Anushka Gupta, Youth Press Team 2023

This year at the New York Sun Works Youth Conference, many innovative voices came onto the stage to express their passion for the earth, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. Among those people was Qiana Mickie, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture, who has been working on food justice in the hopes that all people would have access to healthy, fresh foods, no matter what. 

When asked what she does in her job, she said she works with many people like farmers, scientists, and gardeners on “trying to find ways to be innovative and support healthy fresh food production here in the city,” and “getting creative with stakeholders and partners and agency leagues on how you can minimize contributions to climate change.” She also mentioned that some New Yorkers were unaware that food can be grown here, and she works to spread the word that food can and is being grown here in the city.

She finished the interview by talking about how being the first director of this new office was an interesting experience for her, because though she found it fun to be constantly learning, exploring, and using creativity, she felt overwhelmed by all the stuff she wanted to do for the planet. Personally, I think she and the other wonderful speakers who shared their projects and experiences were very inspirational, and left me with something to think about.