THE KINDNESS GROCERY COOPERATIVE
Amidst the height of the pandemic, founders Asya Abdrahman and Adrian Bello established The Kindness Grocery Cooperative (KGC) to tackle the food security challenges prevailing in their communities. KGC's vision aimed to inspire communities to coexist in harmony with the Earth and each other, through collective, autonomous, and sustainable practices. The mission focused on providing communities with dependable food security, health support, sustainability, and connection by redistributing resources into shared abundance. Between May 2020 and January 2021, the KGC team pursued several essential initiatives, encompassing community education, partnership development, food preparation, and donation, coupled with leading academic courses at esteemed institutions such as Dartmouth College and Harvard University. As time progressed, the organization's vision extended beyond food security, encompassing the development of decentralized, self-sustaining micro-communities and economies through art, collective land stewardship, and regenerative systems creation. KGC's approach was grounded in collaboration, self-determination, and the utilization of regenerative practices to encourage environmental sustainability. By prioritizing these values, KGC aimed to equip communities with greater self-reliance and resilience in confronting challenges like food insecurity, climate change, and social inequality.
The Kindness Grocery Cooperative orchestrated and hosted a series of events known as the Bath Party, which were co-founded and co-led by previously unhoused community members. This community gathering was designed to provide community care, crypto education, and NFT's for good. The project's inception was partly inspired by founder, regenerative artist, and sustainable entrepreneur, Asya Abdrahman, who personally experienced being unhoused and pregnant while raising children. During the pandemic, Asya recognized the immediate needs of unhoused individuals, which included access to basic hygienic necessities like showers, as Covid had shut down support centers. With the aim of achieving collective liberation from these inhumane conditions and fostering an ongoing sense of solidarity between unhoused and housed communities, KGC organized three Bath Party events in California, specifically in Oakland, Berkeley, and Los Angeles' Skid Row. Moreover, during this time, the KGC team was introduced to the blockchain world. Recognizing the potential benefits of blockchain technology to shift value systems, provide alternative currency systems, and uplift artists, the team initiated an NFT project with the intention of funding the houseless communities they were supporting. During the Bath Party events, the team also conducted workshops on cryptocurrency, explored the possibilities of using blockchain technology for social good, and coined the terms #NFTsForGood, #CryptoToThePeople, and #BankTheUnbanked.
NFTea & CoFee
Following our entrance into the crypto world, we identified the necessity for crypto education and onboarding assistance for marginalized communities that are typically excluded from developing technological spaces. In response, we launched NFTea & CoFee, a mobile coffee cart that materialized in different locations around the San Francisco Bay Area, offering ethically sourced and traditionally made tea, coffee, and NFTs to onboard communities to the blockchain while retaining human connection. This endeavor brought together the beloved product of coffee with NFT art to increase digital awareness and education on the streets. It was a pioneering physical NFT marketplace on wheels that underscored the significance of person-to-person interaction, even in the digital realm. The name of the mobile marketplace was encapsulated it's intentions: NFTs, tea, and coffee, all offered to finance The Kindness Grocery Cooperative through a cooperative fee (CoFee).
THE KIN DAO
By Fall, the team delved deeper into the web3 world and were introduced to DAOs. They came to the realization that KGC was in essence an off-chain DAO. As a result, they concluded that transitioning into a DAO was the logical next step in organizational development. The Kin DAO, derived from the word "kin" which represents family or close relationships, was thus established. The Kin DAO utilizes digital tools to integrate equitable systems into the physical realm, through the implementation of art, collective land stewardship, and regenerative systems. Our main objective is to collectively aqcuire farmland, where we can execute, exercise and refine our For Product Model. The For Product Model involves a system in which communities can trade labor for land ownership, utilizing NFTs and our developing token, EarthChange, as tools within our decentralized operation. Our ultimate goal is to leverage blockchain technology to construct decentralized systems in which living communities can create self-sustaining micro-economies in real-life.
The Kin DAO launched its operations by organizing a month-long NFT Art Exhibition called "Hyphae" at the former Local Maker Mart in San Francisco, CA. Building in biomimicry of mycelium, the exhibition's title, "Hyphae," refered to the branching filaments that constitute the mycelium of a fungus, symbolizing the beginning of communal art bridge building and world value shifting. Hosted in a former bank building, Hyphae shed light on extractive value structures that are disrupting our life systems and facilitated a shift in perspective to redefine worth collaboratively. The exhibition underscored the importance of creative collaboration and blockchain technology adoption to support these value shifts. Hyphae provided education to enable all to use digital tools actively and shape our collective future by upholding the values of creativity, collaboration, community, regeneration, and sustainability. After the completion of this in person exhibition, the Kin DAO moved its operations to the digital space for further viewing.
As the project developed, there was an increasing recognition for the need to bridge the digital divide. The transition from Web2 to Web3 was widening the digital literacy gap, emphasizing the urgency of onboarding education for those lacking technological access, knowledge, and skills. Web3 provides the opportunity and responsibility to shape new paradigms. Diverse perspectives and cultural knowledge are essential pieces to cultivating them in positive forms that benefit all life. Thus, the emergence of Primordia, a year-long project DAO that served as Web3 onboarding for traditionally excluded communities through art-based solutions throughout the duration of 2022. A primordia, the first point at which the development of a mushroom fruit body is visible, represented the emergent growth of the collective Web3 onboarding efforts by The Kin DAO through the Primordia project. By the end of 2022, the Primordia project achieved success in onboarding 100 DAOs to the NEAR ecosystem, with the majority being mutual aid or regenerative sustainability projects aimed at rethinking systems.