Meet the Board
Asenath Andrew’s agricultural roots were established by her parents and grandparents who farmed and gardened on the far northwestern border of Detroit. Their family grew almost all of the vegetables that they ate all year round. Her grandfather was known for his 4-lot garden on Northlawn and Chippewa. Almost everyone from “8 Mile and Royal Oak Township” knew of this huge garden. Many neighbors and young people learned about growing food from him. Upon being appointed Principal of Booth Continuing Education Center for Young Women, later to be known as Catherine Ferguson Academy, it was natural for her to assume that if you are going to be someone’s mother you need to be able to feed yourself and your child! Since 1984 Asenath has been committed to providing opportunities for young mothers to learn the skills needed to feed their children. Her first school garden was located at the Salvation Army building on Fort and West Grand Blvd. There, she and her staff were assisted by Mayor Coleman Young’s “Farm A Lot” program. Though limited to producing only enough food for one huge community meal, their first-year garden was successful enough for the Michigan Department of Education along with the USDA to grant them $5,000 to produce a publication called “Grow Healthy”. That publication included gardening tips, testimonials, photos and recipes written by the girls. It was distributed to programs for pregnant and parenting teens throughout the country.
Chet Dunbar (board treasurer) is a Deacon at 12th Street Baptist and works in the food pantry supplying food baskets to families in need. Chet created the community garden at 12th Street Baptist over 8 years ago to engage the youth in all aspects of agriculture and has actively engaged youth from his church for years in KGD programs, encouraging their participation in educational activities, workdays and volunteer events. Chet is also a certified DNR instructor and serves in the educational offices of The Grosse Pointe Power Squadron, where his mission is to save lives by teaching boating safety.
Naim Edwards (board co-chair) is the Director of the Michigan State University – Detroit Partnership for Food, Learning, and Innovation. He is tasked with developing and managing and urban agriculture research facility in Detroit. Naim has been a participant in the GRP through his work living and growing family and community gardens in Northwest Detroit as well as his backyard. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of farming with an emphasis on ecological restoration. Naim holds a master’s degree from University of Michigan where he studied biodiversity in urban gardens, specializing in beneficial insects. Away from gardening, he works with numerous organizations to address both political and cultural obstacles to achieve food sovereignty and is a staunch advocate for land, water, housing, and education rights.
Bekah Galang is currently the Retail Operations Director for Avalon International Breads, where she works to develop leadership, serve delicious food, and create a space that nourishes the community. Bekah has been a GRP member since 2014 and has supported KGD in many ways, including helping to cook for KGD benefit dinners. She has served on the board of Slow Food Detroit Central City and the planning committee for Make Food Not Waste. Her background includes working on farms and community gardens, employment at both non-profits and for profit organizations, and at locally-sourced restaurants. Her passion is strengthening community through eating together.
Elois Moore is a longtime GRP member who coordinates the Farwell Field Community Garden and a resident in Northeast Detroit. Elois is a graduate of both Urban Roots as well as the Rain Gardens to the Rescue Program and has supported youth in her garden participating in the Youth Growing Detroit program. Elois retired in 2012 from her role as the Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers Local 4168, AFL-CIO and previously worked with Detroit Public Schools for over 20 years. Elois currently serves her community in many leadership roles, including president of the Binder Street Block Club O & R, President of the Farwell Community Association, Vice President of the Farwell Association CB Walking Radio Patrol and member of the District Senior Task Force.
Sharon Oglesby is an elder at Broadstreet Presbyterian church and a Master Gardener through the MSU extension program. She is also the director of the Broadstreet Presbyterian Church community garden and community outreach director which allows her to spend a lot of time meeting and sharing all aspects of smart gardening and the importance of recycling with the community. She also directs a tutoring program for K-8th graders. Her ambitious goal for 2018 is to recruit at least 10 gardens to join the Garden Resource Program! In her spare time she can be found volunteering with KGD and the Riverfront Conservancy.