2021-2022 Luce Scholar

Maame Boatemaa grew up at the crossroad of her two homes, Ghana and the U.S. A fully funded master’s degree candidate in Environment and Development at the London School of Economics, she explores urbanity through the lens of history, design, environment, politics, immigration, imperialism, and literature. As an Albert Gallatin Scholar at New York University, she critically interrogated how urban spaces transform in diverse social, economic, and political settings, and won several grants for research in Ghana, Kenya, and Senegal, which shifted her academic trajectory to revisiting indigenous and community-based practices and unsettling Western notions of development.

During her time at NYU, Maame was recognized for her dedication to community-building and development, including the NYU President’s Service Award and the Clyde Taylor Award for Distinguished Work in African American and Africana Studies. After graduation, on a Princeton in Africa fellowship, she spearheaded the Hinji Project, a pragmatic intervention for soybean farmers in Central Zambia that reduced reliance on imported machinery for harvesting. The local farmers and community leaders she worked with inspired her to place community wisdom and collaboration at the center of her career in development and urban planning.

Maame’s love for community building, travel, and storytelling led her to spend nine months learning about web design to create an experimental platform, The Garlic Project. The published pieces on the Garlic platform engage with the daily mundane thoughts and occurrences that invariably define the human experience and has featured contributions from over twenty countries since its launch in 2019. Anchored by a sense of gratitude and responsibility, Maame imagines a redefinition of cities around the world that encourages people to self-actualize with the promise of community, without the fear of displacement or starvation.