Carmen Pabón Interviewed by the Lower Eastside Girls Club
Carmen Pabón was a key force behind the community garden movement in the Lower East Side. Known as "The Mother of Loisaida," she founded the El Bello Amanecer Boriqueño Garden in 1984 on Avenue C between 7th and 8th Streets. Though the garden was bulldozed in 2000 to make way for development, a portion of it was reopened in 2016 as the Carmen Pabón Del Amanecer Community Garden.
Photographs of her garden are featured in Aki Onda's installation Silence Prevails: Lower East Side Community Gardens During the Pandemic. In this interview conducted by girls from the Lower Eastside Girls Club—a partner in Growing Abolition—Pabón discusses her six decades in community activism, social work, and radical gardening.
This interview was conducted as part of WGRL (Where Girl Radio Lives). An initiative run by the Lower Eastside Girls Club, WGRL was one of the first podcasting studios in the Lower East Side showcasing teen-produced content; encompassing social justice movements and issues, interviews with activists, scientists and celebrities and worldwide art, music and culture. The weekly class produces podcasts from a young person's perspective, focusing on their concerns and questions.