Introducing Ibrahim Ali, Our New Director!!
Ibrahim Ali (M.Ed) is the new Director of the Gardening the Community (GTC) program. Ibrahim’s role includes working with the incoming youth for the growing season, establishing community relations with groups and educators to foster community gardening, and utilizing methods to enhance programming in general. He is a recent Masters degree recipient in Education from Lesley University (Cambridge), and has created and organized youth groups throughout New York City, Springfield, MA and Northampton, MA.
Ibrahim is also heavily involved in Hiphop culture, and has lectured (Hampshire, Greenfield Community College) on his 15+ years in this field. Additionally he has created an organization (Western New England Hip Hop) that spans from Burlington, VT to New Haven CT and is currently developing curriculum that will have artists teaching and lecturing in various schools and community groups throughout Western New England area.
1. How does it feel to be the new Director of GtC?
Aside from the fact that I am humbled to part of such an important city organization, I am quite eager to get started and grow some food!
2. What made you decide to join GtC
My interest in working with youth has been a 10+ year odyssey taking me from Brownsville- Brooklyn, NY to Northampton, MA (and stops in between). GtC presented with with an opportunity to work with youth in a different capacity, encourage healthy and sustainable living, and ride a bike again!
3. How do you see community gardens impacting the City of Springfield?
At the first meeting I attended (which was a collection of a handful of community organizations and churches), I was surprised to see the number of groups that were interested or had already started community gardens. Food is not an infinite resource, and the sooner we incorporate this type of independence with our food locally, perhaps we will will make those most vulnerable to poor nutrition or unhealthy food choices more empowered in what they eat. Organic/healthy foods should not be synonymous with only wealthy individuals and families.
4. What do you like to do for fun?
I run various other music related enterprises, but the most fun is when I’m with my sons, family, and friends.
5. What your favorite vegetable?
So many! Broccoli, spinach, green beans, peppers (red, green, orange, green), squash, brussel sprouts, dark leaf lettuce, onions, egg plant, carrots, etc.