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Our Story

Roots of Change, a project of Southwest Workers Union, works to address environmental racism directly through practicing urban agriculture. We believe in using the garden as a tool to care for each other. Our goal is to help build a sustainable community equipped with skills and knowledge to create a food system that puts people first.



In 2006, Southwest Workers Union began an Eastside sustainability initiative in response to the struggle to defeat further development of fuel storage tanks. An integral part of our local movement for climate justice in San Antonio has been the development of home-grown solutions that are culturally-appropriate and led by those who are most affected by the local causes of climate change.  While the potential for a vibrant green economy in San Antonio is growing, the grassroots communities have little to no access to low cost methods for sustainability and "green" technology.  SWU has won significant campaigns to increase conservation programs, passed a sustainability plan and shifted policy to support local food system. 


To date, the SWU complex has acquired over an acre of unused, brownfield land.  In 2006, we began the process of transformation into a functioning community garden, the first food producing community space in the city. The name Roots of Change developed from the realization that the long term transformation of our neighborhood will come from within the community.  We aim to build upon this success by further developing the SWU complex as the first grassroots-level sustainability center in San Antonio

Building Shared Knowledge 

Intergenerational, multi-cultural sharing is critical to localized food systems. A key element of building a strong community is sharing best practices, seeds, traditional and medicinal knowledge, and skills. These are all needed for the continued benefit of our families and sustainable food systems. 

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