discovery, we will follow the trail laid down by our ancestors as sovereign keepers. It is time for us to come out from the shadows and into the light to celebrate their value and true meaning.  Learn how seeds can unlock secrets of forgotten time and stories.”


4)      WRFL Radio Interview w/mickJeffries



My interview runs from about 58:00 to 1:36.

What a fun and free flowing time I had this morning hanging out with

Mick Jeffries the WRFL team...a BIG shout out of Thanks for inviting my presence and allowing me to freestyle and lift up ancestral spirits that guide me as well as kindred spirits that I am blessed to work with on many levels.


5)      Greene Scholars


The Dr. Frank S. Greene Scholars Program helps youth of African ancestry in San Francisco Bay Area communities successfully complete higher education in science, technology, engineering and/or math (STEM), and serve as positive role models and contributors to their communities.

I will be presenting to parents on March 27


6) Slow Food-Slow-Fish EIJ



The Slow Fish 2021 Virtual Gathering is an online collective of folks in and around the seafood supply chain—fish harvesters, experts, and enthusiasts—from across North America and around the world working to create more direct and equitable seafood systems. We are hosting seven days of interactive programming including Deep Dive discussions on critical issues, World Café roundtables, Marketplace of Ideas, music, poetry and more ways to connect, collaborate, and celebrate Slow Fish!


7. SoulFeast Week


Founded in 2020 by twin siblings, Martina and Marcellus Barksdale, SoulFeast Week is a continuation of efforts to highlight and support black culinary and agriculture in Central Kentucky. SoulFeast Week aims to highlight the black contribution to the food and beverage industry in Central Kentucky. Our partnership with Black Soil will feature twelve craft culinary experiences during the week. Each experience will showcase produce cultivated locally by black farmers to create dishes crafted by black chefs for our communities to consume. 

8.     NABS Diving Summit St. Lucia



I became a member of NABS back in 1996 and have been diving since then. Our last Summit was in Egypt in 2019 so we are ready for some salt water! The NABS 30th Annual Summit, will be held on the island of St. Lucia, from Saturday, November 6th to Saturday, November 13th, 2021.  For 30 years NABS has inspired divers of color particularly in the US and around the World.  What better way to celebrate then selecting a new Summit destination that offers everyone “Limitless Inspiration!”  We hope you’ll “let St. Lucia Inspire you” and you’ll continue to inspire NABS.\

9.  Food Justice in Appalachia Exhibit WVU



My exhibit with archival photos and narrative presentation will focus on George Washington Carver and his contributions to the food justice work in West Virginia.

An exhibit by WVU Libraries in partnership with the WVU Food Justice Lab and the WVU Center for Resilient Communities.

Exhibition Dates:  Online Launch: August 202; Print exhibition at WVU Downtown Campus Library: August 2021-June 2022


Remembering and Composting 2020 …… Presentations w/descriptions:

1.      Bethel Baptist Church King Day Unity Breakfast



What a blessing it was for me to speak at our son Siku's church, Bethel Baptist Church in Kannapolis, NC back on Jan. 18 and be among other award winners and those attending the service. So I extend a big THANKS to Edison McCrea and Siku Embry for the invitation.

This was my first time getting a lifetime achievement award, first time being introduced at such an event by one of our children and granddaughter (now that was a special treat), first time being given a book by someone who just knew I was "going to give a great talk", first time having access to the Green Room to prepare for my talk.

A most wonderful experience that is still vibrating with all types of connections.

A special shout-out to Edison McCrea who orchestrated this event in the most beautiful way and for including so many young people throughout the event. A young high school student named Ashanti was the MC and what a blessing it was for me to sit next to her and remind her "girl you got this!"

The Trailblazer Awards were given to two other young people River Lewis and Alexis McCrea. What a beautiful way to give respect to Dr. King by lifting up young people.

River has since asked me to serve as a mentor for him and his non-profit, Operation Exposure, that he created while a sophomore at Morehouse College. Operation Exposure is meant to guide young men onto platforms of leadership with a particular exposure to the natural environment. This young man wasn't named "River" without a profound sense of life's mission by his parents. I'm honored to be Baba Jim once again.

This event has allowed me so many other wonderful conversations and points of connection with the Bethel Baptist Church family community. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity to be part of this community wide experience.



