CoFED partners with young people of color from poor and working-class backgrounds to build food and land co-ops.

Racial Justice Fellowship

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CoFED’s Racial Justice Fellowship is a 6-month opportunity for young cooperators of color working to close the racial wealth gap by advancing community ownership of land and the food system. We are looking to support emerging leaders who can demonstrate a solid and progressive track record of creating change -- and who are ready to take their vision, leadership and impact to the next level. Successful applicants will have big visions, bigger hearts, and an undeniable calling to create beauty, love, joy, and justice in the world. There are so many bright and beautiful pathways towards liberation. We want to learn how you are shining the light that only you have and support you to grow, transform, and become your ancestors' wildest dreams.

Eligibility

We encourage you to apply if you:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 30 
  • Identify as Black, Brown, Indigenous or person of color (PoC) - explicitly including folks of African, Latinx, Asian and/or Pacific Islander heritage
  • Have been in the food, land, or racial justice movement for at least 2 years
  • Belong to a co-op, collective, or other organized group that is excited to support your Fellowship project
  • Live in the U.S. or tribal territories

Expectations for Fellows

  • Complete an impactful Fellowship project and reflection blog post by December 2019
    • Including 3 progress reports
  • Participate and co-facilitate at the 2019 Summer Co-op Academy, June 17-23,
    at Earthseed Land Cooperative on Occaneechi land in Durham, NC
  • Participate in:
    • Monthly project check-in
    • Monthly all-fellows' meeting
    • 4 virtual trainings
  • Serve as a thought partner and spokesperson for CoFED
  • Model and uphold our core values:
    • Cooperation
    • Joy
    • Love
    • Impact
    • Accountability
  • Be accountable to your emotional, physical and psychological impact
  • Have the space and desire to relationship-build with a small national organization
  • And post-fellowship, participate on a panel to choose the next year’s Fellows

Offerings from CoFED

  • $5,000 stipend
  • Full scholarship to Summer Co-op Academy (worth an estimated $2,000) that includes:
    • Transportation to and from Academy location (Durham, NC)
    • All housing, food, programming and transportation during the Academy
  • Leadership coaching 
  • (un)learning and political education 
  • Training; potential areas include:
    • Storytelling and communications
    • Grassroots fundraising
    • Trauma-informed conflict resolution strategies 
    • Tools for collective accountability and governance
  • Networking opportunities
  • Access to CoFED’s cooperative tools and resources

Fellowship Projects may be completed anywhere in the US or tribal territories within the 6 month term of the Fellowship. CoFED does not require or expect Fellows to use this Fellowship to replace full-time work. The $5,000 stipend is meant to be supportive, and give some financial breathing room to folks who often don’t have it, or the means to acquire it.

Application Process & Criteria

Applications open February 15th and are due by March 25th, 2019, 9:00am PST. Those chosen for the first round of video interviews will be notified by the end of March. From there, a small group may be chosen for a second round of interviews. All applicants will be notified of their status by the end of April. The two chosen Fellows will be asked to sign a fellowship agreement detailing responsibilities.

Applications will be read and applicants chosen by a 5-person ad-hoc committee of previous Fellows, program alumni, network and Board members based upon the following selection criteria:

  1. Commitment to ending racism and injustice in the food system
  2. Alignment with CoFED's values, vision, and theory of change
  3. Feasibility to implement the project you are proposing
  4. Potential impact and contribution of proposed project to racial justice and cooperative movements
  5. Track record of transformative leadership
  6. Personal and direct stake in the issues being addressed by the proposed project

To apply, please answer the questions below in a PDF no more than 3 pages long, single space. The PDF name should include your own name (for example, Dominique Pearson.pdf), and please have your contact information clearly stated at the top. Email your application, and two letters of support: one from a member of your co-op/organization and another from a community member, to admin@cofed.org with subject line “Racial Justice Fellowship”. Letters of support should be no longer than a page, and include:

  • Contact information for the writer (name, phone number and email)
  • Their relationship to you; how they know you and/or work with you
  • Why they believe you are the best person for this fellowship
  • For support organizations: How they hope/plan to support you and your project

We do accept supplemental information (such as resumes, portfolios, or links), but they are certainly not necessary and there is absolutely no penalty for not including them. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

  1. Who are you? Who are your people? If you prefer, you can answer this question in other mediums, including poems, photos or links to videos, music, websites, dances or other things you’ve created. 400 words max.
  2. What does racial justice and community ownership of food and land mean to you and your co-op or collective? 400 words max.
  3. Tell us about your proposed Fellowship project. What is your plan to impact racial justice within our food system? How will you implement your project within the 6 month timeframe? 500 words max.
  4. Can your project happen successfully without CoFED’s support? What support already exists for this project? 400 words max.
  5. How are you directly impacted by the issue(s) you are addressing? 400 words max.

Through your application, please convey what you stand for, and how you embody your values in your work. All applications will be considered carefully, with some applicants invited to interview. If you are not invited to interview or selected, we will do our best to provide feedback upon request.

Fellowship Timeline

February 15th  Applications open
March 25th Application deadline
April 8th First round interview invitations sent out
mid-April Second round interview invitations sent out
April 26th Fellowship notifications sent out
June
  • Virtual Fellowship Orientation 
  • In-person Summer Co-op Academy, June 17-23rd 
  • Final project plan due
July-November
  • Complete Fellowship projects and progress reports
  • Monthly web meetings 
  • Virtual trainings
  • Leadership coaching sessions
  • Stipends issued in 5 installments
December
  • Celebration and wrap up!
  • Reflection for CoFED's blog
  • Final project report
  • Exit survey

Explore our previous Fellowship projects! And check out our Fellows’ blog posts, here, here, and here.

2018

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Catatumbo Cooperative Farm People Y Alimentos Solidarios

 

2017

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Finding Our Food Again   Through Word of Mouth

 

 

 

 

       

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