As an Oakland, CA-born first-generation Vietnamese-American, food justice comes naturally to Chef Tu David Phu, who finds opportunities to use the medium of food as a vessel for meaningful work. From cooking with incarcerated men in San Quentin; to his role as a co-executive producer for First Kitchen Media that involves storytelling, and speaking about diversity and inclusivity; to being a community ambassador in Oakland working with Asian Health Services and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Tu inspires others to support their community, promote the use of sustainable ingredients, and recognize the power of uplifting each other and communities through food.
Cut Fruit Collective (formerly known as Save Our Chinatowns) is a grassroots non-profit organization based in the SF Bay Area that supports AAPI communities through art, publishing, and a shared love of food. To move past the current climate of fear and hate and into empowerment and love, the team went beyond a dynamic of “saving” one community to fully joining forces with and uplifting our fellow AAPI communities. Cut Fruit Collective’s name reflects a quiet gesture of care recognized by Asians across the world as the quintessential love language. The group remains rooted in serving Oakland Chinatown as they shape their stepping stone to build and strengthen coalitions across communities.
17-years-old Oakland Technical High School student, Greer Nakadegawa-Lee, excels at both visual art and poetry. Greer was named 2020’s Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. She has written a poem every day for nearly three years now, and her first chapter book, A Heart Full of Hallways is out now with Nomadic Press. In her latest poem, “From the Director’s Chair,” she calls out the misrepresentation that people of color are subjected to in modern media. She writes to “remind people that even though things seem hopeless, even when we have to be physically separated, we can still show solidarity and look out for one another. We still have the power to change what our future looks like.”