Collectively cooking and sharing food is sanctified and celebrated community work in many cultures. With the passage of time, systems of imperialism--including capitalism and gentrification--have turned cooking into an inaccessible burden. Systemic classism and racism have made liquor stores and fast food chains more abundant than grocery stores. It has become increasingly difficult to cook and share meals. This also restricts our ability to share cultures, space, struggles, and solidarity.
In response to this inequality, PKC has been creating accessible, healthy, and loving food spaces since 2007. The goal of the People's Kitchen Collective is to not only fill our stomachs, but also nourish our souls, feed our minds, and fuel a movement.
Community Dining: We approach community dining as a social practice, creating meals in collaboration with artists, poets, researchers, and activists as multi-sensory productions of cultural resilience and joyous political critique.
Education: Through public speaking and workshops, we share our expertise and research of food and social movements to build solidarity across race, class, nationality, and gender.
Exhibitions and Programming: We create participatory projects with museums, galleries, and in public spaces that engage the social politic and potential of food.
In San Francisco and Marin, 1 in 4 neighbors is at risk of hunger. Through an extensive network of partnerships with community organizations, the Food Bank distributes 48 million pounds of food each year, feeding 140,000 people each week. The programs include hundreds of pantries that offer free groceries to the community, nutrition education workshops, home-delivered groceries, food stamp enrollment, snacks for students, and new programs being pioneered constantly.
Unlike many non-profits that rely on doom-and-gloom imagery to emphasize victimhood, the images produced for the SFM Food Bank focus on the transformative and uplifting nature of food to portray program participants in a dignified manner.
The Museum of African Diaspora is a contemporary art museum that celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.
In 2015, Bryant Terry was announced as the inaugural Chef-in-Residence. Since then, he has been creating programming that celebrates the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora.
The Edible Schoolyard (ESY) is a 1-acre (4,000 m2) garden at the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, California. The Edible Schoolyard was established by restaurateur and activist Alice Waters through the Chez Panisse Foundation.
The Edible Schoolyard encompasses garden and kitchen classroom settings and provides a hands-on environment for students in which to apply skills learned in traditional math, science, and humanities classes. The King Middle School garden serves as a model for other Edible Schoolyard affiliate programs that are being established around the country.
Alena Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with the mission of providing critical safe spaces for the African Diaspora to express and cultivate their cultural identity in the face of gentrification.
In the African language of Tigrinya, "Alena" translates to "We are here." Alena Museum embodies the spirit of our namesake by curating and activating spaces to preserve and cultivate African diasporic culture in the face of aggressive gentrification, a contemporary iteration of the white supremacy and colonialism embedded throughout American history. In partnership with our West Oakland community—and its rich history of resistance against racism and displacement—we position ourselves as active players in this new economy in order to directly and actively mitigate the displacement and marginalization of our communities rather than passively accepting the violent practices threatening our presence and access to space.
Born from a citizens’ initiative, the Refugee Food Festival is an annual project allowing restaurant owners to open their kitchens to refugee chefs. The first Refugee Food Festival, founded by the Food Sweet Food charity with the support of the UN Agency for Refugees, took place in Paris in June 2016.
The annual festival aims to accomplish 3 missions:
Perceptions around the welcoming of refugees and refugee status.
The integration of refugee chefs through training and a community of committed chefs and restaurant owners.
Civil society, and get citizens together around the dinner table, a universal place of peace and equality.
Monifa Dayo decided enough was enough. The Oakland chef had toiled in kitchens for years, and she could no longer stand the insults from bosses, the hostile micro aggressions from co-workers, and the isolation as the only African-American female employee.
Since she didn’t have $400,000 to start her own restaurant, she went underground. In fall 2016, Dayo sent out an email blast announcing her new project: Monifa Dayo, a supper club experience. About 50 people showed up to that first event, and her following has swelled through word of mouth. She renovated her one-bedroom apartment to feel like an intimate restaurant full of bright colors, vintage accents, and carefully sourced California cuisine with African influences.
I worked with Dayo to produce a video and images for her successful crowdfunding campaign to finance her travels through France, Gambia, and Senegal to research for her upcoming cookbook.
Rooted in the principles of reproductive justice, the Abortion Access Hackathon is a creative, collaborative event. Building bridges between healthcare professionals and software developers, the AAH offers tangible ways for individuals to use their skill set to further reproductive justice. Every event includes a primer on abortion and reproductive justice, vocabulary guide for common abortion and tech-related lingo, guidelines for inclusion and working well together - and of course, free food and drinks. Over 80% of participants identify as female.