via Wanderlust Design by Anna Mae Abia
On a particularly hot Friday afternoon, the team (Tyler, Cedomir, Thiago, and I) along with fellow classmates Juliana and Ricardo made the trek out to Hunts Point in South Bronx to meet with Tanya Fields of the BLK Projek. Her organization seeks to address food justice, public & mental health issues as they specifically relate to under served women of colour through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening and community programming.
Having a similar upbringing with issues of immigration, under served women of colour, and community involvement, I felt a very strong connection to use my skills to help this organization.
After speaking to Tanya at length about the current situation in Hunts Point (a low-income neighborhood of mostly a hispanic and black population), we took a short walking tour of the neighbourhood and was introduced to the other organizations working in the community such as the Majora Carter Group, the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, the POINT, and Mothers on the Move.
We then crammed into Tanya’s unbearably hot van and drove around the industrial area that is dominated by the New York City Terminal Market, Hunts Point Cooperative Market, New Fulton Fish Market, Spofford Juvenile Centre, and the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Centre, an 800-bed barge currently used as part of the New York City Department of Corrections. This space is designed to handle inmates from medium- to maximum-security in 16 dormitories and 100 cells.
We will be sure to return again to talk to the people in the neighbourhood to find out their most pressing issues and how we can help them sustain their community.