Meet a Roddenberry Fellow
Ebele Ifedigbo | October 15, 2019
Meet Ebele, a 2019 Roddenberry Fellow
Ebele is the founding co-executive director of The Hood Incubator, a national organization leveraging the historic rise of the legal marijuana industry to build economic and political power for Black communities harmed by the drug war. The Hood Incubator launched in 2017 in response to California’s legalization of marijuana. Ebele has built a membership of over 2,000 members, supporting Black and Brown entrepreneurs through a Cannabis Business Accelerator program (the first cannabis accelerator focused on people of color in the nation), and a cannabis apprenticeship program for the Oakland community. While The Hood Incubator is based in Oakland, there are plans to replicate the model in city and states countrywide.
“Black people have taken on the negative consequences associated with marijuana prohibition – incarceration, disenfranchisement, family instability. Yet, we’re seeing minimal benefits from this lucrative industry that we’ve essentially underwritten with the loss of our basic freedoms and civil rights.” Says Ebele, “This industry is here to stay and the moment is ripe for us to take collective action to maintain and grow the economic foundations we’ve developed through cannabis. In this historical moment, there’s also an unprecedented opportunity for us to build political power through this process. This is what The Hood Incubator seeks to achieve.”
During the 2019 Fellowship
During the Fellowship year, Ebele will continue to work to leverage marijuana legalization to build transformative political power and foster economic opportunity for Black communities harmed by the drug war, through three focus areas: Community Organizing, Policy Advocacy, and Economic Development.
These strategies will support Black communities in cultivating the political voice and power needed to shape the many cannabis-industry-related policy decisions affecting their lives. It will also create opportunities for economic self-determination in the face of ongoing criminalization and marginalization.
“Black people will have transformative political power and collective agency that will ripple into every other racial justice issue of our time, many of which already intersect with the cannabis movement (i.e. reproductive justice, housing justice, voting rights, criminal justice, and more).”
Learn more about Ebele and The Hood Incubator: https://www.hoodincubator.org/