September Seminar | Healing Spaces: An Environmental Justice Initiative

Event Date:
September 27th 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Tree of love

Presented by: Teela S. Patterson

Healing Spaces are beautiful community greenspaces- like flower, vegetable & herb gardens, and parks- that promote individual restoration and community cohesion. The mission of Healing Spaces is to inspire our neighbors to take bold action to cultivate, maintain, and support attractive and sustainable community greenspaces. 

Through connection, education, and inspiration, Healing Spaces:

  • Raises awareness around environmental and social justice matters
  • Develops community building strategies that improve individual and collective outcomes
  • Mobilizes community members, stakeholders, and legislators about the urgent need to address climate change in our communities

This presentation takes a deeper look at an environmental justice (i.e., Environment x Social Justice) journey and the learnings from documentary production to community listening forums and community building events (with videos, photos and clips).  We examine how transforming Cleveland's abundant abandoned, derelict parcels into attractive, sustainable community greenspaces with programming are providing individual restoration and community cohesion and much more.


Teela Patterson is the the visionary and lead writer behind Healing Spaces, an environmental justice initiative that began as a Cleveland Documenters [, for reference] environmental justice project. 

In Spring 2021, with the support of an amazing team of journalists, collaborators, and sponsors, she began a journey to address the issue of urban blight; that is abandoned, derelict land parcels that riddle low-income communities of color in Cleveland, Ohio.  This initiative quickly evolved to include:

  • filming a documentary
  • documenters team survey to explore healing spaces across the city of Cleveland 
  • a timeline of environmental justice in Cleveland
  • visual and creative art expressions, and ultimately
  • the genesis of the largest, most impactful environmental justice movement to date!
Teela Patterson

Teela's Why

She does this not only because advocating for fair practices and policies is the right thing to do for humanity and the Earth we inhabit-  but also to ensure that all children have access to quality parks or playgrounds and to mitigate undue stress and burden upon citizens of a particular zip code (ie redlining). 

Teela has a phenomenal son named Phoenix and a Siamese cat named Hera. 

Interested in watching clips from the documentary? Check them out here!

Follow Healing Spaces on Instagram @healingspaces.cle!

Watch the presentation on Youtube