Luis Garden Acosta
"Luis Garden Acosta is the Founder/President/CEO of El Puente in his home community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For the past 22 years, he has led El Puente as a beacon for holistic learning and development. Luis embodies a commitment to the arts with a passion for scientific research, peace and justice. He is a founding member of The First Poets, a principal investigator of a federally funded, environmental justice research project and an impactful pacifist who is not unfamiliar with the inside of a jail.
"Spirited by a unique background as a graduate of St. Mary's Seminary, as a Harvard Medical School student and as a community development organizer for New York City's Office of the Mayor, Luis led the community medicine division of a hospital and has produced and hosted popular culture radio and television programs. In the 60's, he launched a "university of the streets" and in the 70's he directed a statewide humanities program. In the 80's he led the nation's first and largest Afro-Cuban music school. Luis has contributed his leadership to the National Science Foundation, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, New Yorkers for Parks, Citizens Union, The New York City Food Bank, the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, and the Young Lords Party. CAFE (Community Alliance For the Environment), initiated and led by Luis, dramatically stopped the building of a 55-story incinerator at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in his home community of Williamsburg. He assisted in the writing of the Surgeon General's Report on Public Health and Self-Help and has helped guide projects for the Center for Children and Technology, The California Wellness Foundation and the National Network for Youth. He has worked directly to inspire and nurture El Puente-like organizations from California to Massachusetts.
"His awards include the "Spirit of the City" from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Public Works Award and "Celebrating Success" from the Children's Defense Fund. Along with his partner, Frances Lucerna, Luis Garden Acosta is the 1998 Heinz Award Winner for the Human Condition."
Resources and articles
- Just Food Board, organizational web page, accessed September 5, 2012.