TEDxManhattan Heroes: Ietef 'DJ Cavem Moetavation' Vita

Leading up to TEDxManhattan 2015, we've asked this year's speakers to introduce themselves by answering a few questions. This week's guest is Ietef "DJ Cavem Moetavation" Vita, a 2014 Music Educator Award Grammy nominee, international recording artist, food justice activist, organic gardener and more. Watch for DJ Cavem's new album and vegan recipe book set for release this spring.

What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?

The topic is redefining the image of health and wealth through hip hop to urban youth and their communities.

Why is this important?

Many urban lower income communities have little to no access within miles to fresh, healthy food. In addition, hip hop and the likes are being used by corporations to market their unhealthy products to the largest purchasing demographic on the planet.

Music is a universal language and very influential when it comes to behavior.

How can music play a role in changing food?

Corporations such as McDonalds are using music like hip hop to promote and market their products. Music is a universal language and very influential when it comes to behavior.

Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now – either yours or someone else’s?

The upcoming Eco Twerk album, Damn Near Raw recipe book, and The National Hip Hop Green Dinner.

If you could do one thing to change the food system, what would it be?

Food sovereignty for everyone, increased healthy marketing using hip hop, and affordable fresh food access.

What are 5 ways to make good food more accessible to all?

  1. Establish a Food Policy Council that addresses availability of public land and vacant spaces
  2. Support the sale of local food 
  3. Encourage the establishment of farmer's markets
  4. Promote policies that support and protect community gardens
  5. Ensuring residents can access healthy affordable food through public transportation by realigning bus routes, providing free shuttles, or other means

Which other 2015 TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing? Which past speakers did you find particularly inspiring?

I’m looking forward to Daniel Meyer. For past speakers, Nicki Silvestri.

Where can more information about your project be found?

The DJ Cavem website, and his Vegan Chef Ietef Facebook page


TEDxManhattan, "Changing the Way We Eat," will take place March 7, 2015, at the TimesCenter in New York City. Interested in joining the day? You can apply to attend, or host or attend a viewing party.