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Food and Community Fellows Digest: Cultivating leadership and equity in the food movement

 The current class of IATP Food and Community Fellows

An overarching theme for the current fellowship class has been growing equity in the food system. The fellows have worked to address imbalances in wealth power—predominantly across racial lines—that contribute to discrepancies in health, food access, economic opportunity and overall quality of life. Such efforts often focus on the conduct of Corporate America and D.C. powerbrokers, as inequities can be exacerbated by their decisions. Yet we also recognize the need to look internally, within the food movement and within our own communities. 

For example, many of the leading food justice organizations have struggled to diversify their leadership. There are plenty of  reasonable excuses for not doing more to reach outside of the dominant culture, yet we know that diversifying leadership is key to expanding and equalizing our impacts. This digest taps into the wisdom of many fellows that have worked and studied these equity challenges.

It is also bittersweet to note that this is our final dgest, released in the last month of our last class’s tenure. With eight classes and 86 fellows since the program’s inception in 2001, it has been a remarkable run with an amazing group of people and an impressive record of accomplishment. Overall, the U.S. food system has enjoyed some tremendous positive changes over the past 13 years, and I would like to think that the fellowship program has played a small role.

Spring is a time of renewal and emergence. The good work will continue, in part with fellows continuing their good work in other forums, and in part with new food justice leaders emerging. The opportunities are there—let’s continue to embrace them.

Read the final IATP Food and Community Fellows Digest in its entirety, or see the individual pieces at the links below.

To Build Community Leadership, Redefine the Meaning of Leadership, by Brahm Ahmadi

Why the Food Movement Needs Paula Deen, by Jane Black

Let’s Talk About the Table, by Andrea King Collier

Race, Equity and Leadership: What's Land Got to Do With It?, by Cheryl Danley

Who’s Minding the Movement?, by Andy Fisher

Whither the Good Food Movement?, by Nina Kahori Fallenbaum

Building a Racially Just Food Movement, by Malik Yakini

Want a Better Food System? Help Young People Grow, by Rebecca Wiggins-Reinhard

Sharing Our Stories, Listening for Equity, by Valerie Segrest

More Guides, Fewer Bosses, by Raj Patel

Reinvent the Leadership "Table", by Jenga Mwendo

Invest in Leaders of Color, by Haile Johnston

Faces Like Mine: Developing Young African American Food Movement Leaders, by Kelvin Graddick

Funders, Kill the Project Model, by Kandace Vallejo

A Lack of Diversity in Breastfeeding Leadership Means Developing Our Own, by Kimberly Seals Allers