- SMU Class of ’18, Graduate Student
- Masters in Sustainability and Development
- US Army Veteran
- B.A. in Environmental Studies/Biology from Austin College
- Geo-mapping current and potential community gardens in South Dallas
- Consultant, Restorative Farms in South Dallas
- Member, Alpha Chi Honor Society at SMU
“Fighting for that which cannot defend itself is what I have learned defines me. You do not need war to have something worth fighting for. I choose to fight for socioeconomically oppressed people, locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. I choose to fight for protection of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the salt water that harbors life we have yet to discover. I choose to fight against the displacement of indigenous people and the loss of biodiversity caused by deforestation for cash crops like palm oil. I choose to fight against childhood hunger and the millions of children that go hungry in America daily. I choose to fight the fashion industry’s waste and their use of children to make garments. I choose to fight the meat industry for their mistreatment of animals. I choose to fight the agriculture industry because of their chemical uses on crops and their ocean dead zone consequences. Speaking as a war veteran, there is no real need for fighting among nations, but there is plenty worth fighting for in this world.” – DeVincent Martin
DeVincent graduated from SMU earning his Masters in Sustainability and Development. He is a US Army Veteran who served as a Radio Telephone Operator with 3rd Armored Division 4/18 Infantry during Desert Storm. Through the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation Program, DeVincent received his AA in General Studies from Collin College in May of 2013 and his B.A. in Environmental Studies/Biology from Austin College in May of 2016. DeVincent left the Vocational Rehabilitation Program in 2016 to continue his education through the Lyle School of Engineering Sustainability and Development Program. He was inducted into the Alpha Chi Honor Society at SMU in the Fall of 2017, and will complete his graduate degree in May 2018.
DeVincent came to the Hunt Institute when his graduate adviser, Dr. Quicksall, realized that his passion for sustainable development of healthier food options within the so-called food desert of southern Dallas region was similar to work already being done through the Hunt Institute. Under the guidance of his mentors, Dr. Owen Lynch and Professor Jessie Zarazaga, DeVincent worked on geo-mapping the current and potential community gardens in South Dallas to gather data about produce yields and options for increasing their production. His geospatial data will provide networking, collaborating, and potential expansion opportunities for the non-profit community gardens in South Dallas. In addition, the data collected will provide a baseline for urban agriculture investment opportunities for profit within the often-neglected South Dallas area.
DeVincent plans to research how using commercial urban agriculture to apply alternative food production techniques can aid in minimizing the food desert in southern Dallas, and add to economic and community development within the area by employing locals. By using company tax dollars to contribute to local community gardens, he aims to reduce the carbon footprint from transportation, reduce water usage and reduce electricity needed to run an urban agriculture company in Southern Dallas.
DeVincent worked with Restorative Farms in South Dallas to help initiate a pilot seedling farm at the MLK Center, which will provide seedlings to the local community gardens. The program plans to minimize one of the most tedious and unsuccessful stages of growing produce — seed to seedling stage. By providing the gardens with seedlings, the produce yields are expected to increase. On top of that, by providing seedlings and training, the program expects non-profit gardens to become sustainable and potentially expand.
Contributors to this post:
Written by: Kim Strelke
Edited by: DeVincent Martin & Maggie Inhofe
Photo by: Alissa Llort