2.   Climate Underground: Putting Justice on the Table w/Al Gore  



Welcome and Panel: Putting Justice on the Table
From meatpacking plants to farm labor to food availability, people of color suffer disproportionate risks and food injustices, all of which have been exacerbated in the pandemic. Featuring former Vice president Al Gore, Reverend Heber Brown, Greg Asbed, and Jim Embry

The conversation began with the need to look at agriculture as the base for a structural change toward justice. Jim Embry , Slow Food activist and founder of Sustainable Communities Network, brought attention to the founding of the United States. “We recognize that it was the pursuit of agriculture that led to the seizure of land from indigenous people and the enslavement of Africans, a quest that planted the seeds of injustice. Our failures to resolve these foundational contradictions are the basis of injustices today. Resolving these long-standing contradictions within agriculture can provide the fertile soil for seeds of righteous justice in every institution.”






“For too long these justice issues have been all too invisible for too many people. Yet when we look closely at them it’s easy to see that no discussion of food and agriculture can be complete without prior consideration of these important topics.” So said Al Gore during this panel discussion on the systemic processes that have created and continue to promote food injustice.

In the United States, issues of food security and land sovereignty represent big challenges for Black and Hispanic farmers facing economic and social barriers. This structural and institutional racism is rooted in a system many are beginning to call food apartheid. This is fueled by a food system based on extractivism of land and labor to deliver cheap food.

Heber Brown who formed the Black Church Food Security Network. https://blackchurchfoodsecurity.net/poem-gods-black-breath/

Greg Asbed, https://ciw-online.org/blog/2020/11/2020-climate-underground/




3.     Young Farmers/Young Chefs: The Great Remembering



YFCC 2020. The Great Remembering: Injustice to the soil is an injustice to the people; injustice to the people is an injustice to the soil. We’ll be diving into the connections between culture and agriculture; demystifying the role and work of farmers and what it means to truly be regenerative. Jim Embry, Sustainable Communities Network, Leah Penniman, Soul Fire Farm, Karen Washington, Rise and Root Farm,  Curator: Jovan Sage

4. Slow Food Youth Network-EIJ Manifesto



Slow Food Youth Network wants to raise attention for the concept of social justice within our movement and in the food system, because we believe that this particular historical moment is pivotal for a shift in the definition of human rights and we as a movement want to be part of this change towards a more just and fair food system and world. Today we will have the pleasure of listening to Sara Jean Whelan, from SFYN USA in Vermont and part of the SFYN Global steering committee, who interviewed Jim Embry, one of the creators of the SF USA manifesto for equity, inclusion and justice (the EIJ manifesto). Jim describes the milestones in the history of human rights in the USA, his view on developing a manifesto and how the latest events and the current social debate created a momentum for the manifesto to get a stronger position within Slow Food and beyond



5.      Slow Food: After Covid 19-Opportunities for Equity Inclusion and Justice  




On May 21, Chanowk Yisrael and Jim Embry joined Charity Kenyon, co-chair of Slow Food’s Equity, Inclusion and Justice Working Group, to discuss ways the COVID pandemic has changed our food system and how we can move forward to create a more equitable, inclusive, and just food system.

Yisrael and Embry both have histories working with Slow Food and helping to improve the food system. Embry has been involved with food justice since 1968 when he attended the Poor People’s Campaign in D.C. and has been involved with social justice, environmental justice and food justice movements and initiatives for the past 60 years.

Though the COVID pandemic has exposed a lot of problems in our food system, one of the ideas of resilience in this situation is understanding that there will be more pandemics and problems like this and knowing that we have to start building local networks to respond.

Though resilience can take shape in many ways in responding to the problems within our food system, Embry and Yisreal believe there’s a place for us all. Know your farmers. Know your restaurant owners. Save seeds to stop the monopoly on seeds. Find ways to affect policies. Do rituals. Talk to your elders. Learn about the history of how we’ve gotten to where we are now. Respect traditional and indigenous wisdom. “We need a Great Remembering that humans have been farming forever,” Embry says. “We’re all indigenous people. We are all indigenous to this earth.” And resilience is key in our response to changing and bettering the food system to reflect that.

