Updated: Oct 4, 2021
Here at Thriving Communities, we believe that storytelling is a way to ignite action and connection in our communities. Sometimes all it takes to inspire a future change-maker is seeing examples of other folks igniting change themselves.
In 2019, Thriving Communities produced a short film about a young woman, Nyema Clark, who after her release from prison started an urban farm to restore food access and equity in her Seattle neighborhood. Nyema, the Executive Director of Nurturing Roots, is a woman with a plan—ready to restore access to small farms in her neighborhood. Nurturing Roots is about sharing the truth of systemic oppression, with an emphasis on food and environmental justice. It’s also about access, education, and re-engaging folks with their environment.
Another partner organization of Thriving Communities, iCare in Milwaukee, WI, got wind of Nyema Clark and her food justice fight in Seattle. Our advisor at iCare, Lisa Holden, shared Nyema's video and story with work colleagues and ignited a fire. Her colleagues were so impressed by Nyema's story that they started a similar program within the iCare network. They engaged volunteers to partner with a local non-profit, Teens Grow Greens, and purchase the necessary supplies to create easy-to-grow container gardens for iCare elderly members. The team successfully delivered these container gardens in early August 2021 and they hold regular Zoom meetings with participating members where they show a PowerPoint presentation about gardening and nutrition. The team hopes to expand the program next summer by connecting more members to urban gardens close to their homes.