We are Rasheed Hislop and Rosalba Lopez Ramirez - we are people of color working in environmental fields in New York City. We work to support community-led open space development through community and school gardens as well as promoting efforts to prevent local organic material from ending up in landfills and turning it into a valuable resource in the form of compost and methane gas for sustainable energy. We are happily married parents of a wonderful boy named Hatuey (see photo). If there is nothing else we can do in this world it is to honor our ancestors by working to build a future that restores rather than destroys our Mother Earth.
(At the Melrose New Generation community garden in the Bronx, NY where Rasheed conducted a square foot gardening workshop. )
We hope to do so by working to grow community through land, people and food. Our journey towards establishing space(s) where these dreams can be realized currently includes our participation in both local and national professional development and training programs, which include the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) and Farm School NYC. The ELP is a national program that supports visionary, action-oriented, and diverse leadership for a just and sustainable future. Farm School NYC is an urban agriculture training program with a commitment to grassroots social justice and grassroots leadership in food justice and food sovereignty efforts in New York City at its core. These training programs represent much more than professional development or career/skills-building opportunities for us. We view them as critical stepping stones towards developing our shared vision for growing community by establishing a land-based learning space(s) for the public good with a focus on empowering young people of color to envision the world they want to live in and the role they hope to play in making that world become a reality. We believe in the transformative power of the human-earth (re)connection and hope to create opportunities for these (re)connections to take place in these space(s).
(Our little farmer boy, Hatuey at the Red Hook Community Farm, Brooklyn, NY).
WE ARE IN NEED OF TUITION ASSISTANCE TO SUPPORT OUR PARTICIPATION IN BOTH THE ELP AND FARM SCHOOL NYC. The tuitions for these programs help to keep them going and also to support community-based educators who facilitate our courses and trainings. We need to pay our tuitions by August 31, 2017 in order to complete the programs and stay on track to do so, respectively.
(Rosalba at the Kelly Street Garden in the Bronx experimenting with a compost sifter made by youth with the guidance of instructor Malayka Rios.)
Your contribution will directly support the leadership of us as people of color and our work towards a just world in which we hold future generations of both human and non-human entities with equal weight as our own. This work cannot be done alone and our collective power is what is required in order to make real change possible. By contributing, you can directly support this collective power and making real change happen.
We are EXTREMELY grateful for any support you can provide - whatever it may be. This means so much to us and we cannot thank you enough for your help.
(A moment of smiles in Brooklyn- Rasheed, Hatuey & Rosalba. Photo Credit: Mark Gellineau- instagram@markgellineau and www.gellineau.com)
Peace & Light
Rasheed Hislop & Rosalba Lopez Ramirez