Nationally Known Eco-Hip Hop Artists Visit to Connect Food & Wellness Issues
Nationally-recognized eco-hip hop artist and food activist DJ Cavem and his wife, lifestyle coach Alkemia, will be in Bellingham March 6 and 7 to lead a series of performances and discussions connecting healthy nutrition to wellbeing. These issues are important to all families and children, especially those living in food deserts, such as Birchwood Neighborhood.
On March 6, DJ Cavem and Alkemia will treat the entire community to a culinary hip-hop performance at Options High School’s auditorium from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Their presentation and performance will be on the importance of eating healthy to protect the human body and the environment. Earlier in the day, they hope to visit school and community gardens and learn about Bellingham School District’s Good Food Promise.
Thursday, March 7 they will perform for Shuksan Middle School students at a morning assembly. Afterwards they will be speaking on KUGS Radio and presenting at the Whatcom Prevention Coalition meeting, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the middle school’s library.
Families of 5th through 8th grade students who enroll in Shuksan Middle School are invited to a special culinary hip-hop performance from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at Shuksan Community Family Night. Come at 5 p.m. for a free community meal, and stay afterward for fun family activities like the Natural High Carnival, Dodgeball with Police and Firefighters, and a resource fair aimed at connecting healthy eating habits to prevention for physical and behavioral wellbeing. More than 20 community programs in the areas of nutrition, health and youth will provide learning activities, giveaways, food demos and resources. Free childcare is provided.
Shuksan Community Family Night aims to bridge the needs of students and their families with school and community resources on relevant issues and solutions. This year’s event aligns with Bellingham School’s Good Food Promise and the opening of the Central Kitchen, where fresh, healthy food will begin to replace frozen, processed breakfast and lunch items in schools across the district. The hope is to increase student choices and desire for healthy foods with increased awareness of how nutrition impacts their bodies and the environment.
“Adolescent brains are growing. It is a critical time of development for healthy habits. Research tells us there are connections between how young minds and bodies are fueled and their immediate and long-term mental and physical health. Choosing foods, snacks, and beverages with high sugar, high caffeine and other chemicals links to social-emotional wellbeing and to risk for substance use later in life”, explains Lisa Moulds, Whatcom Prevention Coalition coordinator. “Adolescence is a time of risk taking, but there are healthy risk taking options that benefit our young people. This event is about expanding awareness and options!”
These issues disproportionately affect families whose children enroll at Shuksan Middle School as Birchwood neighborhood is in a food desert. This means a large portion of the neighborhood is more than a mile away from a full service grocery that provides fresh food options. Families in the area have a harder time accessing healthy, affordable food.
The event is co-organized by a number of local groups including Whatcom Family Community Network, Bellingham School District and Communities In Schools.
Recognizing that food insecurity is a social determinant of health, PeaceHealth is the primary event sponsor. Significant contributions also come from the Whatcom County Health Department and the Whatcom Prevention Coalition.
DJ Cavem is considered the father of eco hip-hop, a subgenera of hip hop that aims to merge the musical style with environmentalism. He’s released multiple albums and has shared the stage with people like Nick Jonas and The Black Eyed Peas. He’s also done extensive work to promote healthy eating among youth. He has been featured in Oprah Magazine, the Huffington Post, on the Rachael Ray Show and more.
Photo Credit: New DJ Cavem Alkemia Earth Sprout That Life by DJ CaveM Photos and Pictures