Ladonna Redmond, "Beyond the plate:
Using food as a tool to end oppression,"
When LaDonna Redmond couldn’t find a healthful food outlet in her Chicago neighborhood, she decided to rebuild the urban food system. The farmers market, food distribution network and urban farms sites led to a grassroots movement of citywide-and then national-conversations about food justice. It is her quest to see that every citizen has a right to food.
A long-time community activist, Redmond has successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store and worked on federal farm policies to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities. Redmond is a 2003 WK Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow. In 2009, Redmond was one of 25 citizen and business leaders named a Responsibility Pioneer by Time Magazine.
In early April 2013, Redmond launched the Campaign for Food Justice Now (CFJN), a membership-based organization that uses a race, class, and gender analysis to promote food and agricultural system reforms, and advocate for the adoption of right-to-food policies in the U.S.
She is currently Diversity and Community Engagement manager for Seward Community Co-op. In that role, LaDonna led an effort to build a natural foods co-op in an historically African American community. Sewards Friendship store opened October 2015.
LaDonna hosts 2 weekly radio shows, “It's your health” on KMOJ- FM in Minneapolis, and the online radio show “Diary of an Urban Food Goddess” on blog talk radio.
Combining art with activism, Ladonna curates theatre performances called SOUL food monologue. SFM encourages people to write and perform food, land and justice stories with an emphasis on healing the relationship between land and people.
Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer and activist. Her book Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation, which explores the intersections of animal ethics and disability studies, is forthcoming from The New Press. She is currently a PhD student in American Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU.