Hosted by Micah
Guest Joél Mejia
Joél Mejia is an artivist, social entrepreneur, permaculture-based systems designer, and engaged citizen in the Kingston, New York community where he lives with his wife and two daughters. In 2002, Joél received his BA in Economics and is now part of the Next Economy MBA program that is scheduled to be completed in May, 2023. His work is presently rooted in this economics background but is guided by the principles of cooperative economics, the solidarity economy, or simply the new economy, and not the business as usual capitalism that is the dominant system.
Joél is one of the founding members of Mi Oh My Hydroponic Farms, a worker-owned cooperative growing microgreens and mushrooms in the Bronx and Kingston, and increasingly providing consulting and training aimed at empowering the food insecure with the ethos of food is medicine. What began in Joél’s Bronx dining room with one rack and little experience with hydroponics, has quickly grown into a resilient business that is a model for aspiring farmers. The business continues to attract both customers for its products and individuals interested in worker cooperatives as a way towards economic independence.
Joél traces his philosophy and world view to his Taino and Afro ancestors, and his work is based on bringing ancient knowledge into the future - so called, AfroFuturism. Practicing minimalism, meditation, plant-based eating, yoga and attending the occasional sweat lodge and plant medicine ceremonies grounds the healing work Joél’s economic initiatives require. “The decolonization of marginalized people is a worthy goal to pursue, so why not commit fully to it?”