Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Xavier MaatRa continues giving back to the community
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2019-06-19

This article shared 875 times since Wed Jun 19, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Giving back to the community has been the focus of Xavier MaatRa's professional life, culminating in the creation of their latest endeavors, Chi City Foods and DAB of Consulting.

Xavier ( they prefer to use their first name ) grew up in a small farming/college town in southern New Jersey and was active in their church, giving their first sermon when they were 17.

"I studied history at a Christian college," said Xavier. "After the trauma I dealt with there, I started organizing and developing my own political voice in ways that supported my ability to live my truth as a Black, queer and transgender person."

After college, Xavier worked as a union organizer with the SEIU in California and helped with disaster relief in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Both experiences laid the groundwork for what Xavier has done since coming to Chicago 11 years ago.

"I am very proud of my work at the Chicago Freedom School building their training program from the ground up," said Xavier. "The program has impacted over 5000 youth and adults throughout the U.S., United Kingdom, Iraq and various countries across South America.

"My time as a drop-in worker at the Broadway Youth Center ( BYC ) was my entry into the queer community here. I built relationships with my coworkers that we cultivate to this day. Working at the BYC also gave me the opportunity to support LGB and trans and gender non-conforming ( TGNC ) youth in transformative ways. I enjoy watching the youth I worked with back in 2010 grow into adults over these years."

With their farm and eco-campus Chi City Foods ( CCF ), Xavier is taking their advocacy a step further by, according to the organization's website, "providing poor and marginalized groups in Chicago with access to fresh produce and training opportunities in urban agriculture."

CCF is located in Altgeld Gardens on the Far Southeast Side of Chicago. This predominately Black community is in a food desert and has one of the most isolated housing developments in the city. It is the only urban micro farm in Chicago that is led and staffed by Black TGNC people.

Xavier told Windy City Times that CCF is dedicated to cultivating great organic produce and honey through their subsidiary, Mystic Bee Hive Honey, while promoting urban agriculture skills and food justice awareness. Xavier said CCF is currently working toward its organic certification.

"We aim to create spaces for environmental stewardship for marginalized groups to restore the food knowledge and skills that were lost due to colonization and oppression," said Xavier. "At CCF, we hope to teach people how to feed themselves on the path toward healthy, self-determined and sustained communities."

Mystic Bee Hive Honey is run by Brave Space Alliance Founder and Executive Director ( and master beekeeper ) LaSaia Wade, who is also Xavier's partner.

"The goal of Mystic Bee Hive is to create a space for bees to thrive, produce local organic honey, support veggie production at CCF and train people how to bee keep on the South Side of Chicago," said Wade. "We are excited to provide another avenue for TGNC people to participate in Chicago's growing Urban Agriculture community."

This June, Xavier is expanding CCF with the launch of their Community Supported Agriculture ( CSA ) program. Each participant will receive a bimonthly produce box containing a minimum of 10 organically grown vegetables and fruits, when available. Members receive 10 boxes of produce over 20 weeks.

Xavier explained that last year over 30 children and adults volunteered with CCF and they hope to grow that number this year.

"This season we are launching a pilot fellowship program focusing on beekeeping, building and farming skills," said Xavier. "Our fellowship provides people with various amounts of skills and experiences with an opportunity to learn and apply their skills in creative ways towards the vision of CCF."

Xavier is also reaching out to Chicago's LGBTQ community to provide fresh produce to those who are dealing with food insecurity through the Fresh Produce Pop-Up Pantry Project in conjunction with Brave Space Alliance and Cooperation Operation, an urban agricultural non-profit in the Pullman community. This is a produce give-away to those in need that will take place Aug. 15 and Sept. 19 at 12-2 p.m. at the Brave Space Alliance, 2747 W. 79th St. It is sponsored by CCF and Chicago LGBTQ community organizations.

When Xavier is not tending to their CCF business, they can be found doing consulting work with their company—DAB of Consulting.

"After years of doing pop-ups for other organizations, I wanted to continue to the work but on my own terms combining my experience as an organizer, youth worker and community educator to support movement building and to strengthen populator education in the non-profit sector," said Xavier.

One of Xavier's clients is the Groundswell Fund, via their grassroots organizing institute.

"Groundswell Fund has provided me with the opportunity to share my almost 20 years of experience with community organizing and non-profit development to support amazing groups within the reproductive justice movement," said Xavier.

When Xavier is not working, they do training sessions for the staff and board members at Brave Space Alliance and learning with fellow farmers at the Urban Growers Collective. They also love to listen to music, watch movies, play video games and cook.

