About Us

Meet Our Team

Joanna Cruz
Joanna Cruz is an artist and former foster youth with a passion for learning about ways to reduce food insecurity and support the environment. She is currently studying with Erik Cutter of Alegría Fresh in Laguna Beach, Calif., to bring nutrient-rich growing practices to communities in Los Angeles.
Erik Cutter
Erik Cutter is managing director of Alegría Fresh, a zero-waste, regenerative urban microfarm employing organic soil-based growing systems headquartered in Laguna Beach, CA. Erik has more than 35 years experience growing ultra nutrient-rich produce using regenerative organic techniques and is a leading pioneer in developing cost effective growing systems that can be deployed over man-made surfaces close to where people live and work. He has founded the Alegría Farmacy and SoxxBoxx, both using an integrated carbon neutral food production system to grow superior produce anywhere, anytime.
Jennifer Kelly
Jennifer Kelly is a nine-time foster mom and mother of four boys. She now wants to bring regenerative farming and urban microfarms to people and communities in need, with a focus on at-risk and foster youth. Jennifer owns and operates INlighten Community, The Yogi Tree Center for Growth in Toluca Lake, CA and Healing Talents, which bring the gifts of yoga, nutrition and wellness to the LA area. She began her journey when she became pregnant with her oldest son in 1998. During her pregnancy she was introduced to whole food nutrition, homeopathy, herbs, essential oils and kundalini yoga. The experience was so transformative that it changed her life path. She left a 16-year career in film and TV to become a postpartum doula, kundalini yoga teacher, Reiki master, functional nutritional wellness specialist, certified hypnotherapist, wellness life coach and is CARE certified in Raindrop and Vitaflex techniques.
John D. Liu
John Liu is a Chinese American filmmaker and ecologist. He was named 2015 Visiting Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. John is also Ecosystem Ambassador for the Commonland Foundation based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2017, John founded Ecosystem Restoration Camps, a worldwide movement that aims to restore damaged ecosystems on a large scale.
Henry Park
A technology entrepreneur shaking up the non-profit world by taking an approach of stacking problems and solutions for faster yet longer term results. Responding to the global pandemic with a need to give back, he co-founded the non profit Guerilla Community Movement (GCM) to bridge the corporate and entrepreneurial communities with non-profit leaders to reorganize our resources in ways that maximize our joint impact. His superpower is networking and connecting people with goals and motivations.

Henry is Founder / CEO of 3GC Group an IT managed service provider, Co-Founder/ Executive Partner of Pandoblox a software development company and Chief Effectuator of GCM. He has a BS in Economics and minor in Psychology from UC Irvine and an Executive MBA from Tuck University. Rooted in the kundalini yogic framework of existence, he looks at personal, family, business, spiritual and philanthropic efforts as one integrated way of living.
Mar Diego
Mar Diego is an ex-convict, chef, and philanthropist who has dedicated her life to creating inspiration, rewriting her story, and rehabilitating troubled youth and adults. She launched Dough Girl as a way to bring quality food to low-income areas. Today, the pizza joint has evolved into much more. Dough Girl is lending a hand to local youth dealing with issues like homelessness and addiction. Diego says it's a way to "pay it forward." In Broken Bread on KCET she shares her personal story with Roy Choi. In her youth, Diego sold drugs and, ultimately, was incarcerated, where she worked in the prison’s kitchen. After her release, Diego went to culinary school, all of which led to Dough Girl and ongoing service to her community in Pacoima, CA.
Mary Jacobson
Mary Jacobson is Content Coordinator for the INlighten Community. She has been teaching yoga and meditation in Los Angeles since 2008, with a focus on seniors with dementia and other severe impairments. Before taking up a kundalini yoga practice, Mary was a professional print and online journalist. She has a BA in Humanities from the University of Louisville and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University as well as Kundalini Level 1 & 2 certifications, 200-hour RYT certification, and Accessible Yoga training. Her two professions intersected in 2018 after she learned of her kundalini yoga community's involvement in human detention at the US southern border through corporate contracts with ICE. She created a petition and website to bring attention to the issue and then worked with a group of activists to demand change. But when the chronic abuse, corruption, and hypocrisy at the root of kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan was exposed in 2020, Mary knew it was officially time to move on. She is now devoting her time and energy to For Land & People by helping to create the necessary content, operations, and structure to establish and support this inspirational endeavor.

