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Our 1-day Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World, April 19, features a morning plenary and roundtable sessions followed by interactive workshops and walkshops in the afternoon. Building on the Summit is our Conference, April 20-21, featuring keynotes speakers, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.

Please note: Schedules are now locked from being changed. If you would like to make changes to your schedule, please come see us at the registration desk. See you in Vancouver!
avatar for Dilafruz Williams

Dilafruz Williams

Portland State University
Portland, Oregon
Dr. Dilafruz Williams is Professor and cofounder of Leadership for Sustainability Education, a Master’s program and Learning Gardens Laboratory with dozens of partnerships. Dilafruz is passionate about gardening and connecting schools, students, teachers, and parents with soil and food.

In 2014, she was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for Science in the Learning Gardens, for middle schools. Her second co-authored book is "Learning Gardens and Sustainability Education: Bringing Life to Schools and Schools to Life" (Routledge, 2012). Elected city-wide, she served on the Portland School Board, 2003-2011.

Recipient of several prestigious awards, Dilafruz has degrees from Bombay, Syracuse, and Harvard Universities in the sciences, public administration, and philosophy of education.

Dilafruz’s keynotes and writing focus on inclusion in environmental education, service-learning, and learning gardens, with latest scholarship: "Case Studies of School Garden Programs" based on 100+ gardens she has visited over ten years. Her ecent publications:

Williams, D. R. (2017, in press). Garden-based education. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford University Press.

Williams, D. R. & Anderson, J. A. (2015). Tongue-tied no more: Diversity pedagogy and sense of place in the Learning Gardens. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 20: 26-46.

Williams. D. R. (2015). Regenerative hope: Pedagogy of action and agency in the Learning Gardens. Journal of Sustainability Education, 10: 1-19.

Her inspiration for writing/teaching comes from nature and works of Wendell Berry, Gandhi, Mary Oliver, Rumi, Pablo Neruda, among others. Dilafruz believes that children and youth embody wisdom that can be tapped through intimate connections with nature.