Dine Diaspora Creates Meaningful and Authentic Connections Through African Food Culture


Nina Oduro and Maame Boakye have generally been passionate about cultivating significant connections in just their communities. So when they reconnected in Washington D.C., several years right after initial assembly at a networking celebration in their indigenous Ghana, they lamented the transactional nature of associations in the politically pushed capital.

“I feel the challenge that we were being facing was [the difficulty in] forming further connections with people beyond skilled existence and ‘let’s grab lunch for an goal,’” states Oduro.

But D.C., in her phrases, is also a transient city with a incredibly various populace from the African diaspora and outside of. There had to be a way to bring persons from these lots of cultures with each other. 

“Food,” suggests Boakye, “was the respond to.”

Dine Diaspora founders Nina Oduro and Maame Boakye

Theo Quansah

Food at a Dine Diaspora occasion that includes Chef Hiyaw Gebreyohannes

Dine Diaspora

The two girls made Dine Diaspora, a Black-women of all ages owned and operated agency centered in D.C., as a result of which they have since designed occasions connecting people via African diaspora meals lifestyle. The corporation launched in 2014 with a Signature Evening meal featuring Ghanaian-American Eric Adjepong, a finalist on period sixteen of Bravo’s Leading Chef. Around a a few-study course food of jollof rice paella with scallops and hen, beef ribs and cornbread with honey butter confit, and bofrot with peanut butter ice cream, brûlée banana, and strawberry paper, Adjepong took the tiny gathering of 20 friends by way of the backstory of every dish served. That storytelling part was critical, Oduro states, as cooks are so often tasked with executing someone else’s vision when hired for personal events—but in this structure, there was an personal link involving diners and all the things on the desk. 

The preliminary evening meal sequence ended in 2018 but the pair have expanded to hosting occasions like Chop Bar, an once-a-year pop-up foods festival infusing art and music (continue to keep an eye on their IG for the up coming day), which usually takes its name from makeshift dining establishments uncovered in Ghana. They have also teamed up with Fb to present Digital Diasporas, a virtual sequence showcasing creatives from the African diaspora at the intersection of food, vacation, and life-style. Their Dish and Sip speaker collection, which runs throughout the 12 months in New York and D.C., offers a platform for food stuff industry leaders to talk about problems and activities like the absence of variety and disparity in compensation. 

But as Oduro and Boakye have sourced cooks for their developing roster of occasions, they’ve observed a shortage of women in the expertise pool—an difficulty they have now included into their mission.

“We did not want to be reinforcing constructions in which girls have not been capable to be centered, chosen, or positioned in areas to contend with any individual, especially Black women of all ages,” states Oduro.

They tackled the imbalance with Black Women in Food stuff (BWIF), an initiative launched in 2018 that “identifies, amplifies, and supports Black females in the meals and beverage marketplace to advance their perform and lead to a extra equitable and sustainable food technique,” according to their site. Each and every March, BWIF honors in excess of 30 ladies globally as element of Women’s Record Month, throughout classes together with game-changer, innovator, trailblazer, creator, culinarian, and amplifier. The chosen honorees are celebrated throughout the thirty day period and past with networking and development opportunities.

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

Dine Diaspora

A person of this year’s honorees is Janique Edwards, the COO and Co-Founder of EatOkra, an application that connects foodstuff fans to additional than 11,000 Black-owned dining places, eateries, bars, wineries, and foods vehicles across the U.S. Edwards admits that earning the award has served with the imposter syndrome she consistently combats as a woman in foodstuff and tech.


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