Erika Allen is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Operations for the Urban Growers Collective. She 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. Integrating the creative and therapeutic techniques with food security and community development have enabled Erika to establish multiple urban farms and agriculture training and education programs. She is passionate about social justice and working with multicultural groups in the elimination of racism and oppression. Erika served as Commissioner for the Chicago Park District from 2012 – 2017 and serves on the boards of Chicago Food Policy Action Council and Neighbor Space, as well as a founding member of the Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative. Erika is a visual artist and consults with individuals and organizations to support visioning and planning of social change objectives. Erika Allen founded and was the Director of Growing Power – Chicago for 15-years prior to the closing of the organization in 2017.