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CFO / Madera E. Rogers-Henry 

Non-Profit Company: Literacy Project International aka Whose Magazine? A Youth Publication 

Programs: The Recycle Challenge Crafting & Recycle Station 

                    The Recycle Challenge Parade & Festival

                    Whose Magazine? 

                     Ujima Collective 



Fiscal Agent: CCI - New Orleans, LA.

(Collaborative Community Initiative) 

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Madera Rogers-Henry is a visionary artist and sustainability advocate whose work bridges the realms of creativity and environmental consciousness. Known for her innovative approach to upcycling and eco-friendly art, Madera transforms discarded materials into unique and inspiring creations. Her dedication to sustainability and community engagement has made her a leading figure in the world of sustainable art.


Early Life and Inspiration:

Madera acknowledges her great grandmother, Sallie Massengale, referred to as Gramps or Granny, from Meridian, Mississippi, who introduced her to sustainability. Gramps' property on the hill had a garden that sustained visiting cousins with fresh vegetables, fruits like watermelon, poultry, and homemade jams and jellies. The small farm featured a wood-burning stove and oven. One of Madera’s fondest memories is of the quilts Gramps sewed by hand, often with the help of elder women from the family or AME church. This crafting tradition, preserving the past while sustaining the present, taught Madera the importance of living off the land and becoming producers of their fate rather than relying on external powers. This legacy deeply influences her work and community initiatives today.

Artistic Statement:

Madera E. Rogers-Henry, a youthful artist over 60 years old, brings a fresh perspective and wisdom to the art scene. Her innovative approach transcends age barriers, inspiring creativity and self-expression. Madera works with diverse mediums like photography, sketching, painting, costume design, and fashion, exploring identity, memory, New Orleans cultures, and traditions. Emphasizing recycling and upcycling techniques, her art highlights sustainability and environmental consciousness. By transforming discarded materials into unique creations, Madera promotes waste reduction and a more sustainable art-making approach. She finds beauty and creativity in overlooked items, championing a more sustainable and eco-friendly artistic vision.



Madera E. Rogers-Henry and Literacy Project International



CFO History:

Madera E. Rogers-Henry, a visionary entrepreneur, environmental activist, and recycling artist, combines art, recycling, and action to tackle waste issues. Under her leadership, the popular programs The Recycle Challenge along with the parade & festival has grown into a global initiative inspiring individuals worldwide to ramp up recycling efforts.


As the founder of Literacy Project International, a non-profit organization that was established in Denver, Colorado from 1998 to 2010. And was introduced to New Orleans in 2017. The organization, also known as Whose Magazine? A Youth Publication, was later introduced to the New Orleans area with a mission to promote literacy and empower youth through various programs.


Madera is a highly dedicated individual who also serves as a CFO, educator, and youth advocate. She possesses an unwavering passion for creating impactful art and developing programs for underserved communities. Madera's skill set and expertise were honed during her tenure as a member of CARENET AmeriCorps under the Adams County School District 14, based in Commerce City, Colorado. From 1998 to 2010, Madera emerged as an inspiring figure while spearheading the groundbreaking Whose Magazine? A Youth Publication under The Literacy Project, Inc. This visionary initiative aimed to connect children with real-world experiences that significantly enhanced their educational and cultural literacy.


From 2010 to 2014, Madera married and relocated to the Brooklyn, New York area of Flatbush near Brooklyn College. She embarked on a transformative artistic journey. As a budding designer, a defining moment occurred just a month before her wedding when the concept of MERELY M.E. descended upon her. Every element of the company, from clothing materials to jewelry and accessories, would be crafted from recycled linens and paper. In 2013, the MERELYME.CO brand received acclaim when it was featured at Vancouver Eco Fashion Week, captivating audiences and gaining widespread press coverage.


Relocating to New Orleans in 2014, Madera found herself immersed and inspired by the New Orleans culture. The city's vibrant culture, sights, and sounds, which greatly influenced her artistic endeavors. She began creating stunning paper costumes, specialty hand-fans, hats, and masks, showcasing her unwavering creativity.


Since 2018, Madera has been at the helm of New Orleans Whose Magazine? A Youth Publication, also known as Literacy Project International. This pioneering pilot program, supported by a grant from Youth Service America (YSA), forged partnerships with community schools such as Mary D. Coghill Charter School and Adinkra Nola. Implementing a yearly school schedule at Light City Christian Academy, Madera infused lessons on cooking, journalism, and the creative recycling arts.


Her dedication is to promote sustainability and fostering community engagement. Since 2021, she has been the driving force behind The Recycle Challenge Parade & Festival program, a groundbreaking platform that seamlessly blends art, recycling, and action to combat the pressing issue of waste in our society. Under Madera's exceptional leadership, The Recycle Challenge Parade & Festival has evolved into a global initiative campaign, inspiring individuals, households, and communities worldwide as Nigeria Milliners Associatin to intensify their recycling efforts. 


In 2023, a new community outreach program was established—The Recycle Challenge Crafting & Recycling Station—an avenue to connect with at-risk communities and teach recycling art to individuals in need.


Program Offerings:

Under the umbrella of Literacy Project International, several programs have been introduced to engage and support the youth community. These programs include:

  • Whose News

  • Cooking With A Chef

  • Young Photographer

  • The Recycle Challenge Crafting & Recycling Station

  • The Recycle Challenge Parade and Festival

These initiatives aim to provide educational and creative opportunities for young individuals, fostering their talents and skills in various areas of interest.


Community Initiatives:

There are several initiatives introduced by Literacy Project International, they are: 



 The Recycle Challenge, which includes the Crafting & Recycling Station and the Parade and Festival component, in it’s 3rd year. These programs are designed to promote environmental awareness, creativity, and community engagement among youth participants. Most importantly, a focus on intentionally, infusing cultural awareness centered around New Orleans traditions. Along with crafting arts that connects to Black & Indigenous pride & joy. 



In association with The Recycle Challenge, Black Pearl MarketPlace, and the Milliners Association of Nigeria. THE RECYCLE PROJECT'S - CHALLENGE, asks each participant to commit to completing an assignment, or challenge that centers around recycling and repurposing waste material into a Paper Hat! The Milliners Association of Nigeria will be introduced through a Cast Your Vote Contest and online auction of wearable hats solely from recycled paper and waste materials. THE RECYCLE CHALLENGE is an idea whose time has come, establishing a line of communication, a conduit for information, products, and services as a vigorous and powerful alliance. For three years, The Recycle Challenge Parade & Festival has featured the trash to wealth experience with Nigeria. The mission of repurposing and reusing materials to create unique hats from trash, fosters a competition that demonstrates craftsmanship. This year’s competition focuses on storytelling abilities through their hat designs, creativity, neatness, adherence to the AI-generated concept, and innovative use of raw materials. 



Scheduled to open in 2025, the Lower 9th Ward's newest gem, the Integrated Art Center of Culture (IACOC), will become a dynamic and versatile space dedicated to fostering creativity, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. Serving as a hub for innovation and cultural expression, IACOC offers short-term rentals for pop-up events and acts as an incubator for both new and existing businesses


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

(347) 735-1257 

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