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HARVESTING HOPE Online Conference

April 22 @ 12:00 pm - April 23 @ 8:00 pm EDT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Desert Rose Baha’i Institute is honoured to be hosting its first online conference focused on the critical issue of overcoming food insecurity through personal and community agriculture.


Advert for Harvesting Hope: DRBI's Online Conference running from April 22nd-23rd from 9-5 each day. The session is dedicated to building vibrant communities while overcoming Food Insecurity. Featured speakers include: Paul Hanley, Linda Kavelin-Popov, Rose HIgh-Bear, Dr. George Brooks, Sara DeHoff and more. Admission: $99. Click to find more information and to register. Questions? email desertroselearn@gmail.comYou’ll learn practical steps to achieve measurable results within your own environment. Why does this matter?  Humanity faces unprecedented and existential challenges including the growth of food insecurity. Where does our food come from? What is in it? How can we create more of it ourselves? How do we close the social rifts that widened during the pandemic?

Using a combination of online presentations, workshops, panel discussions, exercises and follow-up touchpoints you’ll be actively involved throughout the conference.


CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: subject to revision

SATURDAY April 22:

Morning:  9:00-12:00 PST, 10:00-1:00 MST,  11:00-2:00 CST,  12:00-3:00 EST, 1:00-4:00 AST

  • Welcome / Introductions / Program Preview / Session Goals: Interactive exercises on what, specifically participants want to accomplish. What do you want to learn?  What do you hope to change?
    • Steven Worth: Exploring Food Security and its place in the advancement of civilisation.
    • Paul Hanley – What is Food Security and what do the writings say? Paul will lead a presentation on Abdu’l-Baha’s influence on the agricultural process with an emphasis on Food Security.

Afternoon: 2:00-5:00 PST, 3:00-6:00 MST, 4:00-7:00 CST, 5:00-8:00 EST, 6:00-9:00 AST

  • George Brooks – Urban Farming: Dr. Brooks will discuss urban farming as a realistic response to the dramatic rise of food insecurity while exploring the intersection of race and agriculture.
  • Linda Kavelin-PopovBe The Change: Whether in your personal life or social action, this interactive workshop will focus on:
    • Igniting your vision
    • Defining your part
    • Making a Plan
    • Amplifying your ripple effect
    • Learning the secrets of sustainability.

SUNDAY April 23:

Morning:  9:00-12:00 PST, 10:00-1:00 MST,  11:00-2:00 CST,  12:00-3:00 EST, 1:00-4:00 AST

Food Security in Action:  A variety of speakers to share their experiences using storytelling, video, and audience involvement.

  • Deborah Hobbs and Lua Siegal: will share learnings on the importance of collaboration, based on the challenges and successes with creating sustainable community gardens.
  • Dwight Cox: Dwight will take us on the inspirational journey that is turning the decimated earth around Desert Rose into arable land.
  • CJ Pratt: As a specialist in urban community farming, CJ will speak of his experiences in farming and urban rejuvenation, youth involvement and inner-city permaculture.
  • Rose High-Bear: From Elderberry Wisdom Farm, will relate her experiences helping Indigenous youth to find their roots by returning to the land.

Afternoon: 2:00-5:00 PST. 3:00-6:00 MST, 4:00-7:00 CST, 5:00-8:00 EST, 6:00-9:00 AST

  • Making it Real: Workshop focused on developing individual plans for applying learning within their own communities.  Group work, presentations, sharing of ideas and deep facilitation.
    • Sara DeHoff – Community building through Food Security initiatives Sara will be focusing on how to take the conference learning into your communities, while connecting messaging through to the 9 year plan





photo of Dr. Steve Worth taken by a laptop camera. Dr. Worth has grey hair a Van Dyck beard and glasses and is smiling into the camera.Steven Worth: Steven brings two things to the table: engaging creativity; and over 40 years of experience in agricultural and rural development in Africa. He has worked in agricultural extension and development as a field practitioner and manager, and has consulted with numerous agencies on capacity development, wealth creation, rural development, and agricultural extension and education. He recently retired as an Associate Professor in Agricultural Extension and Rural Resource Management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa, where he also served as Director of the African Centre for Food Security. Previously he served as Academic Leader: Teaching and Learning, and later as Acting Dean and Head of the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences.


Photo of Paul Hanley wearing an open-collared, window-pane checked white shirt. Paul has grey hair, a beard and dark glasses.

Paul Hanley: Paul Hanley has published six books and 1600 articles on the environment, sustainable development, agriculture, and other topics. He is editor and co-author of Earthcare: Ecological Agriculture in Saskatchewan (1980) and The Spirit of Agriculture (2005). His book ELEVEN (2014) received the 2015 University of Saskatchewan President’s Award for Non-fiction and the 2015 ABS North America Award for Distinguished Scholarship. Paul’s biography Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, the First Global Conservationist, features a foreword by HRH Prince Charles and introduction by Jane Goodall. Paul is a recipient of the Food System 2050 Vision Prize from the Rockefeller Foundation for kwayēskastasowin wâhkôhtowin, a food system vision for the Canadian Prairie.


photo of Linda Kavelin-Popov wearing a Hawaiian-inspired blue dress and resting her face on her hand. She has short, curly white hair and is smiling into the camera.Linda Kavelin-Popov: Linda is the author of seven books, including best-sellers The Family Virtues Guide and A Pace of Grace. The Virtues Project, founded in 1991 by Linda, Dr. Dan Popov and John Kavelin, has sparked a global revolution of kindness, justice, and integrity in more than 120 countries. It was honored by the United Nations as a “model global program for families of all cultures,” and endorsed by The Dalai Lama.  Linda is a psychiatric social worker and has worked in community mental health and private practice. She was named a “cultural creative” by Time Magazine and received the YWCA Woman of Distinction award for international education and development. Linda will be joining us from Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.