Written by Vivian Whitney, Slow Food USA Communications Intern



6.  We-Want-To-Breathe/



Jim Embry is no stranger to taking to the streets of Richmond to demand that racial injustices be eradicated. That police brutality be eliminated. That there are truly equal rights for all. The 71-year-old Embry has been involved in various Richmond protests since 1955. And on Saturday afternoon, he, along with hundreds of others, took to Main Street once more to take part in the Black Lives Matter protest that remained peaceful with no incidents at the county courthouse. "I have been out here on this street for about 65 years demonstrating," he told The Register. "Since the Jim Crow era … so I have been out here since I was a youngster protesting, demonstrating and so forth."


7.  BLM Group at African Cemetery No.2 pt.1


Jim Embry speaks about African Cemetery No.2 to Lexington Black Lives Matter group part #2


8.  BLM Group at African Cemetery No.2..pt.2

https://youtu.be/Cs9HdIEC8g4  Jim Embry speaks about African Cemetery No.2 to Lexington Black Lives Matter group part #2 

9.      NAAEE 2019 Opening


The North American Association for Environmental Education

48 TH ANNUAL NAAEE CONFERENCE LEXINGTON, KY ... Jim Embry Conference Co-Chair and director of Sustainable Communities Network gives an opening to invoke past, present and future.


2019 NAAEE Recap 2019 Conference Recap https://youtu.be/8Fwu3SAwXZA


10.  UK Honors College: Local Memory and Ongoing Work of Integration

UK Panel Feb 5, 2020 7pm Kincaid Auditorium Gatton College Lewis Honors College


On February 5 at 7 p.m. in the Kincaid Auditorium, the Lewis Honors College is hosting a conversation with community leaders entitled “Local Memory and the Ongoing Work of Integration” as part of the College's commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of integration at UK. Current HON 101 students will be in attendance, but this event is free and open to the public.



11.  .        Natural Start Alliance: George W. Carver & Nature Study 



As a result of my presentation on George Washington Carver at NAAEE 2019, I was invited to present a workshop at the Natural Start Alliance conference. This is a video of my presentation on George Washington Carver and the Nature Study Movement.


    Takoma Park School: George Washington Carver



Jim Embry is the founder of Sustainable Communities Network.

This is an all-family virtual meeting! Children and adults of all ages should attend! Jim Embry shares a deep, spiritual connection to the Earth and to the work of George Washington Carver. The history he shares will fill children and adults with joy and gratitude. We find the garden all around us and we can learn to listen to it just as Carver did.


13.  .     NAAEE Conference -Pollinator Project

14.  The North American Association for Environmental Education

NAAEE Conference: Pollinators for Schools, Local Governments, and Universities




This session showcases the county-wide project to establish pollinator gardens in twenty K-12 schools and Bee City/Bee Campus designations for the two city governments and two universities in Madison County, Kentucky. We will illustrate the importance of community partnerships to achieve community wide support for the Kentucky Pollinator Protection Plan

15.  Painted in Stone documentary-UK Mural panel


The documentary traces the history of race relations at UK and, specifically, the fresco in Memorial Hall. John Fitch III, a professor of broadcasting and electronic media at EKU, made the documentary over the summer of 2019. Jim Embry was a commentator in the film. The film debuted in September on EKU’s campus. It was brought to UK as part of the Year of Equity.  Created in 1934 as part of the Works Progress Administration, the mural was intended to show a history of central Kentucky – now, it is a lightning rod for racial tensions at UK. Its depiction of black Americans has led some students to call it "the slave mural."


16. Slow Food Centering Equity & Justice



Join three of the key authors of the Slow Food Equity, Inclusion and Justice Manifesto to understand the history of how and why the manifesto was created, deepen your understanding of its meaning, and to connect in breakout groups to workshop your own chapter’s action steps. With Jovan Sage, Jim Embry and Denisa Livingston


17. Slow Food Leader Summit w/chef Phil Jones



“You Say” Dinners are an exercise in diversity. Many chapters are faced with a membership that lacks diversity where diversity should not be an issue, so this is a tool that intentionally seeks to engage BIPOC, LGBTQ and other generally underrepresented members of our communities, allowing them to share their food stories. These dinners can also be unique fundraisers with food justice and cultural awareness at their core.

