Indigo Monae works in the Yoga Gardens space Sunday, May 13, 2018, in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. Monae is yoga teacher who saw a need for a safe and peaceful community space while she was living in a building next to an empty lot in Lawndale. At first, the space was an empty field covered with rubbish without much vegetation. One morning while she was meditating on her porch, she said, “I saw this 10-year-old boy with a huge line of older people, like, down the alley. I was like, ‘What’s going on? What’s going on?’ And then I realized he was selling drugs to all these grown people. I was like, ‘Whoa!’ And it wasn’t regular drugs, it was like heroin and things.” Over the past 8 years, with help from other volunteers in the yoga community and funds from classes taught at Montrose Beach, Monae transformed the empty lot into a lush garden with a deck for yoga practice.

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