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Jessica Mataka and Reem Assil from La Cocina

“We know that right now…there are not a lot of sanctuary spaces where people can feel safe and be who they are and feel free of discrimination and racism and patriarchy. I wanted to create that.” (23:47)

JESSICA MATAKA, Communications and Development Coordinator at La Cocina in San Francisco, and REEM ASSIL, La Cocina graduate, newly James Beard nominated chef, and owner of Reem's, talk to us about tokenism, gender, race, immigration, and activism in food. We learn more about La Cocina, a food incubator and program that creates economic development through entrepreneurship by bringing immigrant women and women of color above barriers to the formal job market. Reem shares her background and journey to "deeper consciousness building through food," and the very real effects of speaking out for what you believe in. Her advice? "We have to be building what we want to see." (24:50)

Get involved by attending La Cocina's auxiliary programming focused on storytelling, sign up for their newsletter, and become a monthly member!

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If you're in the Bay Area, support Reem by visiting her bakery at 3301 E. 12th Street, Suite 133, Oakland, CA by the Fruitvale BART station and trying her Mana’eesh!

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