With Phil Jones, Slow Food Detroit



1.      Beautiful article about our sons Obiora and Ajani Embry

"Martin Acres is the Place to Be"—Middle Tennessee Local Table Magazine’s 2020 Annual Guide



Getting Back to Nature - Greenville, Kentucky


·         Getting Back to Nature™ farm–based products. Getting Back to Nature™ is a collaboration between twin brothers — Obiora Embry's EConsulting™ and Irucka's EcoC²S. The Brothers are featured in an article entitled: “Martin Acres is the Place to Be” by Lee Morgan in the Middle Tennessee Local Table Magazine's 2020 Annual Guide. The article discusses the history of their maternal family farm called Martin Acres and the regenerative agriculture that they are doing on 2 acres of land.


Come to see the two acres that inspired the article, "Martin Acres is the Place to Be" in the Middle Tennessee Local Table Magazine’s Annual Guide [https://zine.localtable.net/index-2020annual.html#page=20]. On this walking tour we will talk about the history of our beloved Martin Acres, how our paths led us to where we are today, and the dynamic transformation of our two acres from 2013 until now.

It’s the Fall and past time for us, individually and collectively, to reconnect with Nature, to restore our health and vitality, and to have peace and serenity. Nature is one of the best healers and it can help restore our bodies innate ability to heal itself. We all come from Nature and sometimes just being out in it can help to trigger healing within us.

2. http://www.stellanatura.com/sample.html

Wrote articles for 2021 & 2020 calendar


      3. The Martin Family

The Martin Family Legacy book


“Lourenza Dow Martin was born into slavery in 1833 in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The Descendants of Lourenza reunite each year on the vast and beautiful land known as Martin Acres located on modern day Highway 1473, Cave Springs Road, about three miles south of Greenville, Kentucky. This is the Story of the descendants of Lourenza including their successes and how they still gather with numbers in the hundreds each year on their family farm. This is the…. Martin Family Legacy”

4. Book: Chance or Circumstanc by James Mapp


“When it comes to issues of race and color of one’s skin, ignorance and racism persist to this day. It’s necessary to make connections from the past to erase the veil of ignorance. In Chance or Circumstance?, author James R. Mapp offers an account of the history of race relations and the road to desegregation and open accommodations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from the 1960s to the present.



1)      https://i-was-here.org/

i was here synthesizes a wealth of humanities and historical scholarship into a set of iconic Ancestor Spirit Portraits that create a comprehensive visual history bringing the past into view.

2)      https://www.blacksoilky.com/

The mission of Black Soil: Our Better Nature is to reconnect black Kentuckians to their legacy and heritage in agriculture.


3)      https://i-was-here.org/,  https://www.blacksoilky.com/,    https://naaee.org/

4)      https://slowfoodusa.org/about/,

5)       https://terramadresalonedelgusto.com/en/

6)      https://www.blackurbangrowers.org/,

7)        http://saafon.org/,

8)       https://nabsdivers.org/

9)      https://goodfoods.coop/,

10)    https://www.ballew-estates.org/








Joanna Macy: The Great Turning is a shift from the Industrial Growth Society to a life-sustaining civilization.

The term The Great Turning has come into widespread use to describe the awakening of a higher level of human consciousness and a human turn from an era of violence against people and nature to a new era of peace, justice and environmental restoration. The ecological and social crises we face are caused by an economic system dependent on accelerating growth. This self-destructing political economy sets its goals and measures its performance in terms of ever-increasing corporate profits—in other words by how fast materials can be extracted from Earth and turned into consumer products, weapons, and waste.

A revolution is under way because people are realizing that our needs can be met without destroying our world. We have the technical knowledge, the communication tools, and material resources to grow enough food, ensure clean air and water, and meet rational energy needs. Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning. It is happening now.

Whether or not it is recognized by corporate-controlled media, the Great Turning is a reality. Although we cannot know yet if it will take hold in time for humans and other complex life forms to survive, we can know that it is under way. And it is gaining momentum, through the actions of countless individuals and groups around the world. To see this as the larger context of our lives clears our vision and summons our courage.


