Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service
Jim Embry cares deeply about people, communities, justice, and the environment. As a great grandson of family who were enslaved but who cared so much for the land, Jim has embraced this legacy to create a more sustainable and equitable world and educate others about the environment. This family legacy of activism was passed down to him as a 10 year old participant in the Civil Rights Movement guided by his mother who was the president of the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality.
Jim has worked to connect social justice, food justice and environmental justice within other social movements for the past 50 years, participating in most of the major social justice movements of his era, including Black Power, Anti-war movements, and rights for women and the LGBTQ community. With a focus on youth Jim has organized the Youth Green Corps, Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council, and other environmental efforts that engage young people in community sustainability projects.
Now serving as director of the Sustainable Communities Network, Jim cultivates collaborative efforts at the local, national and international levels with a focus on local sustainable food systems. He is at home at every level, whether as a five time USA delegate to Slow Food’s Terra Madre in Italy, a visitor to Cuba to study organic farming, his local work in sustainable and urban agriculture, or as steward of a 30 acre farm. Jim maintains that the local food and sustainable agriculture movement is the foundation of a sustainable community, believing that we need big ideas that connect humans in a sacred relationship with the Earth—to his words, thinking “not just out-of-the-box, but also out-of-the-barn”.