1. Daniel Peterson is founder and director of Project Backboard, a Memphis-based nonprofit that makes basketball courts safer, more inviting, and more fun in order to inspire and strengthen communities. “Having our town’s courts renovated when I was in high school really changed the trajectory of my life,” he says. “If you make even minor improvements that draw people out of their cars and out of the house and into the parks, then you start getting that social interaction that strengthens community ties.”

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  2. Meet our 2015 ioby Superheroes! Ade Neff of Ride On! Bike Co-op in South LA, Tanisha Douglas and Caitlin Gibb of S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective in New York and Miami, and Daniel Peterson of Project Backboard in Memphis

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  3. “We’ve been conditioned to think that the road and the city belong to cars. We need to turn it around so it belongs to people. Everybody should have access to the city.” - Ade Neff

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  4. Last year, we started cooking up a video series designed to feature some of the real heroes of the ioby community – projects and leaders we wanted to set squarely in the limelight, and hold up as role models and as inspiration. Among those we featured was SWAG of Newark: a thriving urban community farm that today educates around 700 local students per year, sells wonderful fresh produce at its own market, and has become a source of great pride and pleasure in the South Ward of Newark. The farm has even served as a wonderful resource for the unemployed or underemployed who seek a creative, confidence-building, social outlet while they search for new work.

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  5. How can a neighborhood create a subversive public discussion about gentrification and community identity? Artmakers uses the arts, specifically poetry and murals.

    In this project, residents of Bushwick, Brooklyn, under the direction of New York artist Camille Perrottet, are the muralists. The art making is the first part of the community leadership process, a celebration of the multicultural neighborhood and beautification of the 15 square blocks of street. Together, they paint “Sleepless City” by Federico Garcia Lorca. Passersby admire the high quality artwork itself, a feature of Lorca’s face--his eyes, lips, or nose. Symbols of the Bushwick neighborhood, like flags from immigrants’ home countries, connect neighbors together.

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ioby Heroes In Our Backyards

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Every year we recognize the work of ioby Leaders that are extraordinary. ioby's Heroes In Our Backyards are tireless and dogged in their pursuits, especially innovative, and we believe can be an example to others in community building.

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