Antioch, NY - Yeama Mengistu, born in Nashville, TN, is a dedicated mother, wife, inspirational teacher, and community organizer. She developed a connection to and interest in organic farming from her early childhood experiences spending summers in Promiseland, TN, an African- American rural community founded by her ancestors who were ex-slaves. After graduating from Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in Social Studies Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Yeama worked to combine her innate connection to organic land development practices with community education. She has worked in communities in both rural and inner city settings implementing programs based on building “outdoor naturalistic classrooms” using the GRACE model—gardening, recycling, action, composting, and education. Yeama has worked as a program director in the “Black Belt” south with Black farming communities and currently is the Board Chairperson for EarthMatters, a community based environmental education organization in Nashville, TN. For twenty years, EarthMatters has instituted community gardens and she has helped to implement composting projects throughout the city. Currently, Yeama is a USAID-IFESH Educator for the Ministry of Education of Ethiopia Missions in Chiro at the Teacher Education College. There she designs and implements strategies to help improve the quality of teaching and learning in Ethiopia.