Co-founder and CEO Programs and Development Strategy (Erika) and co-founder and CEO Finance (Laurell), Urban Growers Collective

Erika Allen, co-founder and CEO Programs and Development Strategy and Laurell Sims, co-founder and CEO Finance of Urban Growers Collective (United States), operate eight urban farms on 11 acres of land, predominantly located on Chicago’s South Side. Their approach uses urban agriculture as a tool and method to address the inequities and structural racism that exist through the food system and in communities of color, using urban agriculture as a tool for change. Their work is rooted in growing food and cultivates nourishing environments that promote health, economic development, healing and creativity through job training & education, food access, and community engagement.




Actress, Engaged Citizen

Since childhood, AnnaSophia Robb has acted in an array of films and TV shows including in film adaptations of some of her favorite childhood books: Because of Winn Dixie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Bridge to Terabithia. This early exposure to the film industry led to a lifetime love of storytelling. AnnaSophia recognizes the seamless connection between amplifying untold stories and advocacy, which led her to partner with organizations and causes dear to her heart: There With Care, Habitat for Humanity, Elevate NYC, A21, Thred Up, various voting organizations, and now the WILD ELEMENTS Foundation. Most recently, AnnaSophia is also known for her work in The Carrie Diaries, The Act, and Little Fires Everywhere. Next up, AnnaSophia co-stars in Peacock's limited series Dr. Death and Netflix's film Rebel Ridge.


Address the inequities and structural racism that exist through the food system and in communities of color, using urban agriculture as a tool for change.

Goal 1: Job Training + Education

Through Urban Growers Collective's Youth Corps Teen Education program, Transitional Adult Jobs Training program, and Farmers for Chicago Farmer Incubator, UGC builds knowledge and awareness of healthy food, urban agriculture and food systems; increases access to safe, healing spaces; improves social emotional learning, skills and mindsets; improves job readiness and employment skills; and increases access to entrepreneurial and economic opportunities.

Goal 2: Food Access

Urban Growers Collective increases access to healthy food by growing and harvesting fresh produce with and for communities and distributes produce through Community Farm Stands, Collective Supportive Agriculture subscription boxes, emergency food responses and the Fresh Moves Mobile Market, a bus converted into a mobile farmers' market that brings produce to schools, community centers, churches and health clinics.

Goal 3: Community Engagement

Provide access to safe, healing spaces while increasing engagement, cohesion and social capital. Urban Growers Collective hosts workshops, Community Gardens, Art on the Farm programming, and volunteering & interns on 8 farms over 11 acres on Chicago's South and West Sides, with the 9-acre Green Era Renewable Energy and Urban Farm Campus opening in Spring 2022.

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WE invite you to be a part of a new paradigm that gives you first-hand access to wild solutions happening around the world. Together, our conscious community takes small steps to help restore the symbioses between Animalkind, Humankind and Plantkind and accelerate global change.

Alone, change can seem impossible. But when we join together, we are unstoppable.