The Pitch

Sankofa provides locally grown whole foods through community-based fresh markets to improve access to healthy food and support positive cultural norms for health and wellness.

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Rashida Ferdinand & Rosamar Torres

Rashida Ferdinand & Rosamar Torres

The Entrepreneur

Rashida Ferdinand is the founder and executive director of Sankofa. A fifth-generation homeowner and visual artist in the Lower 9th Ward, Rashida comes from a family of community health practitioners and social justice leaders. She founded Sankofa with a team of community stakeholders in 2008 to create a local environment that promotes positive health and environmental sustainability. Sankofa’s food access programs focus on building a healthy food system in vulnerable communities of New Orleans. These efforts are designed to ensure resilience, community empowerment, and equity. Rashida is a graduate of the fourth cohort of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program and currently represents Sankofa on the Xavier University LaCats New Orleans Community Advisory Board, the LSU and SU Ag Center Orleans Parish Advisory Leadership Council, Mid South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center on Health Disparities, Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative, and New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee.

Rosamar Torres is Sankofa’s Programs Manager. She oversees program development in the areas of food access and health education. She represented Sankofa in the Lots of Progress Competition, during which Sankofa received 1st place, along with land to develop a fresh food market in the Lower Ninth Ward. She graduated from Tulane School of Public Health.


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