Since 2016 Gangstas to Growers and Sweet Sol have worked hard to secure resources in Atlanta, GA. Oftentimes without staff, a budget or even transportation. In our sixth year, we are turning a new leaf. We are securing the necessary funds for a self-sustaining programmatic future.
Every day in our neighborhoods, we see and feel the leftovers of centuries of systemic discrimination. The west side of Atlanta carries the weight of economic injustice, housing segregation and wealth inequality. Surviving the trauma of market crashes and racist policies, our neighborhood and our people have never had time to heal.
Gangstas to Growers is committed to giving Black youth the time to heal, experience economic relief, and access new careers. G2G is the inaugural program of The Come Up Project, a multi-faceted grassroots collective developing self-sustaining social enterprises and worker cooperatives as solutions to our nation's problems.
Gangstas to Growers is an agribusiness training program for formerly incarcerated Black youth on the West Side of Atlanta. While in the program, trainees learn how to build and run businesses; they participate in a robust curriculum of personal, professional, and skill development. The course load includes Environmental Responsibility with Fort Negrita, Group Therapy with Ursula Kelly, Financial Literacy with the AYA Institute, Business Development with Nature's Candy Farms, Yoga with Zahra Alabanza, Political Education with ATLisREADY and other grassroots organizations, Sexual Education and STI/HIV Screenings, Health and Nutritional Cooking with Kings Apron and on the farm work experience with the Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative (SWAG) and West GA Farmers' Cooperative.
Every week is packed full of knowledge and practice and a paycheck.
Gangstas to Growers is committed to building sustainable organizations models. Doing so by funding the majority of the program through making and selling all-natural locally-sourced hot sauce. To sustain our training program, we are dependent on community support. By giving to Gangstas to Growers, you will provide us with the ability to secure two full training cohorts, maintain transportation, fees for educators and class materials, zero-waste kits, trainee uniforms and begin to secure our own facilities.
The Come-Up Project Founder and Chief Growing Officer Abiodun Henderson is a graduate of the Village Micro Fund's Business Development Cohort and the Center for Civic Innovation's Westside Innovation Lab. The program has also been supported by the City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Resilience and the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative, Food Well Alliance, Food Oasis, Greening Youth Foundation and Georgia State's Masters of Social Work Program.
THANK YOU for helping us fulfill our mission: To put into practice a holistic approach to providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for our formerly incarcerated youth that live in resource neglected communities.
And our Vision: With the help of our most vulnerable population, our local farms are full of delicious organic food, our markets and businesses are beaming with locally-owned commerce, and our communities are vibrant and happy. We actively regenerate our ecological, economic, and social landscapes.