Root to Rise!


July 29th- August 4th, 2019 at Potomac Vegetable Farms

Calling all young wom*n between the ages of 15-18 to apply here! (Rolling application)

***Donate to our scholarship fund through our Go Fund Me to make this program accessible to everyone***

Program Description:
Root to Rise is a one week leadership program for the next generation of  young wom*n leaders and change makers. It takes place at Potomac Vegetable Farms, a four decade old, women-owned and run farm.  
Over the course of the week we will farm and garden alongside one another, learning about the seeds, and roots of the plants we tend as well as the histories and legacies of the soil.  We weave together hands-on farming opportunities with deep, interactive discussions and activities that explore the socio-political complexities of our food system and its effect on people and the environment.  Together we learn about the roots and toxins of settler colonialism, race and racism, classism and environmental exploitation through the lens of our food system. We draw from the framework and certain social movement principles of agroecology especially pertaining to youth offering new and important roles in society, and women playing key roles in society as well as utilizing social, political and culture processes as tools for collective transformation.
By integrating expressive arts, movement, music, cooking, land-based crafts, and cultivating a deep sense of land connection through honing nature skills, we aim to empower young wom*n by re-awakening their connection to themselves, the earth and each other.
We believe that combining practical, hands-on skills with theoretical understanding of systems, the expressive arts and nature connection provides a powerful grounding force and base of confidence inspiration and vision for young wom*n to move through the world and affect change. We want to train young wom*n to be leaders in their communities, and to have the skills and embodied confidence to critically and creatively think about how to transform the world into a more just, equitable and healthy place. We do this through the food system as our lens, and our farm and surrounding woods as our place of practice.
We believe that rooting more deeply in our histories, our embodied awareness, and nature allows us to rise to our full potential and imagine creative solutions for the next generation.
*Definition of Wom*n: Inclusive of women, femmes, and any person whose gender identity is feminine-of-center
Accomodations: Youth will sleep in tent platforms with access to an outhouse as well as flush water toilets and running water.
When: 9:30am Monday July 29th – 3:00pm Monday August 4th, 2019
Where: Potomac Vegetable Farms WEST located at 38369 John Wolford Rd. Hillsboro, VA.
Cost: $600-$1400 sliding scale which includes all farm fresh meals.No one will be turned away for lack of funds! Contact us, we’ll make it work. The actual cost is $1000 per person. If you’re able able to pay above actual cost, you will enable amazing young leaders to participate.
Pay what you can!

Root to Rise Application here!

Questions? Contact

Meet the Root to Rise Educators!:

Richael Faithful (Rish-elle, they/them pronouns) is a folk healing artist from the African diaspora tradition of the U.S. South, called conjure. Faithful supports spirit-work for and with land, nature, and meaning of place through ritual, storytelling, and other majik. In their role as a community lawyer, Faithful helps land sovereignty efforts for Indigenous and Black especially within food and land justice movements. Faithful, who was raised in Centreville, VA, and whose maternal line is from Texas/Alabama/Georgia, is excited to share about ancestral land healing with young people in this region.




Sophia Maravell (Pronouns: she/her/hers) grew up on a seed saving organic farm in Montgomery County, MD. After attending the farm school for organic vegetable production and animals husbandry, she co-founded Brickyard Educational Farm and received her MA in Education focusing on land-based communities. She managed high school farm-based summer camp programs at Hawthorne Valley Farm where she worked as a farm-based educator and now works as a community educator and farm worker at Potomac Vegetable Farms in Virginia. Sophia is committed to generational healing through connecting to grief, land and our collective histories. She is excited to bring her knowledge of plants, growing food, land-based crafts, cooking, song and building skills to this summer’s Root to Rise!


