Our leadership is invested in the health, education, and vitality of Richmond, VA.

Renew sees urban agriculture as a solution for health disparities. Urban farming has the capacity to improve economic growth, food security and food quality while building healthier communities. Most importantly, urban farming equips people with the resources needed to help alleviate the impacts of living in food desert areas.


Saajida is a full time Assistant Professor with John Tyler Community College, dedicated to teaching real-life concepts that directly contribute to student success. As a multi small business owner, she understands resiliency through sustainability. As a Master Gardener, she is able to educate the public about the significance of self-reliance, self-sustenance and self-efficacy through community gardening.

Saajida helps Renew:

Establish and maintain communication with current and potential partners

Ensure Renew’s mission is fulfilled through programs, strategic planning and community outreach

Create workshop and educational materials along with garden training

Duron is a nationally-recognized community advocate and activist, focused on initiatives that inspire people to cultivate positivity and live in harmony. Duron is the founder of Happy Natural Day and numerous projects that enrich the African American community and promote health, wealth, and food security for underserved populations.

Duron helps Renew:

Coordinate innovative and culturally relevant projects on urban agriculture and food security

Implement projects with the help of Renew’s volunteers and volunteer coordinator

Establish and maintain ongoing urban garden site plans

 Chika is a Legislative Aide in Virginia’s House of Delegates and an adjunct professor teaching government at Virginia State University. He was formerly a political consultant and community organizer with experience spanning grassroots organizing, fundraising, and management. Prior to that he worked in higher education as a student affairs administrator. Chika is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Public Affairs and North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Chika helps Renew:

Develop strategies for capacity building

Provide direction for short and long term organizational goals

Manage Renew’s resources to better serve Richmond

Saajida Chohan, Assistant Professor, John Tyler Community College

Susan Bodnar-Deren, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University

Steven HammondLegislative Aide, Virginia’s House of Delegates

Michael John Bodnar, Creative Project Manager, Raison Brands

Jamel Kelly, Mental Health Professional, Social Services

Mignonne Guy, PhD, Assistant Professor in African American Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University