Westside Innovation Fellow 2016 // Civic Innovation Resident 2018
Gangstas to Growers - The Come-Up Project
The Come-Up Project’s mission is to provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to the formerly incarcerated that live in underserved communities.
The Come-Up Project combats youth recidivism rates by offering programming that teaches a holistic array of life skills. The Project focuses on agriculture and food to provide integrative social therapy and education. At the same time, the Project works actively to regenerate ecological, economic, and social landscapes in vulnerable areas. During the six months of her fellowship, Abiodun “Abbey” Henderson developed a pilot program for participants from the 30314 and 30318 zip codes who’d all had experiences with law enforcement. The curriculum merged gardening, farming and urban agriculture with education on the prison-industrial system, self-care, and mentorship.
Abbey hails from a family of activists. After her father’s passing, she decided to turn to her own community where she was inspired by members of the local food movement. The Come-Up Project was born out of the program Gangstas to Growers. Inspired by a former neighbor and friend, Mike, Abbey merged her knowledge and passion around agriculture and community engagement with Mike’s desire to pipe out of the prison industrial system.