Ismail Samad: “From Good Food to Communal Sovereignty: Toward an Emancipated Future”
Tue, September 26th, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Social Entrepreneur & Food Systems Expert
“From Good Food to Communal Sovereignty: Toward an Emancipated Future”
in conversation with James Manigault-Bryant, Chair & Professor of Africana Studies
Tuesday, September 26th, 7:00pm
Bronfman Auditorium, Williams College
Presented by the Center for Learning in Action
Co-sponsored by: Rice Center for Teaching; Schumacher Center for a New Economics; Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences; Africana Studies; American Studies; Anthropology & Sociology; Economics; Political Science; Religion; Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Davis Center; Chaplains’ Office; Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives; Berkshire Black Economic Council; Berkshire Community Action Council
Ismail Samad is the co-founder of Loiter, a nonprofit organization in East Cleveland dedicated to confronting the effects of systemic racism and encouraging intentional re-investment needed to build successful community-owned enterprises that result in spatial and economic justice.
Ismail is a native of East Cleveland, OH, a social entrepreneur, enterprise developer, and a closed-loop food systems expert. While studying environmental biology in college, and working in some of the top restaurants in Cleveland, Ismail developed a passion for the culinary arts. He opened his first cafe, Crust and Crumbs at the age of 23.
After relocating to Vermont, he became deeply involved in the farm-to-table movement, which gave him insight into the impact of food waste and created in him a resolve to find creative solutions to solve the problem.
To this end, he founded a new restaurant concept, The Gleanery. The restaurant eliminates waste and showcases culinary artistry with high-end fare, all while providing economic opportunities for local farm partners.
Ismail served as culinary director and was pivotal in the planning, launch, and early expansion of Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery store in Roxbury and Dorchester, Massachusetts. Daily Table focuses on addressing the conflicting issues of food insecurity, nutritional health, and wasted/surplus food to provide healthy, affordable meals to those in need.
Ismail is also the former director of Contract Manufacturing and Culinary Operating for Commonwealth Kitchen, a nonprofit business incubator located in Boston, MA specializing in building a new food economy grounded in racial, social, and economic justice.
He brings his experience as board president for Boston Area Gleaners, his ability to connect with others to put strategic partnerships in place, and his experience in managing local supply lines, to lead Loiter to develop urban farming in East Cleveland to provide products directly to businesses. This means that every part of the supply chain will be owned by East Clevelanders. Ismail specializes in leading Loiter Marketplace as well as Loiter’s Farms & Apiaries enterprise.
While it may take years to repair the damage caused by neglect, economic disinvestment, and injustice, Ismail believes in the people of East Cleveland to build up a new cultural renaissance.
Press coverage of Ismail and his work:
- Purchase of farm-to-jar food company aims to boost East Cleveland economy, Black entrepreneurship (The Land, July 29, 2022)
- Ismail Samad: Most Interesting People 2023 (Cleveland Magazine, December 20, 2022)
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