Devita Davison: How urban agriculture is transforming Detroit
At FoodLab Detroit, Devita Davison supports local entrepreneurs and imagines a new future for food justice. Full bio
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was the world's industrial giant,
of land and infrastructure,
Midwestern urban center.
for urban decay.
our population is under 700,000,
where 70 percent of Detroiters
nutritious food that they need,
illness and diet-related diseases.
live closer to a fast food restaurant
or to a gas station
about the city of Detroit,
that Detroiters are changing,
and food entrepreneurship.
of Boston, San Francisco,
of the city of Detroit.
of the city is vacant.
unlike any other big city.
open land, fertile soil,
for healthy, fresh food.
a people-powered grassroots movement
of American industry
out of all the cities in the world,
to serve as the world's urban exemplar
and sustainable development.
located all across the city today.
tomatoes and carrots either.
in Detroit is all about community,
are spaces of conviviality.
where we're building social cohesion
and our neighbors.
through a few Detroit neighborhoods,
when you empower local leadership,
in low-income communities
in Detroit's North End neighborhood.
into a five-acre landscape
looks like in the city of Detroit.
to work with Oakland Avenue Farms
where we bring folks onto the farm,
of time and opportunity
they're treated to a farm-to-table meal
right at the peak of its freshness.
people's relationship to food.
exactly where their food comes from
that's on the plate.
on the west side of Detroit,
a lower-income community in Detroit.
residents in Brightmoor.
a block-by-block-by-block strategy.
called Brightmoor Farmway.
unsafe, underserved community
beautiful, safe farmway,
and farms and greenhouses.
also came together recently,
that was in disrepair and in foreclosure.
and families and volunteers,
the bulletproof glass,
into a community kitchen,
who live in Brightmoor,
can make and sell their product.
healthy, fresh food.
and this is my third example --
the business cooperative model.
I told you about earlier?
is a nonprofit organization
70,000 packets of seeds
and operate a cooperative.
in local markets,
of the proceeds from the sale.
African Americans are dying
in the city of Detroit,
in the city of Detroit.
is providing Detroiters the opportunity
response from Detroiters.
for culturally appropriate,
organization called FoodLab Detroit,
burgeoning food entrepreneurs
these entrepreneurs incubation,
access to industry experts
who come from neighborhoods
from these types of opportunities.
on this stage and tell you
and all of Detroit's challenges
through urban agriculture.
has Detroit thinking about its city
how we're creating a new society
that was disintegration from the old.
because they're stories about love,
for one another,
the love that we have for Mother Earth,
these stories are stories
in the city of Detroit.
of people left Detroit,
those who stayed had hope.
to one that is prosperous,
one that provides opportunities for all,
the social fabric of our communities,
in our most vulnerable neighborhoods,
ABOUT THE SPEAKERDevita Davison - Food activist
At FoodLab Detroit, Devita Davison supports local entrepreneurs and imagines a new future for food justice.
Why you should listen
Detroit is a legendary food town, and it's thanks to small, locally owned businesses that range from streetside barbecue tents to neighborhood bakeries, shops and delis -- even small farms. At FoodLab Detroit, Devita Davison helps locals with ideas for a food business to take their dreams into delicious reality, by connecting them with business advice, help with compliance and licensing, space in professional kitchens, marketing ideas and more. The nonprofit focuses on entrepreneurs and communities who have been traditionally under-resourced, aiming to build power and resilience for people around the city.
FoodLab's vision is to cultivate, connect and catalyze, to use food as an economic engine, to form a supportive community of entrepreneurs and to make good food a reality for all Detroiters.
Devita Davison | Speaker | TED.com