The streets of New York City are alive with plants from all over the world that can tell rich histories, especially within the immigrant communities. Often these communities have long relied on plants to improve health, but such value and use is not widely shared. Additionally, cultural practices such as foraging and gardening are cast aside in young people’s attempts to assimilate.
Planting Stories: Seeds of Diaspora will be implemented in New York City by the School of Professional Studies, the School of the Arts, the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, and Columbia Artist/Teachers, in partnership with the Humanities Institute at New York Botanical Garden and Columbia Secondary School, a public high school located in Upper Manhattan, NYC.
The project team will conduct workshops that combine scientific and creative practices to facilitate cross-generational and -cultural learning on the relationship of plants to food culture, health, immigration and family histories. This pilot project aims to develop educational materials for use by learning institutions across New York City, in addition to methods for measuring how programming focused on plants and cultural histories may positively impact health in the broadest sense.
Anelise ChenColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Anelise Chen is the author of the experimental novel, So Many Olympic Exertions (Kaya Press 2017), a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.
Ana Paulina LeeColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Ana Paulina Lee is an Associate Professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University. Lee's research and teaching interests focus on race, gender, nation, and citizenship...
Lynnette WidderColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Lynnette Widder was educated as both architect and architectural historian. Raised and schooled in New York City, she has practiced architecture in New York, Berlin, Basel and Zurich...
Tao Leigh GoffeCornell UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Tao Leigh Goffe is a writer, professor, interdisciplinary artist, and DJ. She makes videos, sound sculptures, and installations that foreground digital tools as a way of critiquing overlapping ...
Shauna DownsRutgers UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Shauna Downs, PhD, MS is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Public Health. Her research focuses on three main areas: 1) the design, impact and implementation of interventions...
Darby SmithColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Darby Minow Smith is a writer and journalist who splits her time between New York and rural Montana. As the long-time editor of the environmental magazine Grist, she managed a newsroom...