Applications for Cohort 4 will open in August 2024

The fellowship space always feels very sacred and important ... We've built relationships and we've had so many powerful shared experiences ... Being able to just be and learn and listen to one another is what I've been craving from the beginning, and I just want more of this fellowship.Erika Allen, 2019-2022

The Castanea Fellowship looks for dedicated leaders ready to deepen the impact of their vision to build food justice and sovereignty through more liberated systems. The Fellowship is for engaged leaders who are already equipped with a deep understanding of how the food system could shift in a meaningful way and have had considerable impact, yet know they could do much more. The leaders we seek are those who have demonstrated commitment to the work, a deep understanding of equity and justice, believe in the power of diversity, and welcome collaboration.

The Castanea Fellowship is an 18-month awarded program that provides fellows the space, time, and resources to grow skills, connections, and community. We aim to uplift and further the work of established leaders from across the country and provide them with unique learning and skill-building opportunities.

The Castanea Fellowship Experience

  • An unparalleled opportunity to amplify your vision, influence, and impact.
  • Four week-long in-person gatherings to build and learn as a cohort and benefit from diverse regional perspectives and tactics. Additional virtual gatherings may include training in communications, resource organizing, leadership development, organizing, and policy, among other emergent topics.
  • An international learning experience to explore food systems outside of the U.S. context and the global dynamics of food.
  • A $40,000 award to support the work and participation of Fellows.
  • Support, mentorship, and love from the Castanea community.

Application Process

Applications for Cohort 4 will open in August 2024. Sign up for our newsletter to be informed when applications open.

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Application Milestones

The application timeline is below. Dates are subject to change based on volume of applications. 

Application Open
August 1, 2023
Information Webinar
August 25, 2023
Application Deadline
September 16, 2023
Application Review Process
Sep-Jan, 2023
Application Notified of Status
Jan 16, 2024
Deadline for Acceptance
Jan 23, 2024
Kickoff Gathering (online)
Jan/Feb, 2024
Fellows Announced Externally
February, 2024
First In-Person Gathering
Spring, 2024

Eligibility and Criteria

We welcome established visionaries who:

  • Align with our values of racial equity, diversity, and impact.
  • Lead their field and have already demonstrated inspiring results.
  • Have experience working with communities or populations across a range of physical and cultural geographies.
  • Believe that food system change involves a multi-sector and multi-strategy approach.
  • Welcome being part of a diverse, robust, multiracial cohort.
  • Want to deepen skills in communication, finances, organizing, and/or policy.
  • Understand intersectionality of race, gender, class, ability, environmental, and health issues.
  • See themselves as constant learners and seek to be in a learning community.
  • Can commit to devoting the necessary time to be fully engaged in the fellowship.
  • Reside within the United States.


Join the numerous foundations, nonprofit, and business leaders in this multi-sector collaborative committed to shaping an equitable future for food. Grants, gifts, and individual donations are welcome.
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