2012 Bezos Scholar Tafari John-King and educator Cheryl Matthews-Valery promoted a sense of community through environmentalism with their Local Ideas Festival, Project GreenUp, in Brooklyn, NY.
While at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Tafari heard Lauren Bush share how she addressed food scarcity while working with the United Nations Food Programme. Her speech inspired Tafari to reflect on the needs of his community and encouraged him to focus his Local Ideas Festival on the cleanliness, health, and student-stewardship of the Crown Heights, Brooklyn community.
Project GreenUP facilitated multiple community clean-up events over the course of the year and culminated with a public festival featuring speakers, food, and activities. Funds raised throughout the year supported a feasibility study for a Medgar Evers College Preparatory School greenhouse.