Tag Archive | Lila Cabbil

Amazing Women of Color to lead OKT events


As part of its Women of Color strategy, OKT is bringing some amazing women to Grand Rapids to educate and inspire. If you made it to our February Women of Color Cook, Eat & Talk, you heard Lila Cabbil, president emeritus of the Rosa Parks Institute, speak on white

allies against racism via teleconference.

Lila Cabbil will be here in person May 21 to facilitate a daylong Anti-racism Summit. Lila worked alongside Rosa Parks for decades. She is one of the editors of the book Accountability and White Anti-Racist Organizing: Stories from Our Work.  Lila continues to work tirelessly for water justice in Detroit and, now, Flint. In addition, she has worked with Our Kitchen Table staff on team-building.(We are truly blessed!)

LottieDetroit food justice and media activist, Lottie Spady will facilitate OKT’s May 12 Women of Color Cook, Eat & Talk: Herbs from Your Garden as Medicine. A media-maker and herbalist who often lends her talent to OKT’s programs, Lottie spent many years working with the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC). She utilizes a framework rooted in popular education, social justice, and social entrepreneurship to help develop relevant 21st century skills that community residents can translate into community and economic development. Lottie will speak about the uses of medicinal herbs we can grow in our own gardens. (OKT food gardeners grow many such herbs!)

Adela_2015On August 11, the Women of Color Cook, Eat & Talk will feature Adela Nieves speaking on “Food as Medicine.” Adela Nieves ADS, CCT, RMT is a Traditional Community Health and Healing Arts Practitioner, currently studying to become a Naturopathic Doctor. Deeply committed to integrative wellness approaches, she practices Acudetox (ear acupuncture), indigenous traditional medicine, cupping therapy, whole person natural care, and Reiki for individuals and groups struggling with addiction, PTSD, stress and trauma. Her philosophy is to support those in their journeys to tell their own stories and define health, healing, and wellness for themselves.


Next fall, Shakara Taylor will  lead the November 10 Women of Color Cook, Eat & Talk. She is also facilitating OKT’s “Diagramming Your Food System” workshops in April and July. A mother, returning generation farmer, educator, activist-scholar and PhD student at Michigan State University Department of Community Sustainability, Shakara explores decolonial pedagogies in the food justice and food sovereignty movements within the communal praxis of black agrarianism. Her personal journey of loving, healing and decolonizing is intimately wedded with working and learning with the land. She is committed to working with communities and using land-based activism to build food sovereign communities.

Spring into Activism: OKT April Events


Activist, farmer, mother and MSU PhD candidate, Shakara Taylor will lead “Diagramming Your Food System” on April 25.

APRIL 18 6 – 8 p.m.
Food Justice Primer

OKT’s Stelle Slootmaker will facilitate an introductory dialogue on Food Justice at Garfield Park Lodge. Even if you’ve been to OKT Food Justice classes in the past, we hope you will stop by to share your thoughts and how you are working for food justice locally. At the conclusion of the dialogue, you are invited to stick around for a yoga nidra relaxation exercise. (Bring a blanket to lay on if you wish to practice this lying down.)

APRIL 22 6 to 7:30 p.m.  Earth Day Spring Tree Tour 

Laura Casaletto will take you on a foraging adventure in Garfield Park that teaches you to identify edible trees and shares information on other edibles growing in our neighborhoods. After the 30-minute walking tour, come to the lodge for snacks and dialogue on other neighborhood edibles. The Earth Day Spring Tree Tour remains one of OKT’s most “poplar” events.

APRIL 25 6 – 8 p.m. Diagramming Your Food System  wsg Shakara Taylor

Learn to identify how the industrial food system functions in your neighborhood and, despite its limitations, figure out ways to build a healthier food portfolio for your families and community. A mother, returning generation farmer, educator, activist-scholar and PhD student at Michigan State University Department of Community Sustainability, Shakara explores decolonial pedagogies in the food justice and food sovereignty movements within the communal praxis of black agrarianism.


Women of Color Cook Eat & Talk: How White Allies Can Help Undo Racism

Cabbil & Roos
6 – 8 p.m. Thursday Feb. 11
Sherman Street Church,
1000 Sherman St. SE 49507
Free & Open to All!

