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The Inspiring Bronx

April 9th, 2015 · 1 Comment

To some, perhaps the idea that they should look to the Bronx for true inspiration likely seems foreign.  Here are three examples of Bronx institutions and people who take my breath away and inspire me with hope as to ways to solve problems and create opportunities …

Sustainable South Bronx (SSBX) (and its founder, Majora Carter) is truly inspirational as to how to leverage a green economy and other paths toward social equity & strength, economic performance, and greening/cleaning up some of the nation’s dirtiest streets.

The Bronx Community College’s Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), operating in one of the most stressed communities and community colleges in the nation, is providing servicesNYC - Bronx: Hall of Fame for Great Americans ranging from training for jobs in solar installations to being on a path to being a leading biodiesel research / development center. (Full disclosure: I was a key note speaker at their annual 2014 conference which gave me to learn about CSE’s programs and plans and to visit something at the Bronx Community College that I regret that I’d never even heard of before, America’s first hall of fame…)

And, others fighting every day for a cleaner and more prosperous Bronx.

And, something that I just learned about …

Green Bronx Machine is both an institution and an individual:  Stephen Ritz. Ritz is a teacher in the poorest Congressional district in America with classrooms filled with children facing serious challenges to ‘equality’ in their opportunities.  And, as a teacher who any (sensible) parent would love to have their child TEDxManhattan2014-035to have, Ritz is doing more than his part to address and overcome these challenges.

He has created a program focused on green — on growing food (which ends up in his student’s and community residents’ bellies) and on vertical gardens. Moving from basic seeds to some leading edge urban agricultural technologies and techniques. But, the food is not the end state …

For New York public school teacher Ritz and the students participating in his hybrid urban farming and workforce development program, the Green Bronx Machine, growing fresh produce in an unconventional inner city setting goes hand in hand with upward mobility and community revitalization.

My favorite crop is organically grown citizens — graduates, members of the middle class, kids who are going to college, …Social sustainability and a living wage is at the heart of innovation. The green economy — that represents jobs today, now and into the future.

For true inspiration, take some time to watch and listen to Ritz … for example, his Ted talk.

Or, the video that introduced me to Green Bronx Machine with an excellent article at Green Biz.

If inspired, Green Bronx Machine targets a National Health & Wellness Center in the Bronx  … hard to imagine that Ritz and his team would not leverage any donation that you can make to achieve real results.


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