Gangstas to Growers Youth Prorgram
Every day in our neighborhoods we see and feel the left-overs 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 to 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 nations 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 not only 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 with knowledge and practice. Through our partnership with Work Source Atlanta, during the program trainees earn $12.50/hr for participating in class and preparing our renowned Sweet Sol Hot Sauce and Wet Rub. Work Source Atlanta also pays 75% of all program graduate's wages for 3 months once placed at post-program job site.
Gangstas to Growers is committed to building sustainable organizations models. Doing so by funding majority of the program through making and selling all natural locally sourced hot sauce. In order to launch our full program we are dependent on community support. By giving to Gangstas to Growers you will provide us with the ability to secure a van for transportation, fees for educators and class materials, zero-waste kits and trainee uniforms for our June cohort!
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 is also 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 providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to our formerly incarcerated that live in underserved 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 teeming with commerce, and our communities are vibrant and happy. We actively regenerate our ecological, economic, and social landscapes.
Check us out!