what healing our hood looks like

since 2008, i’ve worked as the outreach coordinator for heal our hood.  hoh’s primary goal is to eradicate local food deserts through community organizing, social justice initiatives, nutritional education, and community gardening.

what’s a food desert? glad you asked.  it’s a community where residents are closer to fringe outlets such as liquor stores, corner stores, and fast food retailers than healthy food sources.  the majority of folks in dc’s low-income communities have few live food options–local stores sell processed foods that are high in sugar and fat.  spending your life in a food desert can almost guarantee the contraction of preventable diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.  not surprising, dc’s poorest communities, wards 7 and 8, have the fewest grocery stores per resident and have the highest obesity rates in the city country.  the issue isn’t as simple as leaving your neighborhood to visit a “better” grocery store when traveling throughout metro dc is cost prohibitive.

hoh is working to raise awareness about food deserts and the structural racism that creates and perpetuates their concomitant health disparities.  join us this summer for our hood healers project at anacostia library in ward 8!  contact me at healourhood@gmail.com or @healourhood for more information.

hoh members angie, yours truly, and april enjoying anacostia yogi’s yoga class at hillcrest recreation center.


  1. This is awesome! I teach my health class about food deserts and they all agree that “it’s a trip” to think about how all they have surrounding them is liquor stores and fast food joints. The Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood where my school is located got their first real fresh food grocery store just last year.


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