Our Kitchen Table is merging two of its mainstay event series, Cook, Eat & Talk and Women of Color
Convenings into one series offered quarterly during 2016. Women of Color Cook, Eat & Talk kicks off with an exciting program facilitated by two veterans of the Civil Rights era who remain very active in their own fields today. The event organizers invite any and all community members to enjoy what is bound to be an empowering evening.

Lila Cabbil worked alongside Rosa Parks as the program director in the organization founded by Mrs. Parks to honor her husband (an activist), The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute. She has worked in the tradition of Mrs. Parks for more than 40 years, and is
now President Emeritus of the Institute. Lila was born in Durham, North Carolina and raised in Detroit. She continues to work for racial justice, environmental justice, water rights and food justice in Detroit. Lila co-edited the book, Accountability and White
Anti-racist Organizing
, which was published in 2010.

Barbara Roos  traveled to Mississippi to stand with African Americans working for civil rights, specifically voting rights. Then a filmmaker with the University of Michigan, she helped document the times, with the hope that the local people involved would be able to learn to create their own media. She joined academia from an award-winning career in public broadcasting, both television and radio.  She founded Grand Valley State University’s Film & Video Program, where she was a professor until just last year. Barbara currently facilitates a script writing workshop through the WKTV Digital Cinema Guild.

To begin the program, OKT cooking coaches will demo a healthy recipe and serve samples. Following the dialogue, OKT invites participants to remain for a session of Yoga Nidra, a relaxation practice offering deep rest and opportunity to set deep intentions as we work to create a better world together.

Our Kitchen Table presents its event at no cost to community members thanks to a grant from the W K Kellogg Foundation, which has again been renewed for the 2016 calendar year.

2nd Women of Color Convening — next Thursday!


Lila Cabbil engaging the audience  at the first Women of Color Convening, April 23.

Lila Cabbil engaging the audience at the first Women of Color Convening, April 23.

Our Kitchen Table
invites you to the
2nd Women of Color
6 – 9 p.m.,
Thursday, May 29,
Madison Square Church
Community Room
1441 SE Madison Avenue,
Grand Rapids, MI  49507.

Cooking demo and dialogue on food justice facilitated by  Lila Cabbil, president emeritus of the Rosa Parks Institute .

  • Learn some new ways to burn in the kitchen and take care of ourselves and our families!
  • What is our relationship to food? Rekindle the spark and reap the benefits of a long term, committed relationship to good healthy food.
  • No matter who you are or where you live, we all are affected by the food we eat, where it comes from, and how it gets to us.
  • We will be cooking another recipie from the “Afro-Vegan” cookbook by celebrity chef  and  food justice activist Bryant Terry.

WAIT! Does that say “VEGAN”? I’m not vegan! No worries! Good cooking and good eating involve many different preparation methods! With diet-related diseases increasing in our communities, vegetarian and vegan options–even some of the time–can help us make meals healthier for ourselves and our families.

Limited seating. RSVP to events@oktjustice.org or 616-206-3641. We look forward to cooking with you!

Renowned Chef Bryant Terry featured at OKT Women of Color Convening April 23

Eco-chef, food justice activist and author, Bryant Terry will meet with community members for dialogue on food justice and a cooking demo from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday April 23 at LINC Gallery, 341 Hall St. SE in Grand Rapids. The appearance debuts Our Kitchen Table’s 2014 series, Women of Color Convenings. Terry’s stop in Grand Rapids marks the release of his new cookbook, Afro-Vegan, as part of Calvin College’s Wake-up Weekend.

Lila Cabbil, president emeritus, Rosa Parks Institute, will facilitate the dialogue. Seating is limited. Preregistration required by contacting OKTable1@gmail.com or 616-206-3641. This is Terry’s second appearance at an in-neighborhood, Our Kitchen Table event. He hosted a community dialogue on Food Justice with Ms. Cabbil here in January, 2012.

Terry’s other books are The Inspired Vegan, Grub and Vegan Soul Kitchen. He hosts his own program, “Urban Organic,” and has appeared on the Sundance Channel’s original TV series “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” the BET series “My Two Cents” and on PBS’ “Nourish: Food + Community” and “The Endless Feast.”

According to his website, http://www.Bryant-Terry.com, “For more than a decade Bryant has worked to build a more just and sustainable food system, and cooking has been an important tool for illuminating the intersections of poverty, structural racism and food insecurity. He uses the sensual pleasures of the table to shift people’s attitudes, habits and politics in effort to ensure that everyone in this country of abundance has access to healthful food.”

