May 17, 2023

‘Contemporary Conversations Series’ of MCPL Will Focus on Urban Farming on Friday, May 19, at Connie Morella Library in Bethesda

‘Contemporary Conversations Series’ of MCPL Will Focus on Urban Farming on Friday, May 19, at Connie Morella Library in Bethesda

Karen Washington, an urban community gardener and food justice advocate, and Jabari S. Walker, the first-ever sustainability and energy coordinator at Bowie State University, will be the featured speakers from 5:30-7:15 p.m. on Friday, May 19, in the next Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) “Contemporary Conversations Series.” Ms. Washington and Mr. Walker will talk about urban farming, sustainability and the environment at the free event at the Connie Morella Library in Bethesda.

The Connie Morella Library is located at 7400 Arlington Rd. in Bethesda. The event also will be viewable via live streaming. Registration is required to attend the event in person or to view it online. For information on how to register, visit

Ms. Washington has spent decades promoting urban farming to access fresh, locally grown food. She is board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, co-founder of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition and the Black Urban Growers (BUGS). She also is board president of Green Worker Cooperatives, which builds and sustains worker-owned green businesses to create a strong, local and democratic economy rooted in racial and gender equity.

Mr. Walker leads the office of sustainability for the BSU. He is credited with creating the Student Green Ambassadors organization, drafting the BSU Climate Action Plan 2020 and coordinating the world’s first known solar-powered bus station that charges mobile devices on the BSU campus. In 2021, Mr. Walker was appointed by the Maryland secretary of the environment as a member of the Education, Communications and Outreach (ECO) Workgroup of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. He is now co-chair of the workgroup.

“The Contemporary Conversations series is a community forum to talk about cultural and current issues with experienced authors and journalists and to engage in enriching conversations,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo. “MCPL is delighted to bring these two speakers to the series to talk about such an important topic as protecting the environment.”

Previous speakers in the Contemporary Conversations series include Kojo Nnamdi, David Ignatius, Charles Lane, Hena Khan, Michelle Singletary, Dinaw Mengestu, Joshua Johnson, Haben Girma, Jarret Krosoczka, Michael W. Twitty, Sheree Renée Thomas and Tyehimba Jess. For more information about previous speakers, visit

The program is co-sponsored by Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.

For more information about the series, contact Clotilde Puértolas at