I’m a community activist, an entrepreneur, a business owner, and a product of Acres Home.

Growing up in the ‘hood,’ I saw a lot of disparities left and right, and that caused me a lot of stress. My escape was to run to spend that energy. When my mother passed of congestive heart failure, I learned that African Americans have a higher risk for high blood pressure and other factors that lead to heart disease. It inspired me to get out and run even more than before.

A lot of the time I was by myself, and I had the chance to observe things I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I remember that one day a butterfly landed right on me, and that simple experience sparked my interest in seeing what else was out there in nature. In part because of experiences like that, I now have a production company. We create t-shirts, embroidery, silk screening…and messages inspired by nature are there in the items we produce.

As I grew older in the neighborhood, I got involved in community activism. I felt empowered and realized I can make a change in the world around me. We are shaped by our parents, environment, and the beliefs of people around us, and I had certain elements that were not positive in my life. But in contrast with that, I found that everything was in balance in nature, and I felt inspired to work in my community to create better balance there, too.

In the area I am in now, we have hawks, ducks, bass—we see some of the most fascinating things. I’m grateful for the work that’s been done to make it such a beautiful site. There definitely is a marriage between urban living and nature. It’s awesome. And it’s ours. This is a great city. OWN IT.