Jenga Mwendo, a Lower 9th Ward native and current resident homeowner, is the founder of the Backyard Gardeners Network and has worked since 2007 to strengthen the Lower Ninth Ward community – organizing neighbors to revitalize and create gardens, planting trees, and developing support systems to encourage and support the culture of growing in the neighborhood by and for the Lower 9th Ward and the larger Black community of New Orleans. Mwendo has worked with the Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development to lead a Food Action Planning initiative, and Tulane City Center as a Community Organizer. She is a graduate of the Southern University Agricultural Leadership Institute, a 2010 TogetherGreen Fellow, and a 2011-13 IATP Food and Community Fellow. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work including 2010 Cox Conserves Heroes, the 2011 Gambit 40 Under Forty, and the 2014 EBONY Magazine “Hero Next Door.” Mwendo is a recent graduate of the Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development (MSRED) at Tulane University in New Orleans.
Courtney Clark, Programming Coordinator
Courtney Clark is a lifelong Lower Ninth Ward resident. She is also a mom of a great set of twins, an advocate for mental health, food justice and clean eating! On top of all of that, she is an author (working on her first cookbook) and an artist!!
For the past decade, she has served the New Orleans community as an advocate for social justice and transformation on and off the stage. Whether in public schools or at local businesses and ally organizations, Charm’s vision and mission in her life’s works is to: uplift, heal, nurture, nourish, and positively impact the lives of all she may encounter. Currently, she serves as Coordinator of Youth Internship and Outreach at Backyard Gardeners Network and is a contributing recording and performance artist at Sinking City Records.
Diane Jones-Allen, Board Member
Katie Sissac, Board Member
Dawn Mellion-Patin, Board Member
Shelia Phillips, Board President