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Member, Audubon Commission
Rashida Ferdinand is the Founder and Executive Director of Sankofa Community Development Corporation (CDC). A fifth generation Lower Ninth Ward homeowner, Ferdinand was raised in a family that emphasized healthy living, with much of the fresh vegetables prepared for her family dinner table from the backyard garden in her family home. Ferdinand joined with Lower Ninth Ward residents and community organizers during 2008 to create a platform that provided resources to support development of the area. Sankofa CDC works to build bridges for healthier communities, spurs development by addressing health disparities and supports youth empowerment through education and intergenerational learning. Ferdinand received a BFA from Howard University and a MFA from Syracuse University. She is a Cohort 4 Alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. Ferdinand presently serves on the Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center Community Advisory Board, Orleans Place Matters Team, the Audubon Commission, the LSU AG Center Orleans Parish Advisory Council and is past chair of the Tulane Prevention Research Center Community Advisory Board. She is a member of the New Orleans Chamber of Congress and New Orleans Black Chamber of Congress. In addition to her community health and development work, Ferdinand is also a ceramic sculptor. Mandala, one of her public art installations, is located on Caffin and Claiborne Avenues in the Lower Ninth Ward. Mandala represents hope, power, and resilience.