To strengthen this region’s network of food system leaders, the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, Mudbone Grown, Oregon State University’s Center for Small Farms, the Multnomah County Health Department REACH program, and Ecotrust have partnered to offer the Viviane Barnett Fellowship for Food System Leaders.
About the Fellowship
The Viviane Barnett Fellowship for Food System Leaders is an 18-month long program designed to build the capacity of experienced and aspiring food systems leaders of color to successfully develop, implement, and advocate for food system projects that promote restorative growing practices, community empowerment, food sovereignty, the protection of our lands and water, and climate justice. This Fellowship is open to Black, Indigenous, and people of color currently working as farmers, climate justice activists, land justice advocates, community health workers, health equity practitioners, at all stages of their professional journey.
Seeding a pipeline of food systems leaders of color whose lived experiences are essential to building a more equitable, regenerative, and climate resilient food system.
The fellowship will support leaders in the Portland Metro region and includes a community of practice that fosters support and connections among Fellows. At quarterly community-of-practice gatherings, Fellows will connect, explore new possibilities, solve challenging problems, and create new, mutually beneficial opportunities related to Indigenous and Afro-indigenous farming practices, climate justice and soil regeneration.
Fellows will enter the program with a goal in mind for themselves and their organization and will develop and complete a project by the end of the fellowship to demonstrate the impact of their learning journey. Each fellow will be part of a three-person peer coaching circle with other fellows that meets monthly and identify one accountability partner to support their learning journey.
Fostering a network of support to explore new possibilities, address challenges, and create new opportunities to support Indigenous and Afro-indigenous farming practices.
This effort is intended to seed a pipeline of food systems leaders of color whose lived experiences are essential to collective efforts to build a more equitable, regenerative, and climate resilient food system while increasing access to nutritious, affordable foods for the BIPOC communities.
Application period opening soon!
About Viviane Barnett
We are proud to name this fellowship for Viviane Barnett–a Black Portlander and civic leader who spearheaded a groundbreaking community gardening movement from 1968-1970.
Working with community members in Portland’s Albina district, Barnett pursued a wide array of partnerships and collaborations to support food security through a community gardening program called Green Fingers. At its height, the program served around 1,500 participants. Despite the popularity and national attention garnered by Green Fingers, Viviane had to overcome numerous disruptions to the program as a result of institutional racism in Portland city government and planning offices, including frequent displacement and garden sites that were razed in advance of harvest.
For her perseverance, love of community, and leadership, we endeavor to honor the memory of Vivane Barnett with this Fellowship.
Top photo: Back to the Root conference attendees visit Unity Farm. Photo by Kim Nguyen