Chicago, Ill., July 11, 2016—Micheal Y. Newman-Brooks, a business manager and horticulturalist residing in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, is the newest board member of the Chicago-based Lead Abatement Resource Center (LARC), an organization devoted to combating environmental lead contamination.
Micheal (pronounced “MISH-ell”) grew up in Chicago and attended the University St. Francis, in Fort Wayne, Ind., where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration. She went on to work for LENA Enterprises and Chicago Title& Trust, and is currently chief financial officer and program director for Canaan Community Complex Inc., based in Englewood.
She is the wife of Rev. Jonathan Brooks, pastor of Canaan Community Church, and has also worked as an accountant and accounts coordinator for the Christian Community Development Association and Sunshine Gospel Ministries.
Micheal has earned a certificate in agriculture from the Chicago Botanic Garden’s “Windy City Harvest” program, and a certificate in horticulture from the City Colleges of Chicago. She now serves as an adjunct professor of business and entrepreneurship at the City Colleges of Chicago for individuals seeking to launch a local food business. She is also a garden educator for The Kitchen Community, which trains teachers about growing food in an urban setting.
“It’s really important to me to have healthy places in urban areas,” Micheal says. “I joined the LARC board because I’m concerned about lead contamination of soil in urban areas.”
LARC was founded in 2014 to focus on the remediation of soil-based lead, a problem sometimes overlooked in comparison with the more acute danger to children from ingesting chips of lead-based paint. The ingestion of lead by young children has been directly linked to developmentally difficulties.
Among other things, LARC promotes a safe, practical, and economical technique for neutralizing lead in the soil. A substance consisting principally of ground up fish bones is applied to lead-contaminated soil; the substance bonds to the lead chemically, allowing it to pass through a body without entering the blood stream.
One of Micheal’s roles will be as a liaison between LARC and Chicago communities that can benefit from LARC’s lead remediation efforts.
For more information on LARC, go to www.larcusa.org