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Ron Finley: A guerrilla gardener in South Central LA

Self-proclaimed "gangsta gardener" Ron Finley is changing the conversation on food and community in his south-central Los Angeles neighborhood. On a mission to transform his neighborhood "from food desert to food forest," Finley successfully reformed land-use laws to expand access to sustainable produce and increase his neighbors' capacity to grow their food. In his TED Talk, he discusses his purpose, vision, and perspective. As he puts it: "Gardening is my graffiti. I grow my art." Finley's work continues to inspire sustainable food movements by using gardens as a tool for education and transformation. And, though his speech was just over 10 minutes long, it has garnered significant attention and praise, racking up more than 3 million views. In addition to the video readers will find a transcript of the talk, which is available in 34 languages. While the presentation is several years old, you can stay up-to-date on Finley's continued work on his website ( The site gives readers more information about the background and current work of the Ron Finley Project, as well as access to other articles and videos about the project's impact.
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