Meet the team: Makeda Touré

Meet Makeda Touré, Project Specialist

My name is Makeda Touré and, I am a 25-year-old South Minneapolis resident who gives the sparkling water industry a significant part of my income. I am really into popular culture, comedy and The Sims. At Casa de Esperanza, my main responsibility is to provide administrative support for NLN staff. I also have a big role in providing technical assistance during our webinars and podcasts, providing logistical support for conferences and meetings, and working with the communications team to support effective and timely communications.

Where are you from?

I am from Minneapolis, MN.

Where do you feel most at home?

Besides at home in my own bed, I feel most at home when around friends and family that aren’t local to me. All of my siblings live in different states and many of my friends live around the country so when we get together and see each other it feels like home.

What inspires you, professionally and personally?

Contributing to a better society for myself and others inspires me. By “better,” I mean a society free from white supremacy and oppression.

In terms of your work for Esperanza United, what are your areas of expertise or what areas are particularly interesting to you?

I have a background in communications and cooperative work. I am always interested in finding ways to learn more and soak up new information. Areas that are particularly interesting to me include breaking down barriers to access and becoming more culturally aware and inclusive.

Share one thing you have learned, big or small, doing your work.

Self-awareness is key to being successful in a variety of situations! I am working daily to be more aware of my presence and energy in my work spaces.

Who inspires you?

Strong and unshaken women throughout history have always inspired me. Lots of women throughout time have done incredible things from magnificent art to groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Grace Jones, Josephine Baker and Frida Kahlo are great examples of women who live and have lived with purpose and zeal which inspires me daily. My mom also inspires me – she has so much strength and love to give and I have only been increasingly grateful to her.

What do you do to relax, de-stress or recharge your batteries?

To de-stress, usually, veg out on my couch at home and binge some TV. I really enjoy anime and most other genres of television. Some of my favorite shows include Bob’s Burgers and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I also really like to create various types of art, from photography to jewelry making, and really anything I can get my hands on.

Why have you chosen to do this kind of work?

I have chosen to do this kind of work because I want to contribute to breaking down systems of oppression. I currently don’t have children, but it gives me hope to know that so many people are working to improve the quality of life for younger generations and the generations to come. Growing up, my parents were really intentional about teaching me about my identities and the importance of embracing them even when the world around me doesn’t. This was extremely beneficial to my own personal growth and understanding of society and the systems of which we live in. The work my parents did really laid the foundation for me to want to do this work.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is baked macaroni and cheese! I have been a vegetarian my entire life and I absolutely love savory/comforting foods. What better savory dish is there?

What is your favorite book?

My favorite book is Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie. I find so much value in the way the book compels you to use your imagination in majestic ways. Every time I read Haroun and the Sea of Stories, I imagine the characters and their environment differently; it’s a truly beautiful book.