Erika Allen (she/her) is the Co-Founder & CEO – Operations for Urban Growers Collective and the President of Green ERA Educational NFP and Co-Owner of Green Era Sustainability Partners. Previously, Allen founded and was the Director of Growing Power – Chicago for 15 years from 2002 to 2017. Allen is the co-founder of the Chicago Food Policy Action Council, serves on the board of Grow Greater Englewood and Leadership Council for Growing Home, and is an advisor for the Community Food Navigator project. Allen has been appointed by IL Governor J.B. Pritzker for the IL Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ICAE) for a 3 Year term (2022-2024). Allen was recently appointed by the Biden Administration to join the Farm Service Agency Committee for Illinois. She is also a Co-Chair of the Food Equity Council for the City of Chicago. Allen received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MA in Art Psychotherapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She uses her experience as a visual artist to consult with individuals and organizations to support their visioning of social and economic changes. She is passionate about social justice and working with multicultural groups in the elimination of racism, related oppressions, and the root causes of poverty by integrating creative and therapeutic techniques alongside food security and community development.