Maplewood native and Columbia High School Class of 2008 graduate Solana Rowe, better known to most as Grammy-nominated artist SZA, appeared on CBS This Morning on Wednesday, February 17, to “announce her new partnership with TAZO Tea and the nonprofit organization American Forests to launch the TAZO Tree Corps.” SZA also discussed the much-anticipated upcoming release of her second album.
SZA reported that TAZO Tree Corps will be planting trees in towns and cities that have faced “environmental racism,” suffering from greater pollution and deprived of green space. The TAZO Tree Corps website states: “BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities across the country have been disproportionately impacted for decades. At TAZO, we believe everyone has a responsibility to not only protect the planet, but those in communities that are most vulnerable to this crisis. And, together, we can achieve climate justice by centering BIPOC-led climate solutions.”
Maplewood Township Committee woman Nancy Adams posted a link to the segment on her Facebook page and wrote, “Thank you SZA for the shoutout to your hometown, but mostly thank you for your movement for planting more trees to combat climate change! We’re worried about the loss of trees here in Maplewood and I’m advocating for more plantings in our parks and throughout our town with street trees! Your hometown is proud of you just like your awesome parents [Audrey Rowe and Abdul-Alim Mubarak-Rowe]!”