CoFED unites people who believe in a better future through cooperatives, sustainable food and agriculture, as well as student empowerment. We work to train, connect, and inspiregize college students to start and improve student-run food cooperatives. This fulfilling and challenging work could not be done without the commitment and passions of a stellar group of individuals - our Regional Organizers.
In 12 days, our Regional Organizer Fellowship will begin.This is a step forward for us as an organization, and a re-investment in the Regional Organizers who make CoFED what it is! People from all over the country with varying backgrounds and expertise applied to the Regional Organizer Fellowship. We received over 80 applications in total, and since each applicant was a strong candidate, picking only 5 was a challenge.
Now as we countdown the days until the Fellowship begins, we find ourselves looking to the future but also the past. We would not be where we are today without the dedication and tireless work of many Regional Organizers who have come before. They built relationships with schools and co-ops that we maintain to this day. They made connections with mentors and funders who we still rely on for support and guidance. They designed workshops and programming that have shaped the way we work. We want to take this moment to say THANK YOU to:
The Fellowship program officially begins August 1st with a 10-day training for new and returning Regional Organizers in Berkeley, California! At the training, they will teach and learn about everything from starting and maintaining a student-run food cooperative to mentoring and organizing. They will work with AORTA, to root their work in ethical empowerment, and CoFED staff members to think critically about the student cooperative movement and how best to serve the amazing students who make all of this possible!
The Fellowship will last one year, during which time the fellows will work with students in the Northeast, throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, the Midwest, Pacific Northwest and California. They will provide student teams with resources and coaching, and organize regional networks of students, producers, and cooperative movement leaders. Designed to better support the Regional Organizers, the Fellowship will provide ongoing training, which will help Regional Organizers do their work with CoFED but also prepare them for whatever comes next. It's built on the reflection and advice of former Regional Organizers and prioritizes ongoing training and support, as well as professional development.
We're very excited about this next step. We're excited about the new faces and the old, and we're excited about all the good work they will be doing throughout the next year. Curious about who they are? Don't worry, you will meet them soon! And On August 5th, join us in welcoming our Regional Organizer Fellows! Tweet @TheCoFED send your salutations or questions for the new ROs Fellows, and add #inspiregized if you feel inspiregized!