Excerpt from a beautifully written piece about the Bronx describing 5 radically creative and driven people who are changing local circumstances through their passion for literature. A salute to strong people who look at a problem and think creatively to take action towards real change. Thank you for the reminder that local moves can make measurable, impactful change.
I was drawn to the article as I spent some time years ago working for the NYC Department of Health, traipsing around the Bronx as a Public Health Advisor for Disease Control. My work took me into hospitals, homes, businesses, and medical offices – meeting, and hopefully helping people whose stories, struggles, choices, and conditions will stick with me for the rest of my life in beautiful, humbling, and heart-breaking ways. Tracking medical records and disease management, along with environmental observations (and let’s be honest – bureaucratic bs) ultimately led to my choice to leave NYC and give farming a fair shake. At the time I was planning to farm for a few months while applying to law schools; I wanted to work in Health Policy. Within a few weeks I was weighing the options: beating my brains trying to make policy changes or feeding people healthy food.
Well, here I am many moons later, farming away.
The places that brought me where I am today are still close to my heart and Jennifer Baker’s article brings these 5 community members’ work to the forefront, showing that a community with a sob story for a reputation can move forward with giant strides and build a community to take pride in.
We can choose to embody a different narrative than that which we have been instructed to inherit.
Here’s a link to the full article on http://www.electricliterature.com : https://electricliterature.com/how-the-bronx-is-building-a-vibrant-literary-community-d2e9a1aa958b , check it out!
And on that note, a re-imagined Block city, with green roofs, rooftop gardens! Think about it ROC.
Flip ya blocks, flip ya life.
The down and dirty afterword, if you’re still reading…
Sustainable change, progress, takes effort from all levels: grassroots to global, and anyone choosing to invest personally in change evaluates their own capacities and gifts, and at what level these would be most impactful. I’ve found my place at the root-iest level and am thankful that someone somewhere is fighting for good food policy. What about you?