Grounded Strategies

Ep. 46 – Meet Ariam Ford-Graver, executive director of Grounded Strategies

Learn more about the local nonprofit that works with communities to revitalize vacant or neglected land throughout Pittsburgh.

by Stephanie Brea | September 22, 2020

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Meet Ariam Ford-Graver, executive director of Grounded Strategies

A city planner with a passion for environmental justice, Ariam Ford-Graver is the executive director of Grounded Strategies, a local nonprofit that uses land as a medium for community change. In this episode, she talks about the work that Grounded does to help people reclaim and revitalize vacant lots and abandoned spaces in neighborhoods throughout Allegheny County.

Learn why equitable access to high quality green space is important and how city planning decisions can have an effect on a neighborhood’s value (or consequent devaluing over time). “Land is the one thing you can’t make more of,” she explains. Ford-Graver believes that “you cannot achieve racial equity without addressing spatial inequity.” While we address this idea in this episode, Grounded’s “Black Neighborhoods Matter” website post digs deeper into what this means in the city of Pittsburgh.

For more information on Grounded

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This episode was hosted by Aadam Soorma, recorded remotely, engineered and edited by Epicast Studios.

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Stephanie Brea

Stephanie Brea

Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town.

An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters.

Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested.

At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role of podcast producer for The Slaw. She’s pretty familiar with a microphone, thanks to that aforementioned poetry degree, and she’s got the wherewithal to ask Epicast Studios for help. She listens to too many true crime podcasts, and currently records from her bedroom.

If you know of someone who would be the perfect podcast guest, send her an email.

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