Celebrating Women’s History Month, Dine Diaspora announced an amazing list of 31 Black Women from across the globe with their 5th Annual Black Women in Food Awards.
Launched by co-founders Maame Boakye and Nina Oduro, the duo created a black-owned operated agency in Washington DC to connect people and brands to African diaspora food culture. “It was important for us to be able to amplify the stories of black culinary creatives, who are exploring African diasporic cuisine,” explains Maame Boakye, Co-Founder Dine Diaspora.
“Honoring and supporting culinary creatives- connecting them to networks and resources to thrive is what we live for.Geographical diversity is so important to us. Black women are critical to our food system, not only in the U.S but also globally. It’s really about giving black women their flowers, and importantly, centering their work,” Boakye said.
The 2022 honorees for the “Black Women in Food Awards feature six categories: Amplifier, Game Change, Innovator, Trailblazer, Creator, and Culinarian. “We creatively came up with six categories; each category represents a black leader. We wanted to make sure geographical diversity was reflected in the women that were selected.“
An amplifier is an individual that leverages their voice and platform(s) to highlight stories or narratives in the food ecosystem.
Chasity Cooper, Award Winning Writer, Entrepreneur, and Wine Culture Expert (Chicago, IL, USA)
Osayi Endolyn, Award Winning Writer, Co-author, THE RISE: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food
Cynthia Greenlee, Writer and Historian. Contributing Editor, Scalawag (Durham, NC, USA)
Nikita Richardson, Senior Staff Editor, New York Times Food and Cooking ( New York, NY, USA)
A game changer uses their voice or influence to bring about positive change for individuals, groups, communities, or the environment.
Gabrielle E.W. Carter, Co-founder, Tall Grass Food Box ( Apex, NC, USA)
Kiki Louya, Chef and the Executive Director, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (Detroit, MI, USA)
Tambra Raye Stevenson, Founder and CEO of WANDA: Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture (Washington, DC, USA)
Mavis-Jay Sanders, Chef, Director of Operations, The Brownsville Community Culinary Center and Director of Culinary Development and Education, Drive Change (New York, NY, USA)
Sinnidra Taylor, Founder and Director, Friends of Codey’s NOLA (New Orleans, LA, USA)
An innovator creates or adapts tools, models, approaches, and/or harnesses technology in efforts to solve challenges within the food ecosystem.
Dr. Lisa Dyson, Founder and CEO, Air Protein (San Francisco, CA, USA)
Janique Edwards, COO and Co-Founder, EatOkra (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Riana Lynn, CEO and Founder, Journey Foods (Austin, TX, USA)
Lesley Riley, Founder and CEO, Mama’s Biscuits (Germantown, MD, USA)
Perteet Spencer, Co-founder, AYO Foods (Chicago, IL, USA)
A trailblazer is a well-accomplished leader who has paved the way for others and has made groundbreaking contributions in the food ecosystem.
Margaret Nyamumbo, Founder & CEO of Kahawa 1893, (San Francisco, CA, USA)
Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, Co-founder and Executive Chair of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition, Co-founder of AACE Foods and Founder of Nourishing Africa (Lagos, Nigeria)
Zella Palmer, Director, Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture (New Orleans, NY, USA)
Karen Washington, Co-Owner/Farmer, Rise & Root Farm (Bronx, NY, USA)
Dr. Veronica L. Womack, Executive Director, Georgia College & State University’s Rural Studies Institute (Milledgeville, GA,USA)
A creator builds community in- person or virtually using food as a tool or medium of expression and/or connection with others.
Ronke Edoho, Nutrition Specialist, Author, Founder, 9jafoodie (Saskatchewan, Canada)
Courtnee Futch, Chef, Mixologist, Author and Senior Content Manager, Haven’s Kitchen (New York, NY, USA)
Jillian Knox, Interdisciplinary Polymath Artist (San Francisco, CA, USA)
Amber Mayfield, Multidisciplinary Event Producer, Entertaining Expert, Founder of To Be Hosted
(New Rochelle, NY, USA)
Cha McCoy, Sommelier, Public Speaker, Founder of Cha Squared Consulting LLC (New York, NY, USA)
A culinarian is trained or self-taught in the art of cooking and demonstrates exemplary talent through their work
Auzerais Bellamy, Founder, Blondery (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Eden Gebre Egziabher, Chef and Owner, Makina Cafe ( New York, NY, USA)
Zola Nene, Chef, Media Personality, Food Stylist and Cookbook Author ( Cape Town, South Africa)
Ashleigh Pearson, Owner and Pastry Chef/Chocolatier, Petite Soeur (Washington, DC, USA)
Rāsheeda Purdie, Chef and Owner, Ramen by Rā (New York, NY, USA)
Diana Tandia,Chef and Owner, Berber Street Food (New York, NY, USA)
Brittney ‘Stikxz’ Williams, Private Chef, Caterer and Food Stylist (New York, NY, USA)
For Maame Boakye and Nina Oduro, it was important to center black women during Women’s History Month. “March is just a kickoff to a year-round initiative,” Boakye said. Dine Diaspora is continuously working to ensure that they provide resources and opportunities for black women in food. “As the world celebrates Women’s History Month, we continue to do that as well, but centering on black women and black women in food is the vehicle in which we do that.”
Dine Diaspora successfully created an eco-system that provides digital marketing, immersive culinary experience design, influencer engagement, and food business resource development for culinary creatives.