Catherine Frost
(Pronouns: she/her/hers)
Playwright (Welders 3.0) | Teaching Artist | Arts Administrator
Catherine Frost is a theatre practitioner, teaching artist, and arts administrator. She is one of six members in the next generation of playwrights taking over The Welders — Washington DC’s only playwrights’ collective devoted exclusively to developing and producing new work. Catherine currently serves as a Teaching Artist with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater, and Young Playwrights’ Theater. You can also find her staffing events at the Anacostia Arts Center, a creative rental facility supporting artists, small businesses, and the historic Anacostia neighborhood. At Forum Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Catherine has supported free public arts programming by curating innovative, diverse, and inclusive events with local community activists and service providers. Her philanthropic experience includes reviewing grant applications from both individuals and organizations at the Weissberg Foundation, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities where she has also been an administrative assistant. She graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, CA with a Major in Africana Studies and a Minor in Theatre. Her thesis play blue heart beats won the Ninth Annual Gaffney Playwriting Award from the University of California, San Diego and was presented in the 2017 Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival in DC. Catherine hails from Washington, DC and is happy to continue making a home in the rich arts community of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Julia Metzger-Traber (Pronouns: she/her/hers) is a facilitator of imaginative, creative and healing processes for social transformation. She brings her backgrounds in performance, eco-somatics, and meditation into her political healing, education and strategic visioning work with communities and organizations. In 2015, she completed her Masters in Peace and Conflict Transformation and had her thesis on her facilitation philosophy published internationally as a book in June, 2018. She has worked in public health, community organizing and international peace, on the streets, in nonprofits and through the academy. These days she works mostly domestically with farmers, land-based communities, racial justice and food justice organizations. Since 2017 she has lived at Potomac Vegetable Farms, in Virginia, where, in addition to her external facilitation, she is farming, teaching, organizing and co-creating a center for healing justice and spiritual ecology. She is currently training with Generative Somatics and believes that communities, like bodies, hold the wisdom needed for their own healing and transformation, if attended to with curiosity, compassion and awareness.

Aleya Fraser (She/hers)

Aleya Fraser is a returning generation farmer from Baltimore, MD by way of the Caribbean island of Trinidad and the Deep American South. She came to farming through her ancestral background and through the medical field with a bachelors degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. Through this education and these experiences she began to understand food as medicine. She is also a lifelong student and educator with a teaching certificate in secondary biology which she used to teach middle school life and physical sciences as well as high school biology in Camden, New Jersey. Farming and feeding people’s physical and mental health through land stewardship is the crux of all of her passions. Since she started farming and organizing her communitie around food sovereignty, Aleya has taken and facilitated many courses in agroecology, permaculture and AFROecology. She has also worked in the ground on multiple farms, organized many land based gatherings of activists and organizers at her farm and around the region, and worked in other levels of the food system as a consultant for various organizations and farm businesses.   


Thank you to the following people and organizations helping to make Root to Rise possible through their generous contributions to our robust scholarship fund:

Miriama Kaba–

Mariame Kaba is a powerful and visionary organizer, educator and curator. She has been a national leader and enormous inspiration through her tireless work on ending violence, dismantling the prison industrial complex, facilitating pathways for transformative justice and supporting youth leadership development.  She is founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration, which is one of many organizations she has founded and led over the years in Chicago and NYC.

She was a 2016-2017 Soros Justice Fellow where she extended and expanded her work to end the criminalization of survivors of violence.  Currently she is a researcher in residence on Race, Gender, Sexuality and Criminalization at the Social Justice Institute of the Barnard Center for Research on Women through September 2020.  She is co-leading a new initiative called Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action with Andrea J. Ritchie.

Listen to an interview of Mariama Kaba on Adrienne Maree Brown’s podcast here.

 Fox Haven Farms–

Fox Haven is an herbal farm, ecological retreat and learning center, and wildlife sanctuary in Frederick Maryland. The Learning Center specializes in classes on topics like herbal medicine, wild food foraging, land reciprocity, plant-based cooking, mindfulness in nature and conservation and restoration of land. The Retreat Center hosts groups from all over the world wanting to slow down and connect with nature. The farm is a multi-partner endeavor that includes herbal medicinal crops, rotational dairy grazing, organic vegetable production and holistic orcharding and reforestation efforts. 


Thank you to Kelley Wills from Brainflower Designs for designing the amazing Root to Rise graphics!

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