May 20, 2024

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Dine Diaspora Creates Meaningful and Authentic Connections Through African Food Culture

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Nina Oduro and Maame Boakye have often been passionate about cultivating meaningful connections inside of their communities. So when they reconnected in Washington D.C., a long time following to start with assembly at a networking event in their native Ghana, they lamented the transactional mother nature of interactions in the politically pushed capital.

“I feel the problem that we were being dealing with was [the difficulty in] forming further connections with individuals past experienced everyday living and ‘let’s seize lunch for an aim,’” states Oduro.

But D.C., in her terms, is also a transient metropolis with a extremely various population from the African diaspora and past. There had to be a way to provide men and women from these quite a few cultures jointly. 

“Food,” suggests Boakye, “was the solution.”

Dine Diaspora founders Nina Oduro and Maame Boakye

Theo Quansah

Food at a Dine Diaspora party featuring Chef Hiyaw Gebreyohannes

Dine Diaspora

The two women of all ages made Dine Diaspora, a Black-women owned and operated company based mostly in D.C., through which they have considering the fact that made activities connecting folks through African diaspora meals lifestyle. The enterprise released in 2014 with a Signature Meal showcasing Ghanaian-American Eric Adjepong, a finalist on season sixteen of Bravo’s Major Chef. Over a a few-study course food of jollof rice paella with scallops and chicken, beef ribs and cornbread with honey butter confit, and bofrot with peanut butter ice product, brûlée banana, and strawberry paper, Adjepong took the small gathering of 20 friends by means of the backstory of each and every dish served. That storytelling part was vital, Oduro states, as cooks are so generally tasked with executing an individual else’s eyesight when hired for private events—but in this format, there was an personal connection in between diners and every little thing on the table. 

The preliminary evening meal series ended in 2018 but the pair have expanded to internet hosting occasions like Chop Bar, an annual pop-up foods pageant infusing art and tunes (maintain an eye on their IG for the future day), which will take its identify from makeshift restaurants observed in Ghana. They have also teamed up with Fb to existing Electronic Diasporas, a virtual series showcasing creatives from the African diaspora at the intersection of foodstuff, vacation, and life-style. Their Dish and Sip speaker series, which operates all over the calendar year in New York and D.C., presents a platform for foods industry leaders to go over troubles and encounters like the lack of variety and disparity in payment. 

But as Oduro and Boakye have sourced cooks for their developing roster of occasions, they have noticed a shortage of women of all ages in the expertise pool—an difficulty they have now incorporated into their mission.

“We did not want to be reinforcing structures in which ladies have not been able to be centered, picked, or positioned in areas to compete with any person, significantly Black girls,” suggests Oduro.

They resolved the imbalance with Black Girls in Foods (BWIF), an initiative launched in 2018 that “identifies, amplifies, and supports Black females in the food items and beverage field to progress their operate and lead to a much more equitable and sustainable foods system,” in accordance to their internet site. Every single March, BWIF honors more than 30 girls globally as component of Women’s Background Thirty day period, across classes together with activity-changer, innovator, trailblazer, creator, culinarian, and amplifier. The chosen honorees are celebrated throughout the thirty day period and further than with networking and progress alternatives.

Beverages at Dine Diaspora’s Conversations with Cravings, that includes Speaker Chef Kwame Onwuachi 

Dine Diaspora

One of this year’s honorees is Janique Edwards, the COO and Co-Founder of EatOkra, an app that connects foodstuff enthusiasts to much more than 11,000 Black-owned places to eat, eateries, bars, wineries, and foodstuff vans across the U.S. Edwards admits that earning the award has aided with the imposter syndrome she consistently combats as a woman in food items and tech.



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