2)      The Butterfly Story - A Metaphor for Humanity in Crisis, as told by Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris


caterpillar can eat up to three hundred times its own weight in a day, devastating many plants in the process, continuing to eat until it’s so bloated that it hangs itself up and goes to sleep, its skin hardening into a chrysalis. Then, within the chrysalis, within the body of the dormant caterpillar, a new and very different kind of creature, the butterfly, starts to form. This confused biologists for a long time. How could a different genome plan exist within the caterpillar to form a different creature? They knew that metamorphosis occurs in a number of insect species, but it was not known until quite recently that nature did a lot of mixing and matching of very different genome/protein configurations in early evolutionary times. Cells with the butterfly genome were held as disclike aggregates of stem cells that biologists call 'imaginal cells', hidden away inside the caterpillar’ all its life, remaining undeveloped until the crisis of overeating, fatigue and breakdown allows them to develop, gradually replacing the caterpillar with a butterfly!  Such metamorphosis makes a good metaphor for the great changes globalisation, in the sense of world transformation, is bringing about., as Norie Huddle first used it in her beautiful book Butterfly. Our bloated old system is rapidly becoming defunct while the vision of a new and very different society, long held by many 'imaginal cell' humans who dreamt of a better world, is now emerging like a butterfly, representing our solutions to the crises of predation, overconsumption and breakdown in a new way of living lightly on Earth, and of seeing our human society not in the metaphors and models of mechanism as well-oiled social machinery, but in those of evolving, self-organizing and intelligent living organism. If you want a butterfly world, don't step on the caterpillar, but join forces with other imaginal cells to build a better future for all!

News Media Coverage of Jim Embry

Stella Natura-Great Work of Transforming

Stella Natura-Cup of Carver

Slow Food Equity, Inclusion and Justice Panel

Embry  Pres entation  on Food Sovereignty at the Parliament of Worlld Religions

Embry Biodynamics Journal Article November 2018

Berea College Presentation


Celebrating Isaac Burns Murphy

October 19-24, 2015


Tuesday, October 20th, 6:30-7:30 pm

 Public Talk at the Lyric Theatre by Pellom McDaniels author of Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy. A reception will follow the presentation. Exhibit will be open in the Gallery. ·

Thursday, October 22nd, 2:00 pm

The KY Horse Park will unveil the newly engraved headstone of Isaac Murphy with tributes to Murphy and Kentucky 's African American horsemen. The ceremony will take place in the renamed Man O' War Isaac Burns Murphy Memorial ·

Thursday, October 22nd 3:30p - 4:45p Interpretive Panel Unveiling The Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden Board of Advisors will host the unveiling of the interpretive signage installation at the site of the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden located at the intersections of Third and Midland. The permanent panels describe the life of Isaac Burns Murphy, describe his home site, recognize the contributions of other Black Jockeys and pays tribute to those who have contributed to the racing industry. ·

IMMAG Concept Paper

Friday, October 23rd, 5:30-7:00 pm remarks by Frank Walker with an opening reception for 'I Dedicate this Ride' will be held in the honor of African Americans and their contributions to the equine industry. The reception will take place at the Lyric Theatre from 5:30p-7p. 7pm Opening night of 'I Dedicate this Ride' will take place following the reception and is Pay-What-You-Can admission. Exhibit will be open in the Gallery. The University of Kentucky Community Engagement Office is the presenting sponsor of the evening. This FREE and open to the public event will highlight the accomplishments of Frank X Walker, Dr. Pellom McDaniels, the Black Turf Project crew, and the Mustang Troops. The evening is designed to stop and account for the past, present, and future cultural and economic contributions these individuals and groups have made to the local equine industry.

Saturday, October 24th, 10 am:

Murphy Family Memorial Dedication at African Cemetery No. 2 located at 7th and Chestnut Streets

Saturday, October 24th,7:00 pm 2nd performance of Frank Walker's play 'I Dedicate this Ride' with Pay-What-You-Can admission price. Exhibit will be open in the Gallery.

EXHIBITION in the Lyric Theatre Gallery by Pellom McDaniels

August 31, 2015 - December 11, 2015

Jim Embry speaks at 

Somerset Community College




You Are Invited To Hear:

event Media Release

Event flyer 

okJim Embry

Kentucky-based Environmental and Slow Food Activist

Speak in Nashville

Terra Madre:

the global movement for food that is good, clean and fair!!

