Spring 2018
Spring Greetings! 
Looking for A Taste of African Heritage classes near you? Check out our class directory to find out when we are coming to your city or town...or sign up to teach a class of your own!
A Taste of African Heritage Updates
Photo: Second and third grade students participating in a pilot of A Children's Taste of African Heritage led by Mr. and Mrs. Young at Thomas Haley Elementary School in Irving, Texas.

What We've Been Up To

In February, we celebrated Black History Month with those both near and far! Thank you to everyone who contributed to blogs, spread the message through social media, taught classes, represented ATOAH at community events, and/or gathered with their friends and family for celebratory potlucks. In Boston headquarters, we thank the Boston Medical Center, the KITCHEN at the Boston Public Market, the Black Ministerial Alliance/Jubilee Christian Church, the Boston Public Library at Egleston Square, Community Servings, The Teaching Kitchen at the Codman Square Health Center in collaboration with the Daily Table, and the Harvard Food Literacy Project for hosting class series and demonstrations for Boston residents.

Meanwhile, five of our stellar teachers and ambassadors (Danessa Bolling , Madea Allen , Marvin Young, Shawn Elyce Lloyd, and Taelor Perry) are completing a pilot run of the seven-week A Children’s Taste of African Heritage. We’ve been overjoyed to get both their feedback and photos documenting the children’s experiences. We are currently applying for additional grant funding so that we can roll the program out on a larger scale. Stay tuned!

Looking for more ATOAH memories? Check out our class photos!
A New Member of Our Team
Some of you will get to know Ruth Ann Mendoza Suarez while she works as Program Assistant for the African Heritage & Health Program for the next seven months. Ruth was one of our Boston area volunteer instructors, hosting the class at an assisted living facility. She is a Boston native and will graduate with a B.S. in Nutrition and Health this coming May. One of her biggest inspirations has been working with her campus ministry and Convoy of Hope in Haiti. Haiti opened her eyes to the effects of malnourishment and the disparities in access to nourishing food in her hometown. Since then, she has been involved in fundraising for the FeedOne Initiative through Convoy of Hope, as well as finding volunteer opportunities at her university and her local church to serve low-income communities. This fall, Ruth will be leaving us to do work with malnourished populations in Peru. Until then, she is looking forward to doing more community outreach in Boston, teaching classes, and helping with program administration.
ATOAH Firsts
The Oldways African Heritage & Health Program is proud to announce a few firsts. Our Philadelphia partner Health Promotion Council has started offering ATOAH for the first time at homeless shelters at the Bethesda Project: Our Brother's Place. Our first class Mississippi class series was recently taught by Jarita Frazier-King in partnership with Natchez Heritage School of Cooking and the Alcorn State University Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Natchez, MS. 
Teacher Spotlight
Photo: Th e Diabetes Awareness and Wellness Network (DAWN) Center's Public Health Educator Doris Muinde and Registered Dietitian Natalie Butler leading A Taste of African Heritage in Houston, TX.
First-time ATOAH instructors Public Health Educator Doris Muinde and Registered Dietitian Natalie Butler are currently teaching ATOAH classes at the DAWN Center in Houston, TX to pre-diabetic and diabetic participants. Doris was kind enough to share some words on what teaching the Oldways curriculum has meant to her:

"Being a native of Kenya, this curriculum is very relevant to me, as I grew up in a big farm where everything we used in our diet was direct, fresh from the farm. I teach this curriculum with authenticity because not only do I know this diet works but I have experienced it firsthand. Natalie and I make a very good team as co-facilitators and students love it.

Some observations that we have made with many of our students include:

  • They're fascinated by the history and the origins of some foods. 
  • They're surprised by the fact that some foods such as dandelion greens are eaten as food and are high in nutrients.
  • They're surprised by the number of different kinds of beans, greens, and grains that are available as food in many parts of Africa and in places where enslaved Africans were sold.
  • They're surprised by the fact that landowners did not know how to select the right soil, cultivate, irrigate, grow, process, and cook rice but this wealth of knowledge was well-known for enslaved West African women.
  • They're beginning to think and appreciate plant-based meals and willing to give it a trial."
On the Oldways Blog...
We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Senegalese chef and the King of New African Cuisine Pierre Thiam about African superfoods like fonio, his evolution as a chef, and his expert tips on how home cooks can prepare healthy, plant-based meals on the weekdays with flavors and ingredients of the African diaspora.
Oldways African Heritage Recipes 
The most powerful call to action to improve the health of African American families and communities is to get cooking! To help families put the   African Heritage Diet Pyramid   on their plate, here are three delicious, healthy recipes from our ATOAH instructors that take their cues from African roots. 

Click on the images below to go to the recipes.
Kale Salad with Sautéed Apples and Cardamom Dressing

Cardamom is a complex spice (part floral, part menthol) that you will often find within African heritage cuisine. It pairs particularly well with the fresh, light crispness of apple in this vibrant take on a kale salad by  A Taste of African Heritage Ambassador Madea Allen

Teff Polenta with Ethiopian Chicken Stew
Try this simpler, mild taker on Ethiopian wot, a traditional fiery stew made with berbere, a chile spice blend.

Coconut Curry Teff and Lentil Vegetable Stew

This sweet and savory main course stew is a perfect way to feature African heritage grain teff. Enjoy with a salad on the side for a perfectly balanced meal.

The work of the African Heritage & Health Program would not be possible without the generous support of the Walmart Foundation. 

Johnisha Levi
Program Manager

Ruth Mendoza
Program Assistant