Urban farms in DC may contribute to community displacement

FOOD | The creation of urban agriculture is intended to help the communities they settle in, often food insecure and job poor neighborhoods, by empowering the residents while providing them with goods they lack, among other things. In DC, a rapidly gentrifying city, this can be a useful tool but it can also inadvertently help to displace these same residents. (Civil Eats, 2/27)

“I’ve seen a lot of maps where it looks like we’re increasing food access [in D.C.], when we’re actually just pushing poor people out,” Josh Singer, executive director and founder of Wangari Gardens, told me. Wangari is an innovative community garden near several rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods, and was designed explicitly to promote responsible community development in the face of this displacement.

“Say you have a neighborhood that is a food desert,” Singer, who is white, said, starting a story about a hypothetical project in which someone crafts a narrative, gets a big grant, builds a big garden, and does most outreach and organizing through social media. “All of a sudden that garden is just full of people who recently moved to the neighborhood, who are all good people, but who aren’t really food insecure.”

RACIAL EQUITY | Rick Moyers, Meyer Foundation‘s vice president for programs and communications, reflects on his relationship with black history and explains why black history is America’s history. (Meyer Foundation Blog, 2/24)

Related: Tamara Copeland, WRAG’s president, explains why black history month is important while also urging racial justice and equity advocates to look at why that history isn’t celebrated with overall American history. (Daily, 2/15)

– Maryland is considering a bill that would remove the question of criminal history from college applications. (WaPo, 2/27)

– Loudoun County schools have a new pilot program aimed at helping first responders deal with students with autism during emergency situations. (WTOP, 2/26)

HOUSING | DC is the fourth most expensive city for renters in the U.S. (WaPo, 2/28)

TRANSITOne Year Later, How Has The Streetcar Changed The H Street Corridor? (WAMU, 2/27)

PHILANTHROPY | S&R Foundation is spinning off its Halycon initiative into a freestanding nonprofit organization. (WBJ, 2/27)

When you’d rather be in a cave

– Kendra