Susu TransLation: Chef Training on Park Lane

UPDATE:

Susu Cultural Business Incubator has a yummy partnership with the TransLation Vickery Meadows Project in North Dallas! We have been conducting  Chef Training workshops with the goal to launch a collective of cultural culinary businesses. This partnership, led by Trans.lation Project Manager Carol Zou and Susu lead Tisha Crear, is a tasty tale in building bridges and/or just jumping in and swimming across.

TransLationLogoFirst, do you know about the Trans.lation Vickery Meadows Community in North Dallas off of Park Lane and I-75?

Just behind the Park Lane Whole Foods and North Park Mall, right there by Half Price Books, is a community in which nearly 30 languages can be heard from the over 25,000 people living in the less than 5-square mile area. The Trans.lation project storefront is a resource center that serves the largely immigrant and refugee community. Trans.Lation Vickery Meadows was founded by Rick Lowe and the Nasher Project in 2013 to unite the super diverse and truly multi-cultural, multi-lingual and transient community through arts, education and community activities.

Drop by any given day and you will find the dynamic Project Manager Carol Zou navigating resources and co-creating with any combination of Trans.lation community members engaging in a multitude of activities from Aztec dance to sign language to printmaking to Arabic lessons.  Take a look at the Trans.lation calendar that hangs on the wall among the paintings and you can feel the depth of the nature of the work.

Did I mention there is a blooming community garden in the back?

As you may know, Susu ‘s work is focused on the ‘southern sector’ of Dallas, in particular, key Oak Cliff neighborhoods poised for major transition in this era of the ‘Grow South Initiative‘. Susu pop-markets intentionally highlight local good food and a big part of our mission is entrepreneurship around issues of food security.

We have been excited and honored to take the drive up 75 north to work with five chefs from the Trans.lation community on building their culturally unique food businesses.

Here’s what we’ve done together so far:

In September 2015, we began the Chef Training series with study sessions to attain the Food Managers Certification.  After more than 16 hours of study, the chefs took their exams and are now all certified Food Managers / Food Handlers!

Who are the five chefs?

The Trans.lation Chefs bring cuisine from Iraq, The Dominican, Mexico, and Eritrea.  The chefs each bring a wealth of experience and rich tradition in the culinary arts.

More on each chefs’ unique style to come….

In the meantime….If you want a sample, come out to the Trans.lation Dia de Los Muertos celebration on November 1, 2015 from 4pm – 7pm.   Several of the Trans.lation Chefs will share a taste of their culinary offerings.

Stay tuned for a formal introduction to the good eats from each of the new businesses.  

Trans.lation Chefs:

Abdulkadir Hossain (Eritrea, Egypt)
Eman Alzaydi (Iraq)
Ekhlas Almayali (Iraq)
Felicitas Vazquez (Mexico)
Tina Castillo (Dominican Republic)

teen.biz: Spring Break Training Camp for Girls

springBreakCampteen.biz: Spring Break Camp for Girls in Ft. Worth, TX 76103

Singing ‘I believe the children are the future‘ as we announce a spring break camp for young entrepreneurs March 9 – 13, 2015 in Fort Worth,Texas.  This project-based business camp for girls ages 14 to 18 is funded by the Forth Worth Chapter of Links, Incorporated. Continue reading “teen.biz: Spring Break Training Camp for Girls”

Launching A Launch Pad

Greetings! Welcome to SusuEco blog post!

WHO ARE WE?

I am Tisha Crear and I will be posting about the journey of launching projects through the Cultural Business Incubator & Co-op (CBI).  CBI is a community development platform to collectively cultivate business solutions that address economic disparity and poor quality of life in low to mid income neighborhoods.  The mission of CBI is to launch and support socially responsible business hubs in low to mid income neighborhoods that promote community development through local ownership and cooperative economics.

I’m talking building better business in the hood baby!

HOOD BUSINESS AND HEALTH

If we wonder where the jobs are, there is plenty of work to be done in our neighborhoods.  When one reads: “low to mid income neighborhood” What images come to mind? What types of businesses do you think of?  The corner store, liquor store, gas station combo? or the check cashing, pawn shop, dollar store, car wash model? or the beauty supply, chicken chain, tobacco shop, club/bar cluster?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some good businesses in our neighborhoods and i’m not knocking the Ma and Paw’s.  However, the current condition of business and access to quality is lacking tremendously. And there is plenty of suffering because of it…

Look at the woes that come with the businesses listed above. Many of our neighborhoods are considered food deserts (Check this food desert locator) meaning there is a shortage of access to fresh food.  That’s not good. One does not need a study to understand the relationship between fresh food access  and diet-related diseases  like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Many can just look at our family members or the child eating hot chips from the local store for breakfast.  And, not only our physical health but, our fiscal health? The ‘Pay Day Loan’ and ‘Title Loan’ option is a money trap!  We would do much better forming susu circles and practicing ujamaa or cooperative economics.  (Thus, the subtitle for this blog susu, ujamaa and nem.  I will post more on these old African systems of collectively building wealth.)

IN THE SPIRIT OF OUR ANCESTORS

So i know we can create better businesses in our neighborhoods.  I know that these businesses can be quality.  I know that if we owned more of our neighborhood businesses then we could knock a dent in a few severe issues like employment and access to healthy options. The idea is not at all new.   And it is true that there have been systematic events set in place to derail the path to economic participation and stability for the Black and African community

read about Black Wall Street

In a period spanning fewer than 12 hours, a once thriving 36-black business district in northern Tulsa lay smoldering-A model community destroyed, and a major Africa-American economic movement resoundingly defused. 

PRINCIPLE AND PRACTICE

Here, we will discuss how the Cultural Business Incubator and Co-op will test America in this era of Obama and green thinking and social entrepreneurship. History tells us that there are surely obstacles waiting.  With that being said, there is no choice other than to practice

Kuumba: Do all that we can, in the way that we can, to leave it better than we found it. 

Looking forward to sharing this journey with you!

– Tea