Maria Dominique Villanueva
Maria Dominique Villanueva wants to live in a world where force fields around clothing exists, making laundry obsolete, vegan chocolate cake can be found in every grocery store, everyone has access to fresh vegetables, and all children are in bed by 8pm. With an education in health economics and a corporate work history, Ms. Villanueva has a varied history of working to improve the wellness of her community whether it be through the AHA recognized Latinx Health and Wellness Outreach Program that she developed and managed or more recently through maintaining farm space and teaching 620 PreK – 5th grade students in partnership with Birmingham City Schools. Her newest undertaking, Fountain Heights Farms, combines much of her former wellness and economic development work into a single project to benefit the community where she lives and works. When she’s not tilling, planting, and harvesting on Fountain Heights Farms, she can be found folding laundry (because the force field doesn’t exist), hosting dance parties in the kitchen, and daydreaming of sleeping in past 6:00am.
The mission of Fountain Heights Farms is to improve the quality of life for the current residents of the historic Fountain Heights community of Birmingham, Alabama, through long term land stewardship by community-led urban agricultural cooperatives focused on meeting the immediate and basic need for healthy fresh foods, and through culturally responsive community education and employment programs that support and inform urban agricultural initiatives in historically underserved areas of Birmingham, Alabama.
Our approach includes:
- Meeting community needs for healthy, fresh foods.
- Meeting community needs for flexible, self-guided employment.
- Meeting community needs for culturally inclusive and responsive education lead by people reflective of our community.
Year(s) Awarded: 2017