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New North County nonprofit Encinitas 4 Equality hopes to be hub for activism

Posted at 12:14 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 15:14:18-04

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) -- A new community garden in San Diego’s North County is more than just a place where fruits and vegetables will grow -- it’s a resource hub to connect neighbors, activists, and volunteers.

This week, the new nonprofit Encinitas 4 Equality held one of its first events since opening its new space off North Coast Highway.

At the event, garden beds were built by volunteers thanks to lumber, soil, and starter plants donated by neighboring nonprofits and local businesses.

"It's nourishing us by creating these connections, putting our hands in the soil, next to other hands that we wouldn't otherwise connect with," said Encinitas 4 Equality founder Mali Woods-Drake.

She said the produce grown would help create meals given out each Friday for the Oceanside Homeless Resource Center. They'll also utilize some of the fruits and veggies for community dinners.

But Woods-Drake said the community garden is just one way they're trying to entice people to stop by and get involved.

Encinitas 4 Equality's mission is to provide a safe space where people can talk about real-time issues like racial inequality, homeless and other injustices while finding ways to help.

Woods-Drake said the nonprofit was created after North County neighbors peacefully protested the murder of George Floyd last year.

"We were five women who were strangers and felt the need to do more about police brutality and the effect it is having on our Black communities," she described.

Events like the gardening gathering will be the first of many to help connect neighbors and address social justice issues at the surface.

"Anyone is welcome to be part of the solution, they just have to show up with an open mind and heart, and together we can accomplish amazing things,” said Woods-Drake.