Belvie Rooks is Co-Founder of Growing a Global Heart. She is a writer, educator and producer whose work weaves the worlds of spirituality, feminism, ecology and social justice. She is a former board member of Bioneers, The Urban Habitat Program, and the Positive Futures Network/Yes Magazine and is currently Chair of the Board of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and a board member of the Institute for Noetic Sciences, and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. She is a Core Faculty member of Holy Names University's Culture and Spirituality Program. Her published works have appeared in a number of books, publications and anthologies including: Sacred Poems and Prayers in Praise of Life, edited by Mary-Ford Grabowsky (Doubleday); The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult by Alice Walker (Scribner); My Soul is a Witness: African American Women’s Spirituality (Beacon Press); Life Notes: Personal Writings by Black Women (Norton); Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers and Daughters (HarperCollins); Co-Editor, Paris Connections: African American Artists in Paris (QED Press). Paris Connections was an American Book Award winner.
Dedan Gills Co-Founder of GROWING A GLOBAL HEART has pioneered the idea of "Green Recovery"--a concept that combines stewardship and restoration of blighted urban areas with an engaged dialogic process designed to restore the integrity of souls wounded by the crush of modern urban reality. His work incorporates the principles of sustainability, permaculture design, environmental awareness and the greening of the inner spirit as critical aspects of the recovery and healing process. For the past ten years he has worked with people victimized by efforts at survival in our modern urban environment including people who are homeless, suffering from drug addiction and incarceration. He also serves as a surrogate male role model and mentor to young men growing up in these challenging urban environments. Dedan is a writer and poet and associate producer of Watts Up! a documentary film (in progress) about a young man's transformative journey. Dedan has studied and recieved certification in permaculture from Larry Santoyo the chief advocate of urban permacultre.He has traveled extensively and has participated in international conferences on Conflict Resolution, Peace and Global Healing in Russia and Bali. He recently returned from a two-month trip to West Africa, spending time in Ghana and Senegal, as part of an ongoing exploration into the inter-generational impact of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Tidiane Oumar Ba Growing a Global Heart's West African Coordinator, is a Senegalese visual artist, photographer and social justice activist. Currently he is the education and communications specialist with Institute for Popular Education in the West African Nation of Bamako, Mali.
Our Fiscal Sponsor: Federation Of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is a grassroots organization enhancing the quality of life and improving communities in the southern United States for small farmers in general and African American farmers in particular. Founded over 40 years ago, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, assists in the development of cooperatives and credit unions to create economic self-sufficiency. Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund programs consists of advocacy, cooperative business development, credit unions, forestry, housing, land assistance fund, rural training center, and sustainable agriculture. A new project on carbon sequestration and re-forestation has recently been initiated. www.federationsoutherncoop.com