Introductions are hard; we're all extraordinarily dynamic people so I'm going to try to captivate you, in as short of words as possible with as much detail as possible to explain what brings me here, to this website, to this virtual space.
My name is Dejah Powell and I'm a recent graduate of Cornell University who studied Environmental and Sustainability Science, and minored in Business and Community Food Systems. I currently work at Civic Consulting Alliance here in Chicago working on West Side United. If you really know me, you’d know how passionate I am about the things I love; Chicago, food, the environment, books, etc. This space is an amalgamation of a lot of these things.
I created this creative writing space out of the need to share with the world the research I'm conducting this year on campus; What will it take to uproot the intentionally placed food deserts [food apartheid] in African-American communities on the South Side of Chicago? Think, the nexus between food & agriculture, black liberation, and environmental justice. Splashed with a bit of my own thinking about the world on miscellaneous topics.
Outlook on life? I envision a world in which environmental and climate justice are ingrained within the ecological, economical, and social fabrics of our society, where urban cities grow a diversity of foods from vacant lots, where ecological literacy and how one must treat the planet, are ingrained values within individuals at birth, and where our society no longer is addicted to fossil fuels that continue to slowly destroy the planet. I share this to give insights to why I do what I do; I hope that through living and creating and being, that I can begin to create the world that I envision; my version of utopia.
Also, I cannot talk about myself without speaking more to the title of the blog. You can take it in the literal sense. I'm 22; I am growing. Or at least I'd hope so. I've come to a point where I've cherished the growth, not matter how painful or awkward it's been. And trust me, it has been at moments. It can also be taken as me, a 22 year old girl from Chicago, learning the process of creating and growing food, reconnecting back to my agricultural roots as a black person in America. (Although historically black people were enslaved to farm, against their own will.) I had the opportunity to learn a bit last summer, working with Sweet Water Foundation. Search the history of posts to find more on that experience.
I'm writing because it is necessary. I've always kept my ideas lost within journals that I've accumulated over the years. For once, given the political and environmental climate at the moment, I'm compelled to share my ideas, in hopes that others are thinking about the things I think about or want to further discuss the things that infiltrate my mind daily. Please share, comment and engage with me further on these issues... if not I'll feel like I'm talking to myself. Which I usually am As a person trying daily to survive and heal, I'm really in love with creating things... things that may not be good or interesting or appealing at all, but nonetheless, necessary. With that, I'll end with a quote.