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Q + A : G4C FINALISTS, #3

Posted by admin | July 23rd, 2010 | Filed under Grant for Change

Third set of Finalist answers, with more to come on Monday…

Original Scraper Bikes (answers provided by Tyrone Stevenson)

scraper_bikes_1_550x382

1) What projects and change-makers inspire you in your efforts?

The program that inspires my efforts is the Big Brother-Big Sister program. A lot of young people around the country have problems at home, and they don’t have someone older to guide them in a positive direction. The youth in my community (Oakland, CA) are bred to be a statistic; they’re taught at an early age how to rob, steal, and kill to survive. That’s why I feel like it’s my life goal to save as many kids as possible. The struggles these kids and I face on the daily is enough to inspire me to become a change-maker for my community. So here I stand!

2) if you could meet with anyone in the world to talk about your project, who would it be?

If I could meet with anybody in the world about my project it would have to be Oprah Winfrey. I choose her because I know the power she has on America and her opinion means a lot to people. I would want her to recognize the Scraper Bike Movement as an outlet that’s keeping youth in dangerous communities out of trouble, in school and away from drugs, gangs, and violence. And after that conversation, she calls President Obama and tells him how amazed she is…LoL…

3) What’s playing on your mp3 player these days?

Lately I’ve been listening to alot of R&B oldies from Michael Jackson, Al Green, Earth, Wind and Fire, even a little bit of 2pac. But usually I’ll listen to a lot of local hip hop while riding my 3 wheeler around my neighborhood with the Scraper Bike Team.

4) Making lasting change requires long-term vision. Where would you like to see your project in 5 years?

5 years from now I see my project being larger than life. The Scraper Bike Movement will franchise around the world helping communities in similar situations as Oakland. In 5 years I want to give youth full scholarships to college, and skills that will stick with them throughout their lives. I would like to open a community center based around the Scraper Bike Movement in Oakland, so I can continue to expand and save lives in the community that it started in.

5) What inspired you personally to become involved in this project? Why is it meaningful to you?

What inspired me to become so involved in the Scraper Bike Movement is that I realized that it’s saving young people’s lives. It keeps them in school and keeps them focus on doing what’s right in their life. Its meaningful to me because it all started in my backyard and continued to grow and is still growing. I see the future of the Scraper Bike Movement and it’s promising for the youth involved. If given the opportunity I will change the world one bike at a time.

Truck Farm (answers provided by Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney)

Truck Farm

1) What projects and change-makers inspire you in your efforts?

The thing we admire most is long-term thinking. Wes Jackson runs a Kansas organization called The Land Institute. Wes has been working since the 1970s to replace chemical-intensive agriculture with farming that’s modeled after the prairie. Instead of giant fields of corn or wheat, plowed and planted year after year, we’d grow a polyculture of different crops all mixed in together, and we’d grow them as perennials so we don’t plow up the topsoil. It’ll take several generations of old-fashioned plant breeding to make it a reality, but then we’d have a truly sustainable agriculture.

http://www.landinstitute.org/

2) if you could meet with anyone in the world to talk about your project, who would it be?

We’d like to meet with the CEOs of the Big Three automakers to see if any of them are interested in bringing a mass-production Truck Farm to market. Urban agriculture is taking root in Detroit now, with vacant lots being planted in crops and commercially-viable farms sprouting up on 8 Mile Road. So why not take a bit of inspiration from that, and build a line of cars with room for a seedling or two? It sounds ridiculous, and is, but wouldn’t it be fun?

3) What’s playing on your mp3 player these days?

The band that’s composing the music for our Truck Farm film, The Fishermen Three, has a new album out. We’re listening to sneak peeks of that. There are some clips from their last release, Rosina on Every Balcony, on their MySpace page. It’s pretty fabulous roots music, with a hip sensibility.

http://www.myspace.com/thefishermenthree

4) Making lasting change requires long term vision. Where would you like to see your project in 5 years?

One of the other projects we’re busy with these days is FoodCorps, a national AmeriCorps school garden program. We have support from AmeriCorps and the Kellogg Foundation to get the project going by fall, 2011. The idea is to put young adults to work building school gardens and sourcing fresh food from local farms in the schools and communities where childhood obesity has hit hardest. Within five years we’d like to see several hundred FoodCorps service members at work around the country, and we’d like them to have access to a fleet of Truck Farms.

www.food-corps.org

5) What inspired you personally to become involved in this project? Why is it meaningful to you?

Ian started Truck Farm as a place to grow a garden; he didn’t have any other land. Curt moved to Brooklyn when the harvest started, and that’s when we realized that our neighbors felt a connection to the farm, too. So we started taking the truck to schools, and over and over again we got to see this wonderful thing: the smile on a kid’s face when they smell a ripe tomato. That cheesy moment is usually accompanied by some hilarious question about whether you could grow food in a toilet, and that brings us down to earth a bit.

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