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Rashida Ferdinand is the founder and CEO of Sankofa Community Development Corporation (CDC), founded in 2008 to support health-centered economic development in the Lower Ninth Ward area after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina Disaster. Ferdinand brings her background and experience as a sculptor and visual artist to her work to creatively inspire community development in the Lower Ninth Ward area, with her Mandala sculpture installed on Caffin and Claiborne Avenues in the Lower Ninth Ward as a part of the Arts Council of New Orleans public art program. Ferdinand leads Sankofa CDC through engagement in community-driven planning and infrastructure development projects to improve the built environment of the Lower Ninth Ward and other under-resourced neighborhoods through facilities for access to healthy food, environmentally sustainable use of land, and community health programs to support equitable, sustainable, and progressive growth.

“Building, transforming, and helping to create healthy, just, and equitable spaces is at the core of what being an artist is.”