Duron Chavis started his career in community advocacy as first a volunteer then an employee of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of VA. While there 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 that focuses on cultural awareness, health, wellness and social change.
Presently Chavis is engaged in coordinating innovative and dynamic initiatives around the topics of urban agriculture and local food systems in a culturally relevant way. In 2009 Chavis launched the Richmond Noir Market, a Saturday farmer’s market targeting low-income communities located in what the USDA has designated as food deserts in Richmond Virginia. 2012 marked the development his first community garden; which subsequently led to the development of urban farms, urban orchards, urban vineyards and work in poverty mitigation, workforce development, health and racial equity.
Chavis 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 is an alumni of Leadership Metro Richmond’s class of 2011, received Style Weekly’s Top 40 under 40 award in 2010, and the Style Weekly Power List in 2014 & 2015. Chavis served as the inaugural director of the Harding Street Urban Ag Center; a recreation center repurposed into an indoor farm by VSU. Currently Chavis serves as Community Engagement Coordinator for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.