We are proud to present the ShiftMeals Hoodies, designed by our very own team member Jaya N. Touma-Kajatt Shoatz. Drawing from sacred afro-indigenous symbols, Jaya's design celebrates the values that guide our work: Interdependence, Abundance, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Harmony. Please take time to learn more about Jaya's design here.
Share your support for these initiatives by placing your order and wearing your hoodie with honor, respect, reverence, and gratitude for the People and Land at the center of these projects.
You can also contribute to the BIPOC GrowTeam without ordering a hoodie, by making a donation here.
Meet the Artist
My name is Jaya N. Touma-Kajatt Shoatz, I am a local artist, activist and student at the University of Vermont. I come from a long line of Black Panthers, Freedom Fighters, and Political Prisoners; from whom I try to model my activism and ideology after. As a person truly passionate about the liberation of Black folks and the demolition of systemic oppression, I reference radical love, art, and people to drive my work. A big part of my choice behind the Adinkra symbols comes from the fact that the values they represent are not only universal but are essential to community building especially in connection to land sovereignty. I made it with the understanding that the Akan culture is far more equitable than the systems we have in place in the USA. These symbols stand for Interdependence, Abundance, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Harmony. All things that we have seen embodied in the ShiftMeals BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program and also principles that need to be funded and invested in.
In the spirit of reparations and artist appreciation, my Cashapp and Venmo are listed below.
Jaya N. Touma-Kajatt Shoatz (They/She), one of our BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program Co-Managers and the BIPOC Growteam Art Coordinator, is a local student and artist. They designed hoodies for the 2021 ShiftMeals’ BIPOC GrowTeam with the Growteams principles at heart: Interdependence, Abundance, Knowledge, Wisdom, and Harmony. Using Adinkra symbols of the Akan culture to reflect the heritage inherent in the practices offered in the program, Jaya connects the concept of land sovereignty with indigenous land practices. They reflect the ancestral traditions and beliefs of West Africa that have survived in African American culture and how they will aid us in the fight for food and land justice and Afro liberation. They use the Winooski onion to pay homage to the Afro-Indigenous (specifically Abenaki) people, culture, and ways of being with the land guiding the BIPOC GrowTeam.
White folks and non-Black POC who are interested in purchasing this hoodie must wear them with respect, honor, reverence, gratitude, and understanding of the people and land they come from.