Activist and Farmer, Sustainable Communities Network
The grandson of small farmers who were also social activists, Jim’s activism began in 1959 when he was 10 years old and a member of the Congress of Racial Equality. It was within the Civil Rights Movement that Jim began a lifelong mission and passion for social justice. Since then Jim has participated in most all of the major social justice movements of his era. After 50+ years of activism his current work and writings seek to restore our sacred connections with Mother Earth while creating a socially just and sustainable world that reflects and shares the highest ideals of being human. In 2001, Jim entered a critical chapter in his life by moving to Detroit to serve as the Director of the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, honoring 30 years of political collaboration with Jimmy and Grace Lee Boggs. While in Detroit, his work centered around urban agriculture and food justice which led him to give tours to kindred spirits from around the world including the British Parliament, the Nobel Peace Committee, Hopi elders and such people as Danny Glover, David Korten, Joanna Macy, Tom Goldtooth, Vincent Harding, Ossie Davis and many others. Since returning to Kentucky in 2006 and founding Sustainable Communities Network, Jim has continued his work around restorative and food justice.
Jim believes that a local, healthy and just food system is the foundation of a sustainable community. His international travel has included Brazil for the World Social Forum, Italy for five Terra Madre/International Slow Food Gatherings, Cuba for the Worker’s Confederation and numerous Caribbean islands for scuba diving. Jim says he is Stardust condensed in human form and collaborates with kindred spirits at the local, national and international levels to create beloved communities where every human being and all Earth community members–water people, air people, rock people, animal people, and plant people–are held in sacred regard. Four years ago Jim moved to a 30 acre family farm and now tries to balance community activism and writing with soil activism!