Friday, June 4, 2021

Feel Good Friday - The Okra Project

June is LGBTQ Pride Month so the focus of today’s Feel Good Friday is an organization that works with Black Trans people, The Okra Project. 

Founded in December 2018 by Ianne Fields Stewart, the original intention of The Okra Project was “alleviating some of the loneliness Black Trans people can experience during the holiday season” by delivering home-cooked meals. After raising $6,000 in three days, she knew there was interest in making this more than a temporary event.


Based in New York and serving people in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, The Okra Project's mission is “to hire Black trans staff to visit the homes of Black trans people in need to cook healthy, home-cooked, and culturally specific meals." This 6-minute video gives a great overview.


The inspiration for the organization’s name is explained on the website, “During the Middle Passage, our African ancestors snuck okra onto captive ships to sustain themselves and plant in the new world. Black Diasporic cooking traditions often use the okra plant for its versatility and it is often associated with health, prosperity, and community.


Current programs of The Okra Project include: #OkraEats, mutual aid funding to Black Trans people in need; #OkraPurse, a project to amplify any fundraisers or calls for mutual aid from Black Trans people; and the return of Direct Chef Services which provides nutritious, culturally specific meals to Black Trans people in their homes.


If you’d like to help The Okra Project with their work, you can make a donation and amplify their message by liking their Facebook page and following them on Instagram and Twitter @TheOkraProject.

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