After reading this week's prompt, I realized that I was under the assumption that I knew what a fruitful community was but I was quickly humbled by my inability to articulate the alphabet soup of a definition I had in my head. So, I decided to use the puzzle in my brain to my advantage to break up fruitful communities into 4 sub-categories by creating a mindmap as an attempt to organize my thoughts more effectively.
When these 4 subcategories center themselves around sustainability and environmentalism they are the foundation of a fruitful community.
“Fruitful communities” cannot
exist without community engagement and willingness to change. They sprout from neighborly relationships with the intent to build communities directed towards sustainability and self-reliance whilst simultaneously challenging and redefining what climate activism and community building is. It’s seeing neighbors as points of connection in our efforts against climate change as opposed to a random stranger. They focus on growth and transformation through the reintroduction of produce and native plant life to help revive natural ecosystems. Fruitful communities recognize the responsibility of having to wake up every day and actively choose to live in a way that works with the flow of nature rather than against it. They aren’t one-sided, these are groups of people who believe that there is a future outside of the grim one that many believe is predestined to us.
I have seen the impact that climate change has on communities firsthand (specifically communities of colour). As a Black woman in Atlanta, it is apparent the impacts that food deserts, environmental racism, and climate change have had on my community. I’ve seen how the lack of access to healthy food has made heart disease the leading cause of death in Black Americans. I’ve seen how food insecurity impacts families and their children’s ability to do well in school. I’ve seen how climate change is disproportionality affecting marginalized communities and how the government does nothing to reverse the damage. But most importantly, I have also seen how those same communities have taken control of their future by introducing “fruitful communities” into their daily vocabulary. I have had the opportunity to build relationships with amazing climate activists in the Atlanta area and they have shown me how starting the conversation and taking the time to educate themselves and others have reshaped entire neighborhoods. With the ability to see ourselves as the catalyst of our solutions but also the cause of all of our issues, it endows us a with a perspective that holds us as humans accountable for our actions but also gives us hope to resolve them.