Wednesday June 17, 6-8pm

 West End United Methodist Church at 2200 West End Avenue, Nashville

The Mapp/Embry Family of Kentucky and Tennessee in Conjunction with Chef Martha Stamps (A Place at the Table) 


A Multi-generational Family Book Signing, Photo exhibit with Presentations  

With a Delicious Dinner

Wednesday 17 June 2015 6 PM – 8 PM

Dinner begins at 6 PM ($12 for adults, $6 for children under 10)

RSVP for dinner reservations: (615) 713-7094 and/or info@questionuniverse.com

The free presentations begin around 6:45 PM

West End United Methodist Church

2200 West End Avenue (across from Vanderbilt University)

Nashville, TN 37203

For more information contact:

 Irucka Embry, (615) 713-7094 and/or info@questionuniverse.com

Martha Stamps, 615-983-8850,  info@marthastampscatering.com, marthastampscatering.com

The evening program includes:

Twin brothers Irucka (Nashville) and Obiora Embry (Lexington, KY); their mother, Dr. Deborah Mapp–Embry (Louisville, KY); their aunt, Ivy Barksdale (Lexington, KY); their father, Jim Embry (Richmond, KY) and their grandfather, James Mapp (Chattanooga) will read from and sign their books. Jim Embry will also exhibit photographs from his travels to Terra Madre and around Italy.



Jim Embry USA Delegate to Terra Madre

Jim Embry presenting Terra Madre

On October 15th, Jim Embry presented "Terra Madre: A Blue Print for a Sustainable Future" to students, community members, ...

Watch this video: 2014 Salone del Gusto/Terra Madre Pre-view

This short video describes my local work: KET Kentucky Life feature

Terra Madre Delegate:   I have been selected to represent the USA and KY as a delegate to Slohhw Food’s Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto held in Torino, Italy, Oct. 23-27. In total, more than 500 people applied to be part of the US delegation, but only 240 were chosen nationwide and five persons from Kentucky. So I am absolutely thrilled and honored to be part of this delegation. Slow Food  is an international movement that involves millions of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food that includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, educators, musicians and business people in over 150 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, and 2,000 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.

Part of my role as a delegate from Kentucky is to reach out around the state and share my experience with other. This is my way of “taking my community with me”.  These are my speaking engagements and outreach efforts: 


Terra Madre: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Future speaking engagements by Jim Embry:

1) 10/1 UK Gaines Center Lafayette Seminars panel on local food. evening program and bios;  Media coverage: 

Series-to-teach-power-of-food, program-will-focus-on-food-justice

2) 10/ 14 Owensboro Unitarian Universalist Congregatio

3) 10/15 Owensboro Community and Technical College ( The students are all reading Joel Salatin's book, Folks, This Ain't Normal, and I have been invited to speak as a followup to the campus-wide reading and Joel's talk

4) 10/16 Somerset Community and Technical College 

1 November TBD-Berea College; UK Design School; Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council; Growing Power Small & Urban Farm Conference in Milwaukee.                   Invite me to speak to at schools, faith congregations, community groups, civic clubs, or conferences.

Embry Terra Madre Promo Letter

Donate today  

Help Send Jim Embry to Terra Madre

My Previous Efforts to Bring Terra Madre Home

Here are some examples of creative support I have received from friends regarding my previous trip to Terra Madre:

In addition to Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto check out the other grand projects of Slow Food such as:

For more information about Terra Madre and Slow Food look at these books:

Slow Food Companion Guide;  Slow Food Almanac 2013; The-Slow-Food-Story by Goeff Andrews;  Terra Madre by Carlo Petrini & Alice Waters.


sustainlex.org Director Jim Embry featured on KET Kentucky Life show:

KET’s-Kentucky Life with Jim Embry.

Jim Embry BIO KET gardens show

Community Gardens with Jim Embry

For Jim Embry, a community garden is more than just a source of food and beauty. He believes that gardening has the power to change the world.

A social activist since his youth in the 1960s, Embry believes that community gardening is the most important social movement in the country. Through workshops, tours, presentations, and service projects, Embry connects community gardeners—from the private and public sector—to the earth and each other. Dave Shuffett visits with Embry in Lexington and looks at several community gardens.

Community gardens are located in city parks as well as on school grounds and even in road medians. Local governments promote community gardens as a way to provide fresh food for low-income residents and to beautify the area. Gardens also improve the environment: In Lexington, a rain garden of trees and perennial flowers at Limestone, Vine and Main streets catches rainwater.

