Chosen Fam Dinner Collective
November 24th, 4:30 - 7:00p
Chosen Fam Dinner Collective presents its first dinner gathering that combines food and discussion to explore the various connections between food, memory, and community. We will offer a nourishing, immune-boosting meal from surplus produce from local markets and urban farms that would have otherwise gone to waste. Throughout the night, we will talk about the ways our identity, community, and memory is connected to food. Attendees are encouraged to bring memories from childhood related to a specific foods or meals to share. All are welcome to break bread and share space. This event is ADA accessible. Hope to see you here!
Who We Are
Chosen Fam Dinner Collective is made up of Chef Fresh, Ireashia Bennett, Viviana Gentry Fernandez-Pellon, and Olisaemeka Okakpu. We are both support group and community space where everyone eats and walks away feeling nourished in many different ways. We came together to create gatherings, from dinners to skill-shares and workshops, where queer, disabled BIPOC folks with visible and invisible illnesses can feel welcomed and valued. At Chosen Fam, we are not an inconvenience for having food-based illnesses. We aim to create events where we can share visions of how to create, envision, and build new realities and share resources as it relates to food access, urban farming, care work, wellbeing, and ending food apartheid.
Chef Fresh is the founder of Fresher Together LLC, a collaborative food project for healing, economic development, training and retreat. Fresh is fighting for accessible quality affirming health care for all centering POC, queer, GNC, trans, and fat folks. She is deeply passionate about food programming being commonplace in health care and health care free of body shaming and honoring the principles of H.A.E.S (Health At Every Size). They are currently prioritizing community collaborations, farming, writing, teaching cooking classes, and creating a web-series and pop up dining experiences in Chicago. She is also currently fascinated with the role food plays in social justice movements and queer community.
Ireashia Bennett is a Black queer Chicago-based visual artist, journalist, and filmmaker. They use media-based art and research to explore the various ways structural and environmental inequities cause physiological and psychological trauma to Black communities. They are interested in examining the connections between Black culture and history through food. They come to the Chosen Fam Dinner Collective to co-create spaces where collaboration, connection, and support around food access and chronic illness and pain is prioritized and intentional.
Olisaemeka Okakpu is a cis Nigerian-American Earth Steward who has been working through regenerative agriculture on the southside of Chicago. After going through extreme health complications because of a chronic illness, he was spiritually guided into the path of regeneration through agriculture.
Viviana Gentry Fernandez-Pellon is a queer mixed farmer from Chicago’s Southside. They began growing food and medicine as a means of building self-determination and better options for the people around them. Their embodiment of a broken food system and environmental injustice as chronic illness pushes them forward to create spaces for liberation while healing through Earthwork. For them, Chosen Fam is a space to understand and generate access to intimacy, to eat well, and to share love.