Sankofa Gardens was born of the desire and efforts of a faithful few people who are committed to serving community. The original visionaries are cultural arts worker, Leia Lewis Henderson, historic pioneers of Shreveport’s Linwood Village (including Pamoja Art Society and Nubian Cultural Outreach Center), and concerned citizens including artists, educators, professionals, laborers, retirees and children.
Through an ongoing and reflective process of collective work and engagement with residents of the Ingleside neighborhood, the early organizers agreed to begin a community garden. Leia Lewis Henderson passionately took up the cause with heart and soul, providing leadership through the nonprofit organization that she founded, Sankofa Vision, Inc. With the advice and support her parents (Mr. Leroy Lewis, Jr. and Mrs. Nan Lewis) and eldest son, Psalm Lewis, the first gardening effort was a small family garden plot of cucumbers and lettuce.
The success of the little family garden opened the way for today’s serene, lush, multi-acre Sankofa Gardens campus, which today is faithfully stewarded by Leia and her husband, Chappelle Henderson, with sons Psalm and Dayo. Additionally, Sankofa Gardens engaged hundreds of youth and adult volunteers who collectively help to sustain the growing operation.
From sincere and small beginnings in 2004, Sankofa Gardens has grown into a Creative Community and Fresh Food Oasis. It is a special green space for neighborhood families and people all over to learn about growing organic food, celebrate the change of seasons and create a safe haven for children to learn, play and explore nature. The fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs that are harvested at Sankofa Gardens are shared by volunteers, gifted to seniors and sold at The Neighbhoord Market at Sankofa Gardens.
Over the years, thousands of people from Caddo Parish and across the USA have had a positive experience at Sankofa Gardens, whether when visiting the campus, participating in strategic partnership and educational outreach and connecting through Sankofa Vision’s extensive networks. The organization’s supporters are diverse and all appreciated! At the heart of this purposeful work is good people doing great things! Thank you for helping to create a better world.