For over ten years, Adaku Utah has centered in movements for radical social change, with a focus on gender, sexuality, race, youth and healing justice. She is the founder and director of Harriet’s Apothecary, and the founder of BeatBox Botanicals, a local sliding-scale, love-centered, and community-inspired plant medicine and healing practice. Adaku has taught, organized, created sacred healing spaces and performed both nationally and internationally as a Social Change Initiatives coordinator, rape crisis counselor, youth organizer, intuitive healer, gender-based violence advocate, dancer, liberation trainer, sex education teacher, herbalist, sexual violence organizing educator, and board member for several organizations including Yale University, Chicago Foundation for Women, The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Black Lives Matter, Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER), Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Museum, Sadie Nash Leadership Project and more.
Her ABOG Fellowship will support Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational, healing village led by Black Cis Women, Queer and Trans healers, artists, health professionals, magicians, activists and ancestors. Harriet’s Apothecary is committed to co-creating accessible, affordable, liberatory, all-body loving, all-gender honoring, community healing spaces that recognize, inspire, and deepen the healing genius of people who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color and allies. The project continues the rich healing legacy of abolitionist, community nurse and herbalist Harriet Tubman.
An inside look at Harriet’s Apothecary: Summer Edition in 2014. Video courtesy of The Youth Channel, produced by Lydia Stetson.
Artist portrait by Olubode Shawn Brownsquare.
Harriet’s Apothecary, Summer 2015. Courtesy the artist.
Members of Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational healing village based in Brooklyn, NY. Standing and kneeling, left to right: Anais Petit, Dimitrea Tokunbo, Taja Lindley, Shamilia McBean, Natalie Howard, Juliette Jones, and Jasmine Burnett. Sitting, from left to right: 2015 ABOG Fellow Adaku Utah, Naima Penniman, and Beatrice Anderson. Photo: Foster Henry