Summer Reading Program


Will Allen holding fish

The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen

The son of sharecroppers, Will Allen was sure he had left farming behind him when he went to college on a basketball scholarship.  After a brief stint as a professional basketball player, Allen settled into a business career with Proctor and Gamble, but the lure of growing his own food and making healthy food available to others kept pulling him back to the land.  In 1993, Allen cashed in his retirement savings to open an urban farm on two acres in inner city Milwaukee, not only bringing healthy food to a former “food desert, but also providing employment and training for local youth and adults. Today Allen is CEO of Growing Power, a non-profit organization dedicated to urban farming and building community food systems.  He has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad, and is a 2008 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient.

A memoir of Allen’s personal journey, The Good Food Revolution also explores the impact of food insecurity for individuals and communities and the importance of the accessible, healthy food for all.  In tracing his own history, Allen discusses the Great Migration, and the systemic obstacles faced by African-American farmers.  His book is also a call to action for communities to take control of their own food supply.  

All first-year students will receive a copy of The Good Food Revolution at SOAR in June.  During Viking Venture, students will join their first-year seminar classmates, instructor and mentor to discuss the book over dinner, usually in the instructor’s home.  Will Allen  will deliver the Conson Wilson lecture on August 31, 2017 at 7:30 in the Cage Center Arena.