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Museum of the African Diaspora announces new Chef-in-Residence

4 January 2023 at 23:26 | 699 views

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is pleased to announce that Jocelyn Jackson (pictured) will serve as its new Chef-in-Residence starting this January 2023.

Founder of JUSTUS Kitchen and co-founder of People’s Kitchen Collective, the award winning, Oakland-based chef, artist, teacher, and activist brings her passion and commitment to health, wellness, and food justice in the Black community to MoAD’s signature Chef-in-Residence program, an initiative launched and shaped by James Beard Award-winning chef and author Bryant Terry who has served in the
role since 2015. Over the next two years, Jackson will be responsible for creating innovative public programs that celebrate the confluence of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora.

"As a chef activist that works at the intersection of food, arts, and social justice, my focus is to co-create healing food experiences that support our collective liberation,” says Jackson. “This dynamic collaboration with MoAD as Chef-In-Residence provides an incredible platform for amplifying the voices and actions of people in our beloved diaspora community who are committed to the powerful role culture plays in our pathways to freedom and inspiration. I am looking forward to the many expressions
of joy, flavor, and determination we will create together."

MoAD’s Chef-in-Residence program, the first of its kind in a contemporary art museum, has been seminal in creating space for people of color to give voice to crucial issues around food justice, climate justice, and social justice while nurturing a love of healthy foods, creativity, and community. From its very first offering, a panel discussion entitled Black Women, Food, and Power, to the widely-lauded Black Food
Summit this past September, the program under Terry’s direction has brought together hundreds of leading Black chefs, writers, scholars, activists, artists, and other creatives to advance the health and well being of the African Diaspora.

For Elizabeth Gessel, MoAD’s Director of Public Programs, Jackson is the ideal successor. “Jocelyn Jackson brings new energy and passion for the Chef-in-Residence program at MoAD and will provide a fresh perspective on programming and partnerships,” she says. “While she and Bryant share a commitment to justice and to community building, Jocelyn infuses serenity, spirituality, and joy into everything she does.

Her work with the People’s Kitchen Collective demonstrates her fierce commitment to feeding her community both spiritually and physically. We are excited about her
connections with community centers, like the Booker T. Washington Community Center, where she plans to do intergenerational food workshops, and with Black farmers, who are reclaiming their connection to the land and cultivation.”
Jackson’s passion for culturally significant food, social justice, creativity, and community is rooted in a childhood spent on the Kansas plains, where her large, vibrant family would sing a song before sitting down at the table to share a soulful meal. With a background in fine arts, law, and environmental education and projects that took her to West Africa and Southern India, Jocelyn has created a dynamic
lived experience that informs her approach to cooking.

Jackson has been a professional cook for over 12 years. She is the founder of JUSTUS Kitchen and the co-founder of People’s Kitchen Collective (PKC). Both organizations serve to center the lived experience and liberation of Black and Brown peoples using food, art, and social justice as vehicles for change. Her
work with PKC has included being part of the team that presented the inaugural Diaspora Dinner at MoAD, installing PKC’s Kitchen Remedies project as part of a Smithsonian APA CrossLines exhibition, hosting a year long meal series called From the FARM to the KITCHEN to the TABLE to the STREETS!, and organizing the annual Free Breakfast Program at the Life is Living Festival in Oakland. With JUSTUS
Kitchen she has turned her focus toward creating one-on-one sacred food experiences for Black women.

Jackson has received several honors as an artist and chef over the years. She was named Rising Star Chef alongside PKC by the SF Chronicle, received the Rainin Open Spaces and Fellows Grant, Creative Capital Award, Ruth Foundation for the Arts Grant, and Headlands Center for the Arts Residency. In 2021, she was selected for Ava DuVernay’s LEAP Foundation Grant to create a culinary arts based installation that reflected the story of Philando Castille. Jackson has published writing on the topics of food and justice in Eater, Epicurious, The Kitchn, Feed the Resistance by Julia Turshen, and Black Food by Bryant Terry. She still starts every meal with a song.

Jackson’s residency begins with a dynamic conversation on February 11 with fellow artist/chef Bryant Terry, who will stay on board as an advisor to the program. The free, in person event at 2pm will feature drinks and bites from across the diaspora.
MoAD’s Chef-in-Residence program is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, lead sponsor since the program’s inception in 2015.
For more information about Jocelyn Jackson, visit

About MoAD
The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is a contemporary art museum whose mission is to celebrate Black cultures, ignite challenging conversations, and inspire learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora. MoAD is one of only a few museums in the United States dedicated to the celebration and interpretation of art, artists, and cultures from the African Diaspora. The Museum presents exhibitions highlighting contemporary art and artists of African descent and engages its
audience through education and public programs that interpret and enhance the understanding of Black art. Founded in 2005, the Museum continues to be a unique, cultural arts staple in the San Francisco Bay Area community.

For more information about MoAD, visit The Museum’s website at
For media information or visuals, contact:
Nina Sazevich
Public Relations

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