Nakisa shared about the intersection of nature and its disappearance growing up, as well as her growing awareness of it, family, community, and a polluting cement factory appearing in her neighborhood. We recorded shortly after the Buffalo shooting of May 2022, and talking about access to fresh produce disappearing from her neighborhood touched on it. Everything led to her sharing about her plans to garden and the role of gardening in her life growing up. She hasn't made the headway she wanted to, but isn't letting up. We'll have to wait for another episode to hear about more visible results, but she shares plenty about gardening and how we could use more in all neighborhoods. I think you'll hear her talking about nature, through gardening, bringing inspiration and freedom.
Nakisa talks about her community in Charlotte, North Carolina, the environmental and social challenges it faces, the level of engagement, the biases in difficulties in engaging for people who work long or unusual hours, advantages to big businesses, and other challenges. She also talks about her work facing these challenges, organizing and enabling people to solve them. We talk about civic engagement beyond voting, acting beyond in election years, and running for office. In this episode, you'll hear from her experience and perspective what you face motivating and leading communities on the receiving end of polluting industries, historically locked out of politics, not knowing how to start, but needing to start if they hope to reverse those historical trends. You'll hear her enthusiasm, which I see increasing since her being discovered to attend the conference she described in her first episode. I think you'll like the commitment she chooses. I can't wait to hear her results.
Nakisa describes herself as naturally loving science, born into a hip hop world, combining these starting points. She starts by describing her journey growing up not learning that much about our environmental situation, seeing it as abstract and unrelated to her world, to being discovered for her ability to communicate, organize, and influence. The more she learned, the more she saw it as more than just affecting her life and community, it was critically damaging it. She saw the environmental problems as intertwined with social issues that were already priorities. The polluting cement factory in her neighborhood that fouled the air wasn't just an eyesore that illustrated a failure of democracy for being an eyesore never considered to be built in a rich neighborhood. It made people sick. She acted. She organized, and the more she got results, the more she committed.