Devita Davison

Executive Director, FoodLab Detroit


Devita Davison, a native of Detroit and granddaughter of a preacher, lived almost 19 years in New York before moving back to her hometown, Detroit, in 2012. For her, words are not just letters strung together; they are vessels for love and fight, heartache, wisdom, and profound joy. To say she wears her heart on her sleeve doesn’t feel adequate; whether decrying injustices in the food system or expounding on the beauty of a ripe strawberry in summer, her passion for food justice work is palpable.

Devita Davison is the Executive Director of FoodLab Detroit, a non-profit organization that works to provide entrepreneurs with the technical assistance, workshops, resources, and the skills they need to start and grow strong, values-based food businesses. FoodLab is committed to serving low-resourced entrepreneurs of color and sees good food entrepreneurship as a way to build power and resilience for traditionally marginalized people and communities, and promote environmental sustainability through business practices and civic engagement by entrepreneurs. Devita propels the growth of FoodLab Detroit by planning, developing, and implementing all of FoodLab’s strategies in pursuit of FoodLab’s mission and provides strategic leadership to ensure ongoing active engagement of FoodLab board members, partnering organizations, funders, and volunteers.

She was previously the Community Kitchen Managing Director for Detroit Kitchen Connect, a network of shared, commercial kitchen spaces that provides community resources and an array of industry-specific services to burgeoning food entrepreneurs.

Devita combines her passion for culinary arts with activism and entrepreneurship. Devita has worked with the Brooklyn Food Coalition, facilitated workshops for the WKKF Foundation, spoken at the Just Food Conference, Netroots Nation, TEDx Detroit, TEDx Birmingham, and the BALLE conference. She has a BS in Social Science from Michigan State University.

Devita writes on local food systems and has been quoted in the media including: Civil Eats, Policy Link, The Detroit News, and Urban Innovation Exchange.

Session: The Revitalization of Detroit—A Story of Commitment, Creativity, and Partnership

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