Embry, who holds a degree in biology, served as executive director of the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership in Detroit for four years before returning to Kentucky in 2005. He has been a three-time U.S. delegate to Terra Madre, a biannual gathering in Italy for members of Slow Food International.

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Embry Family Book Signiing and Art Exhibit

February 21 and 22, 2014 Lyric Theatre
On the third Friday and Saturday of February, the Embry families of Central Kentucky and Tennessee are hosting an event to remember!  You (and your family) are invited to attend the Embry Family Book Signing & Art Exhibit: 21st Century Thinking & Reimagining at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington, KY.

On Friday, you can view photographs taken by father Jim and son Obiora Embry, and paintings by Bessie Johnson. Come back Saturday to purchase books signed by authors Dr. Deborah Mapp-Embry and her two sons Irucka Ajani and Obiora Embry.  Along with their books, a family cookbook will be sold, there will be performances by spoken word artists Tiffany Bellfield and
Vibration Kunvorted and a musical performance by Vaughn Gillispie.   And you can continue to view the photographs and paintings.

    When: Friday, 21 February 5-8 PM
    (in conjunction with February Gallery Hop)
    Saturday, 22 February 11:30 AM-3:00 PM

    Where: Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center Multi Purpose Room
    300 E. Third Street; Lexington, KY 40508

For more information about the event and/or to learn more about the participants, go to www.embrybooks.org.

 Embry Family Book Signing & Art Exhibit.
Slow Food Southern Region Meeting

Slow Food Southern Region | Facebook  


Slow Food Southeastern Region Leadership Conference Charlotte, NC January

Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group

2014 Conference Program — Southern Sustainable Agriculture ...  


Our conference program is, as always,
loaded with practical information 

Eight Acres of History: Lexington's African Cemetery No. 2 - YouTube  


Mar 12, 2012 ... Lexington Public Library presents an original documentary production on a  historic African-American cemetery and the small band of ...



Jim Embry award winner at Yale University  
Unity-Award-Winner-at Yale University

Key News Journal Embry on Local Food Summit

Urban Farming Techniques Will Be Taught at Local Food Summit

By Patrice K. Muhammad

Jim Enbry, Convener of The Bluegrass Local Food Summit

 Across the United States, in urban cities in every state, people have returned to growing and raising food for themselves as a means of employment and or survival. All over the nation, Blacks have been at the forefront of the urban farming movement and Lexington is no exception.

Jim Embry has been educating people world wide and working to build gardens across the Bluegrass since 1968.

“My involvement with issues concerning food justice, healthy eating, and community gardening goes back a least to 1968 when after attending Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral and meeting Ernie Green of the Little Rock School Integration movement, I was offered a summer job to work in New York City,” Embry said. “It was there in Brooklyn that I was exposed to concepts that we now call food deserts and food justice.”

Embry will lead the 5th Annual Bluegrass Local Food Summit March 22-24 at Crestwood Christian Church 1882 Bellefonte Dr.


The Summit will attract local food growers, elected and government officials, educators, institutions and other community members to discuss the food system.

Local Blacks must attend this summit. Even if you do not consider yourself a gardener, farmer or food activist, there is much to learn and use during this event.

In 2008 Embry said in The Key Newsjournal that though Blacks have historically been victims of discrimination and physical abuse as a result of slavery one of the most damaging effects has been our disconnection from Mother Earth. “Africans have a strong earth connection and we must reconnect with that.”

Embry submitted the following when asked his most inspirational stories of Blacks involved in the new food movement:

“Well the life and legacy of our esteemed brother and most humble American scientist, Dr George W. Carver, is my most inspirational story about participation in urban or rural agriculture. All of the efforts that we see now for local food, organic food, biodiversity, biodiesel for automobiles, sacredness of nature, eating healthy, ALL of these directions of action and thinking is what Carver encouraged us to do. If only we had listened! Now even though he pointed the way for what we are doing now, he gets little if any credit for this good food movement.

