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About Us2019-07-07T09:49:54-04:00

We Are Here To Serve You

Happily Natural Day is a powerful summer festival dedicated to holistic health, cultural awareness and social change. Accept no substitutes; Happily Natural Day is about substance over image, loving ourselves as African people, and changing our community as a result of that love. Happily Natural Day is an African centered business expo, a cultural arts and craft trade show, an all-day lecture & workshop seminar, a conscious hip hop, soul and spoken word showcase, a fashion and natural hair exhibition and holistic health fair all rolled in one.

This three day event has taken place for the past twelve years in Richmond Virginia and for seven in Atlanta Georgia. Happily Natural Day has a solid attendee base from all across the country and internationally.

Features:
 Visual art and cultural entertainment
 Organic Farmers Market and Art Expo, live musical performances, children activities,
workshops, lectures, film screenings, fashion shows and natural hair exhibitions.
 A must for natural health and beauty industry professionals of regardless of ethnic
background

Achievements:
 Known throughout the United States and Internationally.
 Decade old community centered summer festival attracting attendees from the UK,
Canada and throughout the United States.

Why Happily Natural?

The black community has dealt with the myth of good hair vs. bad hair since slavery. Though the hair texture of people of African descent is prone to be curly, the majority of black women often seek a remedy for their “bad hair”. The “good hair” by definition is straight, long and flowing and easy to get a comb through. “Bad hair” as defined by popular culture is just the opposite, unmanageable, extremely curly, and “nappy”. By definition the hair that our Creator blessed us with at birth should be appreciated and looked upon as beautiful, however in the black community for a large majority of women & men, unlike other ethnicities that take pride in their natural hair, many in the black community look at their natural, “nappy hair” as a burden of disgrace and socially unacceptable.

The Origins

Founded at the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia in Richmond Virginia in 2003, the festival has grown from a one day festival to a three day event called Black Freedom Weekend. Through community partnerships and the support of socially responsible individuals and organizations, Happily Natural has become one of the most anticipated annual grassroot events in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Inspired by the work of Elombe Brath, the Grandassa Models and AJASS; Happily Natural Day is a continuation of african nation-building and movement work.

Happily Natural focuses on social change and holistic health & wellness. Since inception, it has placed a specific focus on natural haircare, cultural heritage, and naturopathic medicine. Workshops are held annually on modalities for holistic healing, natural haircare & naturopathic medicine. Lectures on history, culture and heritage as it relates to Africans in America & throughout the Diapora are presented by scholars of wide & diverse backgrounds and specialties

Our Valuable Team Members

Duron Chavis
Duron ChavisFounder
DURON CHAVIS started his career in community advocacy as first a volunteer then an employee of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of VA. While there founded the highly acclaimed Happily Natural Day festival as a grassroots effort to supplement the summer jazz concert that was held annually at the institution. The festival is a weekend long experience that focuses on cultural awareness, health, wellness and social change.

Presently Chavis is engaged in coordinating innovative and dynamic initiatives around the topics of urban agriculture and local food systems in a culturally relevant way. In 2009 Chavis launched the Richmond Noir Market, a Saturday farmer’s market targeting low-income communities located in what the USDA has designated as food deserts in Richmond Virginia. 2012 marked the development his first community garden; which subsequently led to the development of urban farms, urban orchards, urban vineyards and work in poverty mitigation, workforce development, health and racial equity.

Nikiya Ellis
Nikiya EllisProgram Director
After learning about the stark disparity in maternal mortality rates for women of color, Nikiya Ellis left the corporate world behind to be a part of the solution. As a birth worker of color, she works to address the root causes of reproductive injustice & Food inequity in Richmond, Va & surrounding counties. Nikiya connects the worlds of maternal justice to food justice; by increasing access to healthy food for expecting mothers through collaborative programs at urban greenspaces throughout the Richmond Region. Prior to engaging in maternal justice work; Nikiya served as former director/founder of Our Time to Shine; a teen mentorship program developed to engage African American girls in their transition into womanhood. As an evolution of that work she works pro bono as a Doula to mothers that wouldn’t normally be able to afford the support. From eggplant to lemongrass, Nikiya grows many of the herbs and veggies used in her efforts to give new moms access to healthy foods in the food deserts of Richmond, Va. She works closely with her life partner; local foods advocate and urban farm activist, Duron Chavis in her effort to build resiliency within communities of color.
Randy Minor
Randy MinorFounder, 5th District Mini Farm
Randy Minor is an urban horticulturalist and founder of 5th District Mini Farm. In 2016, Minor chose to reconnect to the land through developing the same soil that his grandfather once tilled when he was a child. Minor serves as Vice President of the Swansboro Civic Association and as a Ginter Urban Gardener.

The 5th District Mini Farm is a small scale urban farm located in South Richmond. The goal is to grow food intensively without the use of chemical fertilizers herbicides or pesticides. 5th District places emphasis on biological farming, soil health and teaching the community how to grow their own food.

Sponsor History

Testimonials

I think its a very positive outlet for the conscious community..there is nothing else like it.. no preservatives no additives just pure genuine enlightenment and opportunities for our people to network..be educated and informed and vibe with likeminded spirits

Virginia Attendee

It brings to mind what Harlem Week, in New York, use to be like, before they became too commercial. Natural foods, the smell of incense, the sounds of the drums, what Africa once was.

New York Attendee

I enjoyed the various speakers, and the various Vendors, and our various Family members and organizations represented in one place, all about US, The Black Family.

DC Attendee

Overall, I had a wonderful experience. Really appreciated the opportunity to build with brothas and sistas from the mid-atlantic region…thoroughly enjoyed myself and was very enlightened by every aspect of the event. The vendor fee was very reasonable and made it easier on travel expenses. I will definitely be in attendance next year. Thanks again;…peace.

Virginia Attendee