Duron Chavis

Manager of Community Engagement

Duron started his career in community advocacy as first a volunteer and later as an employee of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of VA. He worked as a museum coordinator developing programs and conducting guided tours for groups of all ages and backgrounds. In 2003 he founded the highly acclaimed Happily Natural Day festival as a grassroots effort to supplement the summer jazz concert that was held annually at the institution. The festival is a weekend-long experience focuses on cultural identity for people of African Ancestry, holistic health, wellness and social change.

In 2009 Duron launched the Richmond Noir Market, a Saturday pop-up farmer’s market targeting low-income communities located in what the USDA has designated as food deserts in Richmond, VA. In 2012 he developed McDonough Community Garden; and began transforming green spaces throughout the Richmond Region into urban gardens, farms, orchards, and vineyards. He served as one of 40 community facilitator’s for dialogues on concentrated poverty throughout the Richmond Region on behalf of Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities which paved the way for the development of the city of Richmond’s Office of Community Wealth Building. He served on both the Food Policy Task Force as well as Anti-Poverty Taskforce for the City of Richmond and participated as a member of the inaugural Citizen’s Advisory Board for the Office of Community Wealth Building.

Duron has received numerable accolades for his work. He served in 2011 as a Clean Air Ambassador on behalf of Earthjustice and the Hip Hop Caucus. He received Style Weekly’s Top 40 under 40 award in 2010 and is an alumnus of Leadership Metro Richmond’s class of 2011, and the Style Weekly Power List in 2014  and 2015. Duron served as the inaugural director of the Harding Street Urban Ag Center; a recreation center repurposed into an indoor farm by VSU. In 2017, Duron was honored by the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a Person of the Year.

As Manager of Community Engagement at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Duron coordinates innovative and dynamic initiatives around the topics of urban agriculture and food security in a culturally relevant way. Duron administrates the Ginter Urban Gardener program, a 12-week, neighborhood-centric community greening training and cultivates collaboration and partnership for the creation and sustainability of public greenspaces through Beautiful RVA, a cross-sector, multi-disciplinary social movement dedicated to creating a more beautiful Richmond Region.

Learn more about Beautiful RVA and the Ginter Urban Gardener program.

(804) 262-9887 x 222
[email protected]

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