Sept 22, Global Cooperative Organizing for Sustainable Development in Africa

David Robinson

Global Cooperative Organizing for Sustainable Development in Africa 
Thursday, September 22, 1:30-3:00 pm 10 Blegen Hall

David Robinson was born 1952, the youngest child of baseball great Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel. Growing up during the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and in the Robinson home where civil rights issues were at the core of everyday life, David has spent the last forty years promoting social justice and equal opportunity.

After moving to Tanzania in 1982, he created Sweet Unity Farms and became involved in the economic development of Africa through sustainable agriculture. David has worked tirelessly to change the global coffee industry and improve the lives of African coffee farming families who till the soil and harvest the crops. He is the founder and managing director of Higher Ground Development, an organization that works directly with coffee cooperatives; and founder of Up-Country International Products Inc., the sole distributor and marketer of Sweet Unity Farms Coffee. Their missions are to enhance the economic position and quality of life of rural coffee farmers and their communities. Through direct trade partnerships with coffee roasters and marketing companies, the creation of branded coffee products, and a system of equitable income distribution, Sweet Unity Farms Coffee strives to be part of a successful cooperative business model for global citizenship. The goal is to promote direct trade to strengthen the capacity of small scale, family-owned farms and to enable poor family farmers to increase their incomes by marketing and exporting high-quality coffee to partners in consumer countries.

David has recently been working with the Twin Cities-based non-profit organization, Books for Africa, to create community and school libraries for coffee farmers and their families in western Tanzania. He will be introduced by University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler.

David Robinson’s bio on ESPN video by Spike Lee:

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology, African Studies Initiative, Department of African American & African Studies, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change

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