I see my learning as a continuum that adapts to the changing threads that make up society. As an educator, I see my role as being a humble bridge for helping break down barriers that often cut people off from gaining the necessary knowledge to live more efficiently in their communities and in society as a whole. Due to certain privileges allotted to me from my forefathers’ ability to fight past these societal barriers, I now wish to use this as an asset to reach out to communities who may not have had someone close to them break barriers. As an Urban Environmental Educator, I take positionality and the benefits I have gained as belonging to community—a responsibility that tugs at my conscience and motivates me. Thus, my definition of Urban Environmental Education is the practice of helping diverse communities uncover resources and knowledge that empowers them to become involved in relevant environmental issues which help them become active participants in positive ecological progress locally and globally.

In layman's terms, I am a believer in the power of art to heal. I am a musician; music and outward creative expression have gotten me through some of the hardest times in my life. Thus, I believe that solutions to some of the world's biggest problems are in art. My hope is to be one of many catalysts in society laying down the foundations for a strong bridges that connect communities together. I also believe that we can all have fun while doing so. 

Full Bio:

 

Originally from Chicago’s west side communities Austin and K-Town,  she received her B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.A. Ed.in Urban Environmental Education from Antioch University Seattle/IslandWood. Rasheena has a diverse background in communications that includes teaching, public speaking, writing, mixed media, environmental education, community engagement and project management. Her writing has appeared in HuffPost, Mountaineer Magazine, South Seattle Emerald, Austin Weekly News, Embrace Race, and various other publications across the country. One of her writings was cited in Donna Y. Ford's book Telling Our Stories: Culturally Different Adults Reflect on Growing Up in Single-parent Families. Her graduate research included exploring how cultural heritage directs community relationships with food within urban food systems and using assessment as a tool for community engagement.   She was a Walker Communications Fellow with the National Audubon Society where she focused on digital storytelling and environmental justice through environmental journalism. She has also taught writing at the community college level and worked in career services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received an award for outstanding service in Student Affairs.