Leslie Knox strives to be the change she wants to see in the world and a role model with integrity for her family. She has 15 years of experience in community outreach and social service through mental health, guardianship, addiction and education advocacy. She has a Master’s in Business Administration from the Simon School of Business that provides an added layer of insight to her perspective. She now dedicates her time to urban farming and community advocacy, with a focus on parents in the community and inclusion. Being a parent herself, she knows the importance of parent engagement. She says, “It is the flour in the bread; foundational and essential.”

This passion is reflected in her work as board chair of Taproot Collective, whose mission is to design and build holistic systems for healthy local food, dignified housing, and educational opportunities with youth and families. By making local parents aware of the opportunities Taproot has to offer such as education and youth employment through RochesterWorks Summer Youth Employment Program, she has helped to strengthen the organization and build capacity.

Taproot is currently looking to expand their team and bring on three positions to support summer programming. Her goal is for Taproot to become a well-known and reliable asset to the community that offers connections to healthy and locally grown food, youth employment, education opportunities, and beautiful green spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Leslie also serves on other community boards and committees, including leading the Friends of the Public Market and is actively involved in PECAN and the Parent Leadership Training Institute.