Rashid Nuri’s work demonstrates natural urban agriculture as a catalyst for building better, healthier communities. After managing agri-businesses in 30 countries over the past forty years, Nuri founded Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture (TLW) in Atlanta. Using a rake, shovel and hoe Rashid is transforming vacant land into vibrant farms and creating livable wage jobs for people who need work.
Rashid’s journey began after graduation from Harvard when his desire to build community found expression through farming. He immersed himself in everything agricultural: soil science at UMass; organic community gardening in California; organizing agricultural cooperatives in 8 southern states; preserving thousands of acres of land for Black farmers in Georgia, managing farms for Cargill Corporation in Asia and Africa; and serving as USDA Deputy Administrator during the Clinton Administration.
Rashid chose Atlanta to realize his vision because he believes the area has enough green space to feed all of its people. He began by growing collards and selling them from back of his van. Today he’s growing young farmers and leading a staff in the production of 35,000 pounds of produce for the local community. Rashid’s also working with the city government and urban advocacy organizations to expand the global concept of urban agriculture as a conduit for social change.
TLW represents what Nuri calls the new paradigm for community development: connecting people to the land, using the land and human ingenuity to develop local food systems; promoting self-sufficiency and food security to build community.