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Pan-African Answers for Food Injustice​

Access to food is a human right but many African Americans do not recognize rights beyond those identified as civil rights. Our communities are food deserts and food swamps as an extension of earlier land negotiations that left urban America with a limited political voice, fewer economic options and a declining population that is being replaced by non-traditional inhabitants of the area. For African Americans who are often locked into environments that are lack access to affordable, nutritious and accessible food, individual, family and social group food production becomes an insurrectionary act – one that challenges those who control food production, our knowledge of food and our capacity to serve ourselves based on our own cultural values. As we delve deeper we recover the history of African American foodstuffs and culinary contributions to society overall.

Ubuntu and other African cultural frameworks now serve as a basis for the reclamation of urban land, food production and distribution. We see where the Nguzo Saba are not motifs to recite once a year but become the basis for daily interactions. We affirm a future where we are contributors and donors and not just recipients and beneficiaries. From Columbus, Ohio Julialynne Walker has over 30 years experience working with movements for social change in Africa and the Americas, beginning with the civil rights movement, continuing with African liberation struggles and is still engaged in consolidating the Pan African Movement.
Julialynne’s experience is with community, public and private sector organizations – domestic and international – managing projects and providing strategic planning and guidance in the areas of social development, change management (gender, diversity and inclusion), public policy and the African Diaspora in countries on three continents and the Caribbean. Julialynne is passionate about the connections between healthy food, growing healthy food and marketing healthy food, especially within traditionally African-American communities as an outgrowth of her international public health and African Diaspora work.

She is currently the Certified Market Manager Assistant for the Ohio Farmers Market Network, market manager for the Bronzeville Growers Market and manager of the Bethany Bronzeville Community Garden which services the 14 year old Community Lunch Program at Bethany Presbyterian Church. She has facilitated a seven month course in urban farming sponsored by USDA/Farm Services Agency that addressed the existence of food deserts in Central Ohio and serves as a mentor to area gardeners. She also owns an online travel service, Crossing Cultures Travel and Tours, / and lectures/serves as a consultant on issues of the African Diaspora and urban farming to colleges and the community.

Julialynne’s local community activities include serving on the board of the Columbus Landmarks Foundation and the advisory committees for the Columbus Africentric Early College (only preK-12 school with an Africentric focus) and Columbus African-American Digital Collection for the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She is an active member of the Greater Columbus Growing Coalition and OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association) and attended the 2018 Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers Convention. Julialynne has a B.A. (Black Studies) from the College of Wooster and a J.D. from Northwestern University.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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