Malik Kenyatta Yakini is an activist, musician and educator committed to freedom and justice for African people in particular and humanity in general. Yakini is a co-founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which operates a seven-acre farm in Detroit and is leading the development of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op. DBCFSN also spearheaded efforts to establish the Detroit Food Policy Council, which Yakini chaired from December 2009 – May 2012. He served as a member of the Michigan Food Policy Council from 2008 – 2010.
From 1990 – 2011 he served as Executive Director of Nsoroma Institute Public School Academy, one of Detroit’s leading African-centered schools. In 2006 he was honored as “Administrator of the Year” by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Timbuktu Academy of Science and Technology from 2004 – 2011. He is C.E.O. of Black Star Educational Management.
He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Blacks farmers in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. He views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equality. He is dedicated to working to identify and alleviate the impact of racism and white privilege on the food system.
Yakini has presented at numerous local community meetings and national conferences on food justice and implementing community food security practices. He is featured in the book “Blacks Living Green” and the movies “Urban Roots”, “We are Not Ghosts” and “Growing Cities” He has appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” and “The Tavis Smiley Show.”
From 2011 – 2013 he was an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Community Fellow. From 2013-2014 he was a Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Fellow. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2012 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. He is currently a board member of Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy. He is a vegan and an avid organic grower. He leads and plays guitar in the Detroit-based band Mollywop!
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