Hi. I’m Leila.

I’m a designer, green builder, maker, teacher, entrepreneur, and community activist.

I’m from the South Valley of Albuquerque, NM. I went to UPenn where I majored in Architecture and Environmental Studies, lived in Center City Philadelphia, and enjoyed that urban experience. I moved back to Albuquerque and worked as an architectural intern until I co-founded the Albuquerque Old School, a hub of community experts who offer classes in frugal, traditional, and sustainable living. We connect people who have these homesteading skills to people who want to learn those skills. I teach some of the classes, including greywater, natural building, non-dairy milks, hummus & pita, and homemade toothpaste! Old School is currently on-hold while I work on other projects, but I hope to find other homesteading enthusiasts to join me to re-launch this terrific project.

Local sustainability is kind of my thing. With a team of twelve, I helped to launch the Transition movement in Albuquerque to work on local resilience projects, and I’m really looking forward to where that’s going. Rob Hopkins’ Transition Handbook gave me a brilliant new word for what Old School does: “reskilling”. I love it. With Transition I became a big advocate for localism in all its forms. I organized a panel on Relocalizing the Economy, and developed a workshop on Disaster Preparedness & Community Resilience that I’ve given at climate conferences and events.

I also spend good chunks of time doing local organizing work with the amazing people of Urban ABQ, Mi ABQ, and OLÉ on events and projects such as ABQ CiQlovia, two mayoral candidate forums, a citywide summit, and campaigns for paid sick leave and democracy dollars.

Relocalizing the economy and building up the local sharing economy are also big interests of mine. I was one of the early members of AFLEP advocating for public banks. I organize a massive and fun Really Really Free Market each year, lead a Buy Nothing Project group in my area of the city and help develop others around town. Organizing neighbors around creating a tool library and a repair cafe are on my wish list for future projects.

As for my “day job”, I’m working freelance in graphic design and communications with clients such as the Desert Oasis Teaching Garden, CivNet, Young Women United, and the City of Albuquerque Corridors initiative.

Thanks for visiting. I hope to add more work samples to this website soon. You can contact me at leila.salim@gmail.com or via social media at the links below.