WYCE 88.1 Catalyst Radio to air interview with LaDonna Redmond & Lila Cabbil

As part of their appearance with the Our Kitchen Table  Convenings on Food Justice, WYCE’s Linda Gellasch interviewed LaDonna Redmond and Lila Cabbil for  Catalyst Radio. Listen live at noon Friday, May 3 by turning your radio dial to 88.1 FM or stream online. OKT will publish a link to the archived program when it becomes available. The Rapidian will also feature a follow-up post.

Lila Cabbil

Lila Cabbil

Cabbil, who worked side by side with Mrs. Rosa Parks for decades, serves as president emeritus of the Rosa Parks Institute and is author of the book, Accountability and White Anti-Racist Organizing: Stories from Our Work. She has also facilitated team building with the OKT staff and SoutheastArea Farmers’ Market partners over the past two years.abbil for the weekly Catalyst Radio show.


At the forefront of the food justice movement, recently launched the Campaign for Food Justice Now, a membership-based organization that will use 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 United States.

LaDonna Redmond

LaDonna Redmond

A speaker, radio host and former Food and Society Policy Fellow, Redmond was one of 25 citizen and business leaders named a Responsibility Pioneer by Time Magazine. She 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 policy to expand access to healthy food in low‐income communities.

Lila Cabbil to develop manual for Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

SEAFM 1-11-13 (2)

In 2012, Lila Cabbill (left) facilitated a local community dialogue with OKT and renowned chef and food justice activist, Bryant Terry (right front).


As Our Kitchen Table heads into its third year of managing the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, the management team is looking at ways to make the market sustainable, with the ultimate goal of turning over the market to community. One tool is the development of a market manual. OKT is engaging Lila Cabbil, facilitator and president emeritus of the Rosa Parks Institute, to develop this manual.


In addition to outlining operations protocols, staff job descriptions and budget items, Cabbil will develop guidelines for developing staff skills and community events through the lenses of food justice, public health and empowering women of color.


“Mrs. Cabbil will help us define what needs to be taken into consideration when trying to create a neighborhood market that neighbors walk to. She will help us explore  how we can present the market in different forms, for example, as a farm stand one day a week or as a house-call market,” says Lisa Oliver-King, executive director of OKT. “We hope to create a new model that better serves the needs of the community. Mrs. Cabbil will help us develop this model.”


In 2011 and 2012, Mrs. Cabbill worked with Our Kitchen Table staff on team building and with the farmers’ market partners.Prior to her facilitation work, Mrs. Cabbill worked alongside Rosa Parks for decades. She is also author of the book Accountability and White Anti-Racist Organizing: Stories from Our Work.  

Healthy food is a civil right

Lila Cabbil, president emeritus, Rosa Parks Institute, with OKT’s Lisa Oliver-King, Roni VanBuren, Sheri Munsell and Yvonne Woodard.

In preparation for another year of managing the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, Our Kitchen Table has brought in Detroit activist and consultant, Lila Cabbil, to work with farmers’ market partners Our Kitchen Table, Kent County Health Department and Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council.

Ms. Cabbil, president emeritus of the Rosa Parks Institute, served as Mrs. Parks “right hand” for nearly 40 years. Her work with the farmers’ market team regards issues of power and race, particularly as they relate to challenges in minority groups. The goal is to create a market environment where the mainstream organizations involved value community assets and differences.

In her hometown of Detroit, Ms. Cabbil works with The People’s Water Board Coalition of Detroit, where tens of thousands of residents do not have access to clean and affordable water.  She also has a new book out, Accountability and White Anti-Racist Organizing: Stories from Our Work.

What has the fight for civil rights got to do with a farmers’ market? Everything. Healthy food is a civil right—a right that the current food system too often denies people of color.  Filling hungry bellies with junk food that increases asthma, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other illnesses is not justice. We must work together to make healthy foods available and accessible in our neighborhoods. The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is one small way the community can come together and build an alternative food system that ensures this civil right.

As we commemorate Martin Luther King’s accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement on Monday, let’s not forget that the work for racial justice includes the right to healthy food.

“Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? There is no deficit in human resources. The deficit is in human will.” –Martin Luther King