Becoming legally emancipated at the age of 16, Jade was able to move away from a volatile relationship with her parents but became a single mother facing a new set of challenges. Jade dropped out of high school but was able to receive her GED and was able to make ends meet by picking up work in the restaurant industry. After 20 years of working in the restaurant industry, she looked at the COVID pandemic and the massive shutdown of NYC restaurants as an opportunity to change her career and embark on a new path. Jade enrolled at Borough of Manhattan Community College and began taking courses across many different disciplines. She is now the proud mother of four children and is enrolled in an interdisciplinary program at NYU Gallatin exploring the intersectionality of science and social justice through topics like ecofeminism, bioethics, plant and fungal biology, and community herbalism. Jade is actively involved in her community and recently worked to compile over a decade’s worth of citizen science that evaluates the pollution levels of New York City’s waterways.
“I have seen first-hand in my own community garden how we can become independent of oppressive systems through connecting with the land on your own block and I truly believe that gardening is a tool for social justice.” – Jade Brown-Godfrey