Speaker

Taja Sevelle

Taja Sevelle
Prince signed her to a recording contract when she was only 15, but Taja Sevelle put her music career on hold to reverse the trend of poverty by transforming deserted city blocks into food empowerment zones.

The first song Taja Sevelle ever wrote, “Love Is Contagious,” hit the charts in America and Europe in 1987. When she still a teenager, she was working with Warner/Chappell Music, and writing songs with legends Prince, Burt Bacharach, Thom Bell and Nile Rodgers, among others. Including her own CDs, Sevelle has songwriting and singing credits on more than 2.5 million records sold.

But while recording in Detroit for Sony, Sevelle began to see the poverty associated with job loss in the city, as well as the excess amount of unused land in the city. So in 2005, she founded Urban Farming™, a nonprofit headquartered in Detroit. The organization encourages local communities to engage in urban farming, works with them to plant food on unused land, and then gives away the food to whomever needs it. Today, Urban Farming has projects spread across the United States and is pursuing its vision globally.