I’ve previously posted about Ron Finley, aka “the Gangsta Gardener,” the world’s most famous “guerrilla gardener,” but I wanted to make a special post today as Ron and his team fight to save the beloved South Central Los Angeles community garden that has inspired so many people worldwide. Not only has Ron kept urban youth out of gangs and helped turn around health issues that directly stem from poverty — by addressing the problem of food deserts in his area, he also started a movement with supporters and activists all around the world.
Here’s the TED talk that put Ron on the radar of so many movers, shakers, social justice warriors, and innovators:
Ron Finley’s ripple effect is huge! Along with Colette at Bealtaine Cottage, Ron was a key inspiration for me to accept the 2012 challenge of this crazy, horribly broken and ugly yard in Goshen. As David and I prepare voluntarily to transition elsewhere, Ron faces unwelcome and massive pressure from Strategic Acquisitions, Inc., who have threatened to evict him and destroy the entire Gangsta Garden if they don’t pay $500,000 by the end of this week. I’ve already signed the petition, donated, sent Reiki and also wrote a letter on their behalf to Strategic Acquisitions. Amazingly, they have raised over $318,000 from gardeners, fans, and high profile supporters like Bette Midler and Jason Mraz.
But they need more. If you click through to the latest update, you’ll find quotes from inspired people from around the world, including part of my letter urging Strategic Acquisitions to consider the opportunity for modeling community capitalism. It turns out that Maureen (“Mo”), the campaign manager knows Goshen well! Small world, but she visited here many years ago and wrote to personally thank me not only for my letter but also because she knows that Goshen “needs the love” I’ve poured into it these past 4.5 years.
Ron and his community have poured love into the Gangsta Garden for longer than that, and they’ve built a network of kindness, support and empowerment. This is much more than a garden. It’s a movement, and I hate to see some rapacious corporation devour all that love, nature, better health, and effort. If you feel so moved, please consider signing their petition, donating and/or sending a whole lotta love and Reiki their way. They’ve done a beautiful thing in South Central L.A. and touched hearts around the world.
I find myself crying as I type this, wanting so much to see humanity rise beyond those who would control our food, bodies, minds, hearts and souls. People like Ron and his Gangsta Garden crew have overcome so much and been the change they wish to see in the world. May they find whatever they need and receive fourfold blessings from this ordeal.
Heartfelt thanks and blessings to anyone who feels led to offer your support.