Photo of George Brooks wearing a dark suit, white shirt and red tie. George has a small beard, wears glasses and is speaking into a microphone.Dr. George Brooks: Dr. George B. Brooks, Jr. is the Founder, President & CEO of NxT Horizon, an AgTech (Agriculture Technology) consulting firm focusing on sustainable solutions to real world problems and is an expert on the urban aquaculture (aquaponics) of tilapia (fish) and giant freshwater prawns. He is a frequent writer and contributor to magazines including Aquaculture Magazine and Arizona Green Living.  Dr. Brooks is also an Adjunct professor of Horticulture at the Mesa Community College Center for Urban Agriculture where he developed and teaches the course on Aquaponics, one of only 3 such college-level courses in the United States. In addition, he was part of the group that in the 1989’s developed the rules and regulations for Aquaculture in Arizona, most of which are still in effect today.


picture of Sara DeHoff wearing a matching blue sweater and scarf and sharing a friendly smile.Sara DeHoff MEd: Sara DeHoff is a writer, learning artist and author of Collaboration through Consultation. Drawing on 30 years of working in groups of various kinds, Sara writes about community building, working together and developing a learning mindset. She earned an M.Ed from Harvard and has lived, worked and studied in China, Japan, Taiwan and the Czech Republic.  Through all her experiences, the thing that continues to draw her forward is the power of human potential. We are capable of so much! What is it that draws forth from us the best in ourselves? How can we create conditions that allow us to shine? How do we learn together—as individuals, teams and communities—to create a better world?


Forum: Food Security in Action: Here to present examples, share stories and field questions are:

Photo of CJ Pratt and his wife, DeShaun Sparkle Snead-Pratt smiling at the camera from the inside of a greenhouse.CJ Pratt: CJ Pratt owns and operates his own agriculture and landscape company named DoVine (because doing work is Divine). He graduated from MSU’s organic farmer program and has acquired properties through the Ingham county land bank as a means to rejuvenate an impoverished community. Through his company, he is hired to do the landscape and agriculture at Louhelen Baha’i School. On top of that, he is a published allegorical poet and an extremely talented local artist who has done community murals in Lansing Michigan. His true passion is building unity in our communities.



photo of Rose HIgh-Bear. Rose is working outdoors, pulling items from the back of a truck while standing in a field.

Rose High-Bear, Deg Hit’an Dine/Inupiat, is Founder and Executive Director of Elderberry Wisdom Farm, a Native American 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation located in rural Marion County, Oregon. Through her leadership in Wisdom of the Elders and, most recently, Elderberry Wisdom Farm, Rose has developed numerous programs and multimedia learning models dedicated to Native cultural sustainability, health and wellness, and habitat restoration. She is currently directing The Traditional Ecological Knowledge Workforce Project, a 5-year career pathway planning initiative in partnership with Chemeketa Community College that provides an experiential learning model for Native American and other students of color pursuing agricultural careers.



Photo of DRBI Board Vice-Chair Dwight Cox. Dwight is smiling into the camera. He wears glasses, a beard and is wearing a blue-checked, open-necked shirt.Dwight Cox: Founder and head of the General Ala’i Agricultural Project at DRBI, Dwight is a certified Permaculture Designer who focuses on reclaiming desert land by using techniques such as composting and water preservation in order to create a self-sustaining ecosystem.  His work at Desert Rose has seen life return to once arid land.




Deborah Hobbs and Lua Siegal: are here to share learnings on the importance of collaboration, based on the challenges and successes with creating sustainable community gardens. Lua was raised in Chile, where she lived for 26 years, cemented life-long friendships, developed a passion for Socio Economic Development and pursued a career in education.  She now lives in Oregon, where she has raised 5 children.  For the past 5 years she has been teaching gardening to students in grades K-8 in two rural schools.  The opportunity to work in education, and train children to grow, taste and process food and well as build skills for environmental stewardship is a dream job.
Deborah was born and raised in Chicago, moved around the country for many years, and has lived in Corvallis, Oregon since 1984. She retired from a career in developmental biology and public health in 2015 and became a master gardener a few years later. Deborah has found the master gardeners to be an interesting group of people devoted to the science of gardening who love the idea of community-building. Picking up on this love, she has been working to weave bonds of meaningful friendship with all who are open to it.


DRBI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Institute operating out of Eloy Arizona. Proceeds of all sessions are dedicated towards enabling the Institute to continue to provide educational opportunities that meet the needs of our constituents.


April 22 @ 12:00 pm EDT
April 23 @ 8:00 pm EDT






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