Minneapolis, MN—The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is pleased to announce the selection of 14 new Food and Community Fellows. The 2011-2013 class of Fellows is a mix of grassroots advocates, thought leaders, writers and entrepreneurs.

The two-year fellowship provides an annual stipend of $35,000 in addition to communications support, trainings, and travel. The program supports leaders working to create a food system that strengthens the health of communities, particularly children. For this class of Fellows, a selection committee focused on work that creates a just, equitable and healthy food system from its roots up. Over 560 individuals applied for fellowships.

“We had more than three times the number of applicants of previous classes. Such a talented and diverse pool of people working for food systems change was exciting and challenging for our selection committee and application readers. We look forward to this class building on the great work of previous classes” said IATP’s Mark Muller. “The six-person selection committee provided a diversity of expertise and perspective that was essential for the decision-making process.”

“This new group of Fellows parallels their predecessors in skill, capacity and experience,” says Keecha Harris, a food systems and public health expert, member of the very first fellowship class and member of the selection committee. “The selection process demonstrates that this country has a cadre of profoundly dedicated individuals committed to better food in their communities and improved food policies in all levels of government.” The new class of fellows represents work from Bainbridge Island, Washington to west Georgia, and from southern New Mexico to Queens, NY.

Another selection committee member, August Schumacher, former USDA Undersecretary of Farm and Agriculture Services agrees. “The caliber of the final awardees reflects extra-ordinary capabilities, outstanding and innovative proposals and plain hard work,” Schumacher says.

“The Food and Community Fellows have always been change agents,” says Jim Harkness, President of IATP.” We invest in individuals that have a vision and plan for bettering the food system. These fellowships aren’t about incremental change; we want big visions that have the potential to provide our children with new opportunities for growing, processing, eating and thinking about food.”

The Food and Community Fellows program is generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, MI and the Woodcock Foundation, based in New York, New York.  

To follow the work of the new class of IATP Food and Community Fellows, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. www.iatp.org.

Class VIII IATP Food and Community Fellows

2011-2013

Brahm Ahmadi, founder of People’s Grocery and CEO of People’s Community Market in Oakland, is a social entrepreneur redesigning food retail to better engage, serve and support food desert communities.

Jane Black is a Brooklyn-based food writer who covers food politics, trends and sustainability issues.

Don Bustos is a traditional farmer in New Mexico working on issues of land and water rights using community-based approaches farmer-to-farmer training.

Cheryl Danley, an Academic Specialist with the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University in East Lansing, engages with communities to strengthen their access to fresh, locally grown, healthy and affordable food.

Nina Kahori Fallenbaum, the Washington, DC-based food and agriculture editor of Hyphen magazine, uses independent media to engage Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in local and national food policy.

Kelvin Graddick, a west Georgia-based, fair food system advocate, manages a cooperative that maintains a local sustainable food system, promotes healthy living, builds cultural and economic knowledge, and creates economic opportunities.

Haile Johnston, a Philadelphia-based social entrepreneur, works to improve the vitality of rural and urban communities through food system connectivity and policy change.

Jenga Mwendo, a community organizer based in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, focuses on strengthening community through urban agriculture.

Raj Patel
, a writer, academic and activist in San Francisco, works in support of food sovereignty in the US and the Global South through advocacy, analysis and protest.

Kimberly Seals Allers, an award-winning, Queens-based journalist and author, is the leading voice of the African American motherhood experience and a champion for children through her work advocating for improved maternal and infant health and increased breastfeeding in the black community.

Valerie Segrest, a member of the Muckleshoot Tribe outside of Seattle, works as a Community Nutritionist and Native Foods Educator to create a culturally appropriate system of health through traditional foods and medicines.

Kandace Vallejo, a staff member at Austin, Texas-based  Proyecto Defensa Laboral/Workers Defense Project, coordinates the organization's Youth Empowerment Program, where she works with low-income, first-generation Latino youth and their families to educate, organize, and take action to create a more just and equitable food system for workers and consumers alike.

Rebecca Wiggins-Reinhard
works with La Semilla Food Center to improve access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods in the Paso del Norte region of southern New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

Malik Kenyatta Yakini, an activist and educator, is Interim Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, chairs the Detroit Food Policy Council and serves on the facilitation team of Undoing Racism in the Detroit Food System.