Dreaming Out Loud, Inc.

Dreaming Out Loud​, Inc.'s mission i​s to build an equitable food system, economic opportunity for marginalized people, and more resilient communities. We work to strategically and systemically address the issues of community health, employment, and economic empowerment within communities by transforming the food system Wards 6, 7, and 8 of Washington, DC. Founded in 2008, Dreaming Out Loud (DOL) was created in response to educational and economic disparities in underserved, low-income communities. Our work began in Ward 7 in Washington, D.C. where we taught children character and leadership development; developed and implemented a youth workforce development program for 72 participants working in the Mayor’s “Green Summer Jobs Corps”. Along the way, DOL noticed consequential issues surrounding food systems and economics in our partner communities. This lead to the establishment of a network of farmers markets working to fight “food deserts” and build health equity. Seeing the nexus between health and economics, DOL has developed ​an innovative approach, vertically integrating the food-system in African-American communities through: (1) Urban farming, (2) Food access via community-centered farmers markets and (3) A “healthy food hub”: a mission-driven aggregation, storage, and distribution facility for local produce to restaurants, schools, and other food related-businesses. Since 2014, DOL has reached more than 40,000 people, distributed more than 250,000 pounds of produce, and hosted more than 1,500 people in healthy cooking demonstrations at our farmers markets and employed 12 youth in summer workforce programs in Wards 6, 7, and 8.