Mission

Land Based Jawns is an organization rooted in Spirit and ancestral spiritual practices. We provide education and training to Black women, femme, and non-binary people on agriculture, land based living, safety, and carpentry. We do so with a focus on self and community healing. Much off our work and training is guided by the skills and lessons highlighted throughout the Parable of the Sower series by Octavia Butler.

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Vision

LBJ supports the various types of healing that we want to see in our Philly communities. Healing from the impacts of white violence, healing in our relationships with each other, healing in and through spirituality, and healing in our relationships with the Land. We spell out the connections between food justice and health to help our communities become collectively self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-determined. We believe in the power of food to literally heal our bodies.

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Main Jawns

“There is one thing you have got to learn about our movement. Three people are better than no people.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

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Wassup y'all! I'm Ashley and I was born and raised in Philly to my lovely and late parents, Dawn K. Kipkin and Paul S. Gripper III. So much of their lives, their struggles, their love, and their sacrifices have inspired and motivated the creation of Land Based Jawns. My activist, advocacy, and academic work all focus on Black folks' connection and reconnection to the Creator, ancestors, each other, and the land with special emphasis on how we heal and get free together. I am a farmer at Sankofa Community Farm and working with Soil Generation to design Philly’s first Urban Agriculture Plan. I am also a full-time PhD Candidate in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. My research unpacks the impacts of urban agriculture on mental health, spirituality, and collective agency, and is supported by the Health Policy Research Scholars program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Ashley Gripper

Founding Organizer

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Hey family, my name is Tanya! I've been on a journey of remembrance for a few years now and I'm so honored to be involved in the work of earth and community stewardship through LBJ. I was born and raised in Kenya and moved to Philadelphia a little over a decade ago. My matrix job is in Customer Experience Strategy consulting and my passions lie in farming, herbalism, energy work, neuroscience, nutrition, wellness, rest, and holistic healing. I'm a big believer that a lot of our purpose is to unlearn the colonial teachings that have so vastly impacted our lives and get back to basics. I enjoy being in community learning about all the ways in which the earth supports us and how our natural environment impacts our bodies and minds. Throughout life, we each go through certain experiences that catalyze us into richness, joy, and sometimes our life purpose. LBJ, in my opinion, has been one of the biggest catalysts for many and I am beyond excited to continue on this journey of remembrance with you all.

Tanya Moronge

Operations and Administration

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Chef Laquanda Dobson was born and raised in Philadelphia where she was guided by a love of food, family, and community. She is known for creating curriculums for youth and community members that reconnects them back to the black diaspora. When the world shut down Chef Dobson took her work online and now hosts a series of classes and speaking engagements where she’s still able to do what first got her involved: farming, teaching, and empowering the youth by showing them affordable, healthy, accessible, and delicious meals. You can find her on Sankofa farm as the Culinary Cultures Coordinator and Farm Manager. She is also a proud member of the Black Dirt Farm Collective.

Chef Laquanda Dobson

Farm and Garden Education

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Greetings + Peace! My name is Mieka! I have many identities but the few that I care to share at this time are: a black woman, mother, daughter + seeker of wholeness. I currently live and work and survive in North Philly and know deep within my soul that I will experience my authentic fullness/purpose before I return to the Earth. And, I know that the experiences I have/had throughout my life will be alone as well as in community with folx. I very much believe that freedom, joy + love are needed in order for anyone to fully live + thrive and you cannot get to live life in isolation but collectively! I am so very grateful to get an opportunity to journey to “get free + comfortable in my skin” with a collective such as LBJ! The work of LBJ is love, joy + power, and it will be done!

Mieka Moody

Community Building and Accountability

Program Partners