MIA MADISON | B.A. / M.A.
INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / email Mia
Mia Madison is the Interim Executive Director of Memphis Tilth. She has served as an activist and community organizer throughout the Mid-South region and volunteers for a host of programs and projects focused on bridging the gap between people and the environment. Her passions are agriculture, environmental justice, youth advocacy, equitable access, and minority participation and engagement in urban affairs.
"My commitment to improve food security, self-sufficiency and quality of life has continued throughout my career in professional experience, various projects and community appointments across the region. I believe that my education and community advocacy will allow me to incorporate best practices and research into expanding Memphis Tilth towards a research model to address soil contamination while building a system of farmers, community gardeners and food security advocates across our region.
I advocate and support all urban and rural farmers while creating equitable economic opportunities for black growers and farmers, women farmers and farmers of color who are typically and systematically socially disadvantaged in the world of agriculture. This means facilitating and sustaining access to fresh healthy foods on a consistent basis in urban and rural communities where farm to table is a social construct and not a God-given right. This also means developing ways to address soil toxicity by doing soil research where Brownfields and Superfund sites litter our inner-city communities and poison our families.
In my career, I’ve consistently provided informational and technical support for neighborhoods and organizations that work directly with communities who provide basic needs to residents, promote self-sufficiency, and self-worth. This support has been to incorporate demographic, economic and environmental data, develop community-wide partnerships with a wide variety of organizations and working directly with urban, suburban and rural communities to educate stakeholders of ways to rebuild the bridge between people and their immediate environment. As a federal employee with the Census Bureau, I provided expert advice on geographic and cartographic methods and practices appropriate for statistical programs while fostering partnerships with tribal, federal, state, and local governments, as well as commercial partners, to acquire authoritative geospatial data and to share feedback as part of the collaboration. As Director of Community Information at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, I oversaw the start-up and implementation of a comprehensive community information system comprised of a pair of websites that help citizens’ access quantitative and qualitative data about the Mid-South community. LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org: WHEREweLIVEmidsouth.org is an online GIS data tool with 5 geographies, 9 categories, and 160+ indicators focused in the Mid-South. WHEREtoGIVEmidsouth.org is a comprehensive nonprofit database with over 300 organizations serving the Mid-South community. During my tenure with the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development as a Planning Mapping Analyst, this allowed me to identify and solve problems in processing procedures, and to verify overall consistency and validity of data and products provided to the entire division (and various other city divisions and agencies) necessary to make data-driven decisions. Managing this data required the institutional knowledge, situational awareness, and the wherewithal to make solid recommendations that has affected community change and had direct impact on thousands of lives."
Mia holds a Master’s degree in Applied Anthropology and a Bachelor’s degree in Geography both with concentrations in urban affairs, planning, and public policy; both from the University of Memphis.