Xavier's message to anyone who is interested in what he is doing with CCF is, "Donate to the Pop-Up Pantry Project, sign up for the CSA and/or come out and get in the soil with me. This farm is a labor of love and a part of my dreams of connecting community education and organizing to create opportunities for social transformation. We could never reach our goals without the help of amazing volunteers. Check out the volunteer form on our website and sign up for a date to come help us. If you want to volunteer during the week send an email to chicityfoodsllc@gmail.com to schedule a time."

Volunteering takes place every Saturday through October of this year.

See www.chicityfoods.com/ .


This article shared 875 times since Wed Jun 19, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Trans women arrested, death threats, Russian film, leader apologizes
2021-04-11
Two transgender women facing charges of "attempted homosexuality" (as well as public indecency and not carrying identification) in a high-profile case in Cameroon will spend more than two months behind bars without a trial after a ...


Gay News

SAVOR Sam's Crispy Chicken and Umami Burger
2021-04-08
Sam's Crispy Chicken (SamsCrispyChicken.com) and Umami Burger (UmamiBurger.com), both from C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) and both at 945 W. Randolph St., have launched new food and beverage menus—although indulgence i ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: 'Astrographics,' 'Mapplethorpe' and more
2021-03-22
—'Astrographics' at theMart (starting April 1): Art on theMART (at what used to be known as Merchandise Mart) will resume projections Thursday, April 1, with the world premiere of Astrographics—a ...


Gay News

Webinar to spotlight secret gay life of culinary giant James Beard May 5
2021-03-12
--From a press release - James Beard, who changed how Americans eat, is spotlighted on May 5 with an entertaining live webinar by Food Network star Ted Allen, and author John Birdsall. In the Kitchen Closet takes place May 5 at ...


Gay News

SAVOR Wood: Boystown/Northalsted spot returns
2021-03-09
SAVOR - Some people may snicker when they hear that there's a restaurant named Wood (3335 N. Halsted St.; WoodChicago.com) in the city's Boystown/Northalsted neighborhood—and there is even a currently discontinued Sunday ...


Gay News

SAVOR Nonnina: New team maintains high standards
2021-03-04
I'm not gonna lie: I was a little concerned about Nonnina (340 N. Clark St.; NonninaChicago.com). News trickled down that the highly esteemed team of Executive Chef Tony Priolo and business partner Ciro Longobardo (who are ...


Gay News

National Restaurant Association Show cancelled
2021-02-26
Event organizers of the National Restaurant Association Show announced the cancellation of the 2021 National Restaurant Association Show, which was scheduled to take place May 22-25 at Chicago's McCormick Place. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois ...


Gay News

Spots revealed for Chicago Restaurant Week 2021
2021-02-26
The venues participating in Chicago Restaurant Week (March 19-April 4) have been revealed. This year's participants include a range of restaurants throughout Chicagoland offering specially priced, prix fixe menus for ...


Gay News

MOVIES Dutch journalist talks about making 'My Friend, the Mayor'
2021-02-17
In the Amazon Prime Video documentary My Friend, the Mayor: Small-town Democracy in the Age of Trump, Dutch journalist Max Westerman profiles friend Sean Strub, an openly gay activist, activist, long-term AIDS survivor and POZ magazine ...


Gay News

Chicago Southland Restaurant Week on Feb. 21-27
2021-02-11
The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau announced the launch of the inaugural Chicago Southland Restaurant Week. Designed to promote Chicago Southland restaurants while encouraging residents and visitors to support ...


Gay News

SAVOR Cafe Press--steeped in history
2021-02-09
Like most neighborhoods in Chicago, Printers Row has its own illustrious history. In the 1880s, the neighborhood was the center of the Midwest when it came to printing—hence the area's name. And Cafe Press (800 S. ...


Gay News

Chicago Restaurant Week returning in 2021
2021-02-03
Choose Chicago has announced the return of Chicago Restaurant Week on March 19-April 4, 2021. Chicago Restaurant Week offers local food enthusiasts an opportunity to experience some of the city's most highly sought restaurants. Participating dining ...


Gay News

Pete Buttigieg is first LGBTQ Senate-confirmed cabinet member
2021-02-02
--From a Victory Institute press release - Washington, DC — Today the United States Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, making him the first out LGBTQ person ever confirmed for a cabinet position. Buttigieg is one of dozens of high-profile LGBTQ ...


Gay News

Former Mayor Emanuel being considered for ambassadorship
2021-02-02
President Joe Biden is reportedly considering former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a high-profile ambassadorship—potentially to China, according to NBC News. Becoming the U.S. ambassador to Japan is another option ...


Gay News

Biden's relief plan grows assistance for 3M LGBT adults experiencing food insecurity
2021-01-24
Today, President Biden signed executive orders to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The orders include plans to expand the federal nutrition assistance program, pause federal debt payments for veterans, establish a $15 an ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.