How Being Bold Can Create a Just Food System in Africa


Image credit: Green Festival/Zakiya Harris
This guest post was written by Zakiya Harris, San Francisco Green Festival's Community Catalyst and the Founder of Earthseed Consulting.

As we embrace the cosmic shift transpiring on the planet, we bear witness to walls of separation fading into the realization of one global community.

The role of Africa is integral to this process.

Not only because it represents the birthplace of civilization but because the land and its people have served as "global canaries" in the coal mine of our collective conscience. Africa, is a symbol of how inconceivable beauty and unimaginable horrors can shape the landscape of the human spirit and affect the planet. Therefore, you cannot have a conversation about the transition toward a just food system without first exploring the implications of a just Africa. Before a seed is planted one must first ensure that the soil is healthy and in many ways Africa epitomizes the soil essential for the growth of humanity.

Conversely, this global shift represents a new opportunity for us to imagine the unimaginable, to construct new approaches to problem solving and have the courage to discard that, which no longer serves. The West, almost by definition has been at the forefront of this process. Not because of its structure or political system, but because of the people who have had the courage to challenge and recreate its structures for the benefit of the whole.

A "just" transition recognizes this polarity and rather than attempt to favor one world view over the other. Seeks to weave ancient principles with modern innovation and transform the individual from reactionary into solutionary. Projects like BoldFood are doing just that through the creation of a two-year, transatlantic partnership between adult leaders and professionals in Africa and the United States. BoldLeaders, Growing Power, Inc, the Mazingira Institute, Environmental Alert and Support African Empowerment Initiative (SAFI) have teamed up to host fifty-three adults from the United States, Uganda and Kenya who work in agriculture, education, government and community based organizations. The group will examine the specific social, political, and economic factors that contribute to the issues of food production, equitable distribution, and non-degradable environmental practices through international exchange, programming and training facilitated by host country institutions, community organizations and community leaders.

The program is ushering in a new wave of global citizenship and earth stewardship around food production through one simple call to action...being Bold!

Meet BoldFood participants Ashara Ekundayo and Zakiya Harris at Green Festival in San Francisco on Saturday, April 9 at 1:30pm in the Community Action Pavilion.
Zakiya Harris is a California native, who has been working as an artist, educator and activist for the past 10 years. In 2008, she became the first African-American Regional Director of the San Francisco Green Festival, the nation's premier sustainability event, where she served for two years, and continues to work as San Francisco Green Festival's Community Catalyst. Her recent achievements include: Receiving the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Future Leaders award; serving as a Fellow at Green For All under the direction of Van Jones; and presenting at TEDx Denver. Recently, she co-founded Earthseed Consulting LLC, her first for-profit venture. The firm is dedicated to the reconnection of communities of color to the earth. She is also an accomplished dancer, vocalist, actor and member of the west coast based neo-folkloric ensemble, Ase Dance Theater Collective. Her highest honor in life is being a mother to her beautiful 5 year old daughter.