Rashid Nuri isn’t your typical Harvard grad. Instead of bargaining business mergers or presiding over a courtroom, he spends his 9-5 with his hands in the soil on Old Wheat Street in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward.
At TEDx Peachtree 2013, Rashid won over the crowd with his virtual tour of the future of urban farming. But crop rotations and urban agriculture are not the limit of Rashid’s influence. The first time I met Rashid was in 2011 when I was working with men and women experiencing homelessness downtown. I had taken a tour of his farm, Truly Living Well, and was impressed with not only the hope he had for urban farming, but the hope he had for his staff and interns.
Take a few moments to watch his talk from 2013 and stay tuned to learn how Rashid is helping formerly homeless men find salvation in the soil…
Is this your first time speaking at a TEDx event? What are your thoughts on presenting on October 17?
Yes, it is my first time! I think it is a terrific gift to speak at TEDx, and it happens to fall on my birthday.
August 2014 Lantern making workshop at Lantern House
Our theme this year implies the discovery of something that is before unseen. Tell us about a pure, unexpected change in your life that was the illumination of a revelation. 10,000 people showed up for the BeltLine Lantern Parade last year! Up from 1250! I didn’t believe that until I saw the video. I have always felt that there is a universal desire for creative play. I am now certain.
At the end of the day, what is it about your work that keeps you going?
I am honored to do my work. I love it. At the end of the day, I kick back in my hammock and beam gratitude. I wrote a little song I sing then: When its 5:55, then you know you’ve arrived,
Your good work is done and it’s lookin’ so fine.
Time to crack a beer and look at the sky
Oh my, it’s 5:55!
(There’s 2:22, 3:33, and 4:44 verses, too. I don’t have a set schedule.)
What is your passion?
Art + civic kinship.
What keeps you centered in this crazy world?
Love. My friends, my family, my art, my bicycle, and my cat.
What is your motto?
To work is human, to play is divine.
What are three words to best describe you?
More Play Time
To me, “Illuminating” through photography is about opening up viewers’ eyes to something they’ve maybe never seen before, or something they’ve seen a million times but never quite seen it the way I chose to portray it. Remember the way everything looked as a child? Huge skyscrapers, seemingly giant athletes, massive 747 airplanes; often the only thing that separates the everyday from the awe-inspiring is the three feet that separate an adult from a kid. So, I try to shoot from an angle you may not normally view things in, and I try to share each image in the way it impacted me the most.
Sun breaks through the clouds on ferry ride from Naha, Okinawa to Yoron island. Population: 6,000.
Clouds scatter as the sun rises to meet Mt. Ishizuchi (Stone Hammer);
Tallest mountain in Western Japan at 1,982 m.
Photo of Atlanta just past sunset from Jackson Street Bridge as commuters enter and depart downtown.
How do you see perspective shift your view and illuminate new understanding?
Kris Willis is an observationalist, a loner who doesn’t like being alone, a fitness junkie and lover of creativity.