This Week's Guest:

Air Date: April 4, 2024
Consumer Co-ops, Cooperative Advocate

Malik Yakini & Lanay Gilbert-Williams discuss the Food Sovereignty Movement & the Detroit People’s Food Co-op


Vernon interviews Malik Kenyatta Yakini, Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN), and Lanay Gilbert-Williams, Board President of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op. Vernon and his guests discuss the food sovereignty movement, and the Detroit Peoples Food Co-op.

Malik Kenyatta Yakini is an activist and educator who is 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 spearheaded efforts to establish the Detroit Food Policy Council. He served as a member of the Michigan Food Policy Council from 2008 – 2010. From 2011 – 2013 he served on the steering committee of Uprooting Racism Planting Justice. He is a co-founder and on the leadership team of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance.

Lanay Gilbert-Williams is a native Detroiter who serves as the Board President of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op. She founded the Detroit’s Brown Moms Sisterhood Circle, a system of support for African-American mothers, especially those whose children are in the foster care system. She is the President of the Wildemere Park Neighborhood Association and is the Youth Program Coordinator for Know Allegiance Nation. As a proud Mom of 6, she is dedicated to assisting in the development of solutions that model nation and community-building for Black youth.

Our host, Vernon Oakes, is a consummate advocate for cooperatives. He is a Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and he’s served on several boards and committees to advance the interests of cooperatives. Recently, he served on the Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force, established by Anita Bonds, At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Vernon is an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community, by promoting the added value of the cooperative business model. 

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