“Now my other inspirational story is that of my friend, Will Allen who founded Growing Power in Milwaukee [more than] 20 years ago and regards himself as the George W. Carver of this century. I love this brother because he is so humble, not afraid to get his hands in worms and compost and yet can mix it up with the likes of President Obama and First Lady Michelle.”
However, not all Blacks are on board with urban farming or even concerned about their food. Embry said, “I feel that the major civil rights or human rights issue of our time revolves around the food system. This globalized, unhealthy and commodity-food based food system is what is killing us today. 80% of all human diseases is food related and African American are negatively impacted the most. So this should be an issue that is foremost in our minds but is is not. We should be in the leadership of what Will Allen calls the Good Food Revolution, but we are not! It is troublesome that we seem to have little concern for something that is so devastating to us a people.”

Embry is looking forward to welcoming more Blacks from Central Kentucky to the event this year. “Caring about food has spiritual, economic, cultural incentives,” explains Embry. “On a spiritual, Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths have within  the sacred texts passages about humans being made from clay or dirt or what we call compost. Working to plant, grow, harvest, eat and compost is all spiritual work. Economically we can save money on food expenses by planting some of our own food. Culturally, we should regard our bodies as temples and should then consume the kinds of foods that  are deserving of being in a temple. Eating is an agricultural act. So since everyone eats then we should be concerned about our relationship with food. I encouraged our [community] in Central KY to get involved in the good food revolution, grow a garden and attend the Bluegrass Local Food Summit. This Summit will provide inspirational speakers, workshops on gardening, composting, films and much more.
Key Conversations Radio has partnered with Pepsi to sponsor a Rain Barrel Workshop during the Summit on Saturday, March 24. Participants will build a rain barrel and leave with it, ready to catch fresh water for gardening. The $20 workshop cost will be a contribution to SustainLex.

For more information contact Jim Embry at embryjim@gmail.com or see this workshop ad on page 12 of the march 1st issue of the Key Newsjournal.

Short URL: http://keyconversationsradio.com/?p=3905

Jim Embry  Black History Month Photo Exhibit
 Ky. Voices: Ways to encourage sustainability, creativity  

egtsignJim-Embry-2010-Garden-Crusader  Jim Embry, Director of Sustainable Communities Network named finalist in Education believes that community gardening is the most important social movement in the country. "The climate is changing and that is because we are disconnected from the Earth," he says. With a lifetime of experience as a social activist, Jim is now working to connect community gardeners to the earth — and to each other.

"In the garden, adults and even very young children, learn about patience and discovery and not to be afraid. Gardens teach citizenship and stewardship," he said. "For the last generation, the focus has been on computer literacy; now it's time for the focus to be on eco-literacy."

Read the full story: 1st Place: Jim Embry, Lexington, KY



First African Jazz Concert

First African Church History

Jim Embry Interview salone 2012

Jim Embry Interview Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto 2012

George W. Carver compliation

Shawnee Planning

NKU Sustainability

Embry 5th District Newsletter

Embry Key News Food Summit

 Embry WE-are-all-artists

Embry Publlic Republic


bry Speech at Immigrant Rights Rally

Embry Talk at Somerset Community College Terra Madre

Fresh Start Plan  Contributions(Jim Embry) 

Embry Web Articles
Embry Ace Articles
Brattleboro 100year plan

Hip Hop Vegan Group

Jim Embry Terra Madre Links

Sam Levin 2008 Terra Madre

ACE Weekly download articles

Gardens of Eatin

Shovel Ready

Lexington Gardens Grow

Dig It: Gardens Root

HOBY Eco-Art 2009
HOBY Eco-Art 2008

Model of the Year
Closing the Food Gap

Greening of Bryan Station High School

Growing Food & Justice conference

Community Garden Tour Report

Gardening with Class

Bluegrass Food Security Summit 2010
Growing Food and Justice

Soul Food Junkies

The Great Work

The Great Turning

Farm to School

School gardens

Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program/GreenHouse17

Family Care Center

Catherine Ferguson Academy

Catherine Ferguson "O" magazine article

Asenath Andrews

 Grown in Detroit

Greening of Detroit
Adamah: MetroTimes The Greening of Detroit

Food and Sacred Earth Connections

Religion and Environment

Closing the Food Gap 2008

Profile of State Food Policy Councils by State

Interactive Map of State Food Policy Councils

 Climate Change  portal information

Climate Change Books

African Americans Climate Change:Unequal Burden_REPORT

African Americans Climate Change Ex Summary

African Americans Climate Change Bullard Bibliography

Slow Food Newsletter