On October 25, 2009 University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff gathered at 5710 South Woodlawn Avenue to dedicate the new Edible Arts Garden at the OMSA to Timuel Black (AM’54). Black is a lifelong resident of the South Side, and he has spent his life challenging racial discrimination and educational inequality while promoting social justice.
The Civic Knowledge Project, an initiative housed in the Division of the Humanities that brings a collaborative, social justice perspective to community engagement efforts within the University, first suggested the idea of the garden to serve both a practical and philosophical purpose. Students will not only grow food, but they will also distribute the garden’s assortment of fruits, herbs and vegetables to individuals in the community through local food pantries.
From the article:
At the ceremony, Black said he was “quite surprised” to see that so many young people, a group he has worked with his whole life, were honoring him. The garden is a powerful metaphor for the motivation behind his work and its potential for the future. “It represents, in my opinion, the accomplishments that can be had if we persistently water the human garden and give it a chance to grow,” Black said at the ceremony. “It’s important for you young people to know that before you, people were working to make the garden grow and grow so that those who preceded you could feed another generation.”