Over the last three years, the A Taste of African Heritage (ATOAH) six-week series has been delivered to over 100 community sites nationwide. The program has been driven by a network of talented, dedicated volunteers, with classes happening at various locations in a kind of “pop-up” fashion – in churches, community centers, schools, home kitchens, and more.
Philadelphia is the ﬁrst city in which Oldways is partnering with community-based organizations to oﬀer ATOAH on a regularly scheduled, ongoing basis, so that more people can ﬁnd and access classes. The city was chosen because of its rich cultural diversity and city-wide commitment to public health and nutrition, anti-hunger, urban gardening, and food justice work.
The ﬁrst ﬁve Philadelphia partner sites, where one can ﬁnd classes this year, are:
- The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center
- The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Olney Branch
- Feast of Justice
- Community Center at Visitation
- Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative
The Kick Oﬀ Event included a cooking demo led by local ATOAH Instructor Dejenaba Gordon, MPH, and an African Heritage tasting menu made up of recipes from the program. Handmade Kente-patterned place mats adorned the buﬀet of vibrant foods. Guests included community members, nutrition educators, community organizations, small business owners, and health professionals. After the formal speaking segment of the event, we got to “meet and eat” – enjoying Mafe Stew, Jollof Rice, Black-eyed Pea Salad, Collard Greens, and After-Chop Fruit Salad, and learning about each other’s work and thoughts on health, heritage, and food.
Thanks to the Free Library and everyone who came out, it was a beautiful event, kicking oﬀ an exciting two-year initiative ahead!
If you or anyone you know is in Philadelphia, and would like to attend a local class, check out our class directory.