Our Purpose

For Land & People was founded in 2021 to reimagine and reinvent our world at a pivotal point in history.

The condition of every socioeconomic group in our society exposes the ill-kept secret that we are no longer working as a collective.

Too many people are broken. The middle class is falling apart under low wages and high debt. Increasing numbers of low-income people and youth in at-risk situations that are unsheltered and food insecure. Affluence does not protect people from addiction and physical and mental illness, which are at crisis levels.

Too much of our planet is damaged. Climate change is the number one threat to national security. Hunger, pollution, and public health issues disproportionately affect poorer communities, which are frequently the repository of toxic industry and systemic exploitation. We are a civilization in crisis.

It is time to invest consciously in evolutionary models that end systemic cycles of harm and trauma. How do we create the conditions for the widespread change that is desperately needed? We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, therefore, we recognize the “stacked” nature of problems in order to find “stacked” solutions. For example, a homeless teen may also be dealing with abuse trauma, addiction, mental illness, and the impacts of systemic racism or discrimination. We can’t resolve one issue in isolation and expect things to get better. Instead, we invest attention, time, and space to gain long-term results. Our approach supports people in land-based, emotional healing so they can discover their own worth and independence.

For this work, we operate in a regenerative space, where everything has value and everything has a role to play. We acknowledge the interconnectedness of all life: that destroying the earth means destroying ourselves; that harming ourselves means harming the earth. We respect the needs and diversity of the individual while working toward the good of the collective. By connecting with and healing through the earth, we engender natural care and respect for the beauty of ecosystem restoration and management.

Our Journey

Finding Resolve

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when Jennifer Kelly envisioned the nonprofit endeavor now known as For Land & People.

Was it as a little girl while playing on the sand at the beach or in the creek in the woods? Was it a few years later when she started to notice people being treated differently (and unjustly) due to skin color or circumstances? Was it when she became pregnant with her first son and found the physical and emotional benefits of yoga and wellness practices? Was it from fostering nine kids and learning to navigate various systems to meet their needs? Was it watching the increasing fracture and polarity among people of differing points of view, leading to increasing unrest and violence? Was it the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic that caused the world – and her business – to come to a standstill, and then witnessing the impact of systemic inequities play out in real-time with life-threatening consequences for communities of color? Or was it the racial reckoning that exploded in 2020 after the brutal murder of George Floyd?

Sowing New Seeds

All of those experiences and more sowed the seeds for a grand vision. But experience alone isn’t enough. Decades of studying, listening, teaching, serving, and creating have coalesced into a collaborative, multifaceted endeavor that Jennifer is now bringing to fruition. Her intuitive, energized plan for land acquisition, ecosystem restoration, regenerative farming, youth programming, and yoga and wellness classes is made possible by bringing together the necessary and diverse professionals.

Regenerative Farming

We invite you to imagine a carbon negative, off grid farm on a beautiful location that offers trainings, mentoring programs, community events, and even housing. Imagine place where all are welcome and you can experience a warm family-style atmosphere with an outdoor kitchen/picnic area, a farmhouse, animals and barns, a learning/community center, and eventually dorms or tiny homes to house aging out foster youth. On the hillsides, we will be implementing alternative waste management solutions, water shedding/capturing/recycling systems and restoring the land while creating food forests, hiking trails and horseback riding trails. On the flat land we will have an event dome for yoga and nutrition classes, soundbaths, meditation, antiracism education, and more.

Coming Together

This Farm Educational Event Center provides the platform for breaking the cycle of disconnection and destruction for both humans and the earth. Our programming will create a comprehensive, land-based approach to trauma therapy, wellness, and education specifically focusing on youth in at-risk situations and foster youth. We know that barriers are broken when people come together for a common cause. We also know that land, water, and air quality are restored when we practice carbon sequestration and regenerative farming. Here young people and adults can benefit from innovative educational programs that teach the manual for life, restore the earth, and work in collaboration with other businesses and nonprofits to support people, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Support our movement.

Jennifer’s humility, heart, and abundant faith brought For Land & People into existence. Now it’s time to share it with others.

Are you ready to become a mentor?

Join our volunteer community by becoming a mentor!

Tune in to our podcast.

Follow For Land & People’s progress in the podcast Soil in the City​, an ongoing conversation about our plans to regenerate people, land, and food in today’s cities.

Contact Us