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Uma Nicole
Uma Nicole

Uma Nicole

Urban Community Garden Collective

"Life experience is what will lead you."

Career Roadmap

Uma's work combines: Business, Environment & Nature, and Helping People

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Day In The Life


I help to revitalize justice-impacted communities through environmental education and vocation.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Mathematics, General

    California State University, Los Angeles

  • Graduate Degree

    Bioethics/Medical Ethics

    Loyola Marymount University

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life took a while to figure out

  • 1.

    I grew up in inner-city Los Angeles, California.

  • 2.

    I come from a culture with deep-rooted values in typical gender norms, but I was more interested in what my mind could do if it was given the opportunity—I was determined to pursue my education.

  • 3.

    In college, I majored in mathematics and minored in gender studies—I did a lot of research on intercultural competency in the hard sciences during my undergraduate studies.

  • 4.

    Inspired by the values of my Indigenous family, I founded Urban Community Garden Collective, which transforms vacant lots in Los Angeles into gardens for a variety of educational and vocational uses.

  • 5.

    My interests also led me to question concepts of morality in medicine, so I decided to pursue a master’s degree in bioethics at Loyola Marymount University.

  • 6.

    Fueled by my interest in applied ethics, I currently do work with diversity, equity, and inclusion, incarcerated populations, human rights, and more.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Society in general:

    Your work is not going to make a difference. People can't change.

  • How I responded:

    I've experienced doubt from others regarding the work I do with incarcerated individuals. People have misconceptions about incarcerated individuals. They believe these people can't change and that they're in this position because of something in their biology. In reality, many people are incarcerated because they've been exploited.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • Leading DEI work during COVID-19 has been challenging. I'm affected by the loss Native and BIPOC communities are experiencing because of the response to the pandemic. It's been difficult to get others to understand that DEI work doesn't take breaks.