Leo Pinkney is a local game changer. He is the founder and creator of the innovative nonprofit organization Kultivating Konfidence, “To improve the health and increase the vitality of our community’s residents, by teaching and utilizing agricultural and solar energy operations as a conduit to improving their overall quality of life.”
The Amsterdam News asked Pinkney what led him to create this organization. “I saw a need in the community,” he replied. “A need to attack some root issues facing our youth. There are always complaints about the behavior issues, and lack of focus of children in our communities and I wanted to combat that stigma. How can children be expected to operate at their optimal functioning if they are malnourished? And not only malnourished but lacking the knowledge to make better food choices. Once you begin to eat right, then you will begin to think and behave right. The main goal is to get the knowledge out there.”
With Kultivating Konfidence, Pinkney has created a three-part, hands-on workshop geared toward high school and middle school students throughout the Brooklyn community. The first workshop is an information session in which students are educated about advanced agriculture and the benefits of a raw food lifestyle. Sessions 2 and 3 consist of the hands-on aspect, in which students create their “kultivationstation,” which is their own personal garden in a box that can be used at home to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
Pinkney states that this hands-on approach, as well as the educational aspect of Kultivating Konfidence workshops, enriches and equips its participants with the tools needed to be self-sufficient in their health and food choices. Pinkney not only wants to expand their knowledge of proper food choices but also develop their entrepreneurial skills.
“Growing your own food is like growing your own money,” said Pinkney. “I want our youth to begin to take ownership of their lives, and this is why I created this program. To combat the sociopsychological trauma we face with our conditions in our community.”
Pinkney has successfully completed a number of Kultivating Konfidence workshops at various schools within the 16th School District of Brooklyn. Currently they are working with the New York Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolence to institute their program throughout the New York City metro area. In 2016, the Citizens Committee for NYC awarded Pinkney’s organization with a grant the enabled him to expand the organization. Pinkney said that the United Nations is also working with him to expand his program globally.
“This is just the beginning for Kultivating Konfidence,” he promised. When asked where he sees his organization in the next couple of years, Pinkney replied, “I want to create an organic-style, meals-on-wheels program. That will deliver the foods created in the program to the tables of malnourished communities.”
Pinkney told the AmNews that he has set up www.gofundme.com/n7iuro Konfidence so he can keep spreading the word.