Meet the Board: Audrey

Posted by on Mar 26, 2020 | 0 comments

Meet the Board: Audrey

Interview by Jeanette of Audrey:

Audrey: You know I learned now how important it is to be able to grow your own food. Just because of the prices at the groceries stores, the chemicals that are used to prepare the foods and I just think it’s totally different now than it was when we were growing up. And the fact that in our community, in our culture, we see a lot of diabetes and you know that’s about the food you’re putting in your mouth, you have to be careful about what you eat. And to help take control of that is to grow your own food. You know to be able to know what types of food you need to buy at the grocery store when you do go to the grocery store whether it’s fresh or frozen, you know that’s one of the things my mother used to always get after me about is stop buying all of this frozen stuff. You don’t know how long it’s been frozen, especially meats and stuff.

Jeanette: Yeah

Audrey: As I got older it took me a while to learn that but as I got older I know now that she’s exactly right. You have to be very careful of the foods that you buy because you don’t know what they’re processing them with. You don’t know what they’re freezing them with. You know you just the less of the stuff you buy, the better you are you know physically.

Jeanette: And so you grew up in Charlottesville? Did you go to Charlottesville City Schools?

Audrey: I grew up and I went to other city schools, Lane high school I was in the last class there.

Jeanette: You were?

Audrey: Yeah, 1974. Was the last class of Lane.

Jeanette: What was that like? What was the high school dynamic?

Audrey: What was Lane like?

Jeanette: Yeah. Like was it very racially divided?

Audrey: It was, it was. It was all the way up until the day it closed. You know, there was a, I mean, it got better like, for me, when schools were first integrated I went to Jefferson school, which was an all black school so then to Venable school. You went to the schools that were closer to your neighborhood. Venable school was a block over from where I lived versus Jefferson school was 10 blocks away from where I lived so I ended up going to Venable school and I mean the first year there there was a lot of racism there and you know that carried over for years and years and years.

Jeanette: What grade were you in when you first..

Audrey: When I went to Venable I went until 4th grade. I went from 3rd grade to 4th grade to Venable.

Jeanette: Wow. And you work at CRHA?

Audrey: I’m on the board at CRHA I don’t work there. I’m a resident commissioner. And this is my second time around on that board. I was on that board about 8 years ago prior to this.

Jeanette: And then you’re also on the FAR board?

Audrey: Yes.FAR is an organization. Well Joy and I grew up together, she is the founder of FAR and she and I grew up together when she came to Charlottesville and when she moved to Charlottesville we were both going to Walker elementary school and that’s where we met at and we just became friends and we hung out. We went to high school together and then after high school we hung out for many many years. I got married and moved to Albemarle county and lived in Albemarle county for about 13 years. Divorced, came back to Charlottesville, and moved into public housing. Caught up with Joy again, we kinda hung out, she tried to convince me for about 7 years to come on the FAR board. I wouldn’t do it, but then finally she convinced me to do that so I came on the FAR board with the understanding, well I felt like I was coming on because it was about housing and at that point I was living in housing. But once I got on that board I realized that housing isn’t just about housing. It is about everything that affects the people who live in public housing or any housing. And you know from there it kinda took off for me because I really realized that you know housing is about everything. It’s about everything that affects one’s life. That’s just you know, it’s not just housing. And so I just have been in that role ever since because it affects me because I am a public housing resident but it affects my neighbors and friends and you know people around me.

When I grew up I didn’t grow up in public housing I grew up in the neighborhoods around public housing. But I had a lot of friends who moved to public housing when we were kids but we all still stayed friends and even as we grew older you know they were still living in public housing and I didn’t but I used to hear the issues and things they talked about so when i moved to public housing they was like I was really familiar with a lot of the issues that affected them and so it’s just always the struggle and always finding a way to overcome whatever it is that people are going through and a lot of times you don’t but you can find ways to make it better

Jeanette: And you have, I know you have April, do you have other children?

Audrey: I have a son that’s older than April. Rafael–he lives in Richmond. And I have five grandkids

Jeanette: You do? Do they live here?

Audrey: Mhm

Jeanette: Okay nice! So here’s a question we ask everybody. If you were a vegetable what would you be? And why?

Audrey: *laughing* Well for me I think it’s corn. I love corn and it’s bright. It’s always bright and always something you see when you’re riding along the country roads, the different kinds of corn, whether it’s feed corn for the cows or just corn for the humans. I just love corn, I love corn, I’m a corn eater, I can’t eat enough, but I love me some corn! It’s easy to grow at home, you can just put a cup of seeds in your backyard and have 2-3 corn stalks and get you some nice corn off of it. It’s always corn for me.

Jeanette: Alright. That was a good one. You were prepared for that question, usually it throws people for a loop.

We miss seeing our CSG students in the gardens, UACC friends at community markets, and CFJN partners in advocacy. Please know our hearts and minds are with you. We are working to provide coordination for emergency food assistance and to get the gardens robust and ready for your return. In solidarity -Jeanette, Megan, Aleen, Richard, Shantell, Jordan, Shannon, Mackenzie, Sarah, Tami, Yolonda, Leon, Michael, Rick & Peter

Ode From the Garden

It’s quieter now, less traffic, more bees;

more birds in the garden, more buds on the trees.

Our onions are nestled all snug in raised beds,

Along with potatoes like Kennebecs, and Reds.

 

 

Rain falling, birds calling, bugs crawling about,

A gardener keeps gardening when branches branch out.

The sound of Spring rising and cool morning dew,

But there’s one sound we’re missing, and that sound is you.

 

 

Ms Shannon, Ms Sarah, Misters Davis and Harden,

Ms Yolonda, Ms Mackenzie, Farmer Rich in the garden.

Don’t worry, we’ll be here when school starts again,

The CSG Gardeners and all of your friends.

 

 

Please stay in touch with us via facebook and instagram - especially for our exciting launch of Cultivate Charlottesville! You can also donate to support our CFJN emergency food assistance efforts.