The Wallace Center at Winrock International is pleased to announce its second cohort of Regional Food Economies Fellows which will focus on the emerging practice of Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD). The selected Fellows are recognized leaders in their own organizations and communities as well as nationally and are pursuing inclusive development that uses food and agriculture to create economic opportunities, healthy neighborhoods, and explicitly seeks to build community assets, pride, and power by and with historically marginalized communities.
The Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD) Fellows include:
Lorena Andrade, Director, La Mujer Obrera, El Paso, TX, @mujerobrera
The mission of La Mujer Obrera is to develop and use their creative capacity to express the dignity and diversity of their Mexican heritage, from indigenous Mesoamerican roots to contemporary expressions, and to develop and celebrate their community through economic development, community building, community health and civic engagement.
Mariela Cedeno, Interim Exec. Director, Mandela Partners, Oakland, CA @mandelapartners
Mandela Partners, formerly Mandela MarketPlace, is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through local food enterprises in low-income communities.
Neelam Sharma, Director, Community Services Unlimited, Los Angeles, CA @CSUINC
Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU), is a 501c3 established in 1977 and headquartered in South Central Los Angeles, committed to supporting and creating justice-driven community-based programs and educational initiatives, which seek to foster dialogue, and create awareness and critical consciousness.
The Fellows are an integral part of a national collaborative effort to further develop EFOD as a strategy and practice, spearheaded by a practitioner-led Steering Committee and supported by allies from local and national organizations including DAISA Enterprises and the Wallace Center. The Fellows will develop new resources, best practices, and lessons learned that the Wallace Center and partners in the collaboration will share with the broader audience of food systems practitioners and funders to drive further support for EFOD and spur replication and adaptation of this approach in more communities. For more information about EFOD, please visit www.efod.org
EFOD emerged from the frustration felt by long term practitioners in the food justice field that our successful but nascent work to make systemic shifts in the health and wealth of oppressed communities was being co-opted into expensive temporary projects with little thought to lasting or sustainable impact and furthermore that industry evaluation measures are not capturing the depth and breadth of what we do. My work as a fellow is centered on illuminating the many ways in which the work that grass roots agencies do is tied deeply to community within a framework of historical context and current reality. Our hope is that this work will help to define how the impact of the holistic approach we adopt can in fact begin to be captured and leveraged to place more resources where they will be most effective.
--Neelam Sharma, EFOD Fellow
Fellows receive twelve months of financial and technical support to help them as they develop, define and share this area of practice. The Fellows’ past and ongoing work offers models for successful engagement between regional food and agriculture systems and development audiences including regional planning, investment and finance, public health, and local government agencies. The Kresge Foundation funded the inaugural cohort of The Wallace Center’s Regional Food Economies Fellowship and the EFOD Fellows cohort is funded by the NoVo Foundation.
As a practitioner-led collaborative, it is important for us to find partners that can amplify the voice of leadership driving people-first community development. As Regional Food Economies Fellows I hope that we will be able to grow the field of supporters and practitioners that will continue to advance, uplift, and institutionalize Equitable Food Development strategies.
--Mariela, Cedeno, EFOD Fellow
The Wallace Center at Winrock International is a national nonprofit that develops partnerships, pilots new ideas, and advances solutions to strengthen communities through resilient farming and food systems. Wallace has worked to develop healthy regional food and farming systems for over 35 years, seeking to expand the positive environmental, social, and economic benefits of regional, sustainably produced food. Through our programs and leadership, we seek to affect systems change that brings benefits to the environment, to communities, and to the farmers and food businesses that are the building blocks of a healthy and equitable food system. For more information about Wallace Center or the Regional Economies Fellowship program, please contact Natilee McGruder at Natilee.McGruder@Winrock.org