What I love about Castanea Fellowship is that it is a hopeful promise for the future of foodways.
Just take a look at the twenty-four current Castanea Fellows. Each of them embodies an experience faced within collective efforts to shift culture, structures, and institutions that are the fabric of what food means to each of us – from seeds to distribution, gathering to consumption – moving us from extractive to regeneratively just ways of being and doing. Providing the time, space, and resources for these leaders is how we get closer to that sustainable, more equitable, racially just, and healthier future of food for our communities. We are explicitly multiracial while being centered in BIPOC leadership, because our future deserves to have the fullness of it’s leadership realized.
It is with that spirit that I am most excited to think about the next leader or leaders to join Castanea Fellowship. For the past several months, the Steering Committee and I have been working on a transition for new leadership. My choice to create space for new leadership came alongside a renewed reinvestment in my own health and wellness. These personal reasons still don’t make it easy when you love the work that you do.
Luckily, this has never been about my leadership – it’s about the power of collective, collaborative, coinciding leaders coming together to build new possibilities, grow relationships, practice skills, and develop support systems to lift us towards our most meaningful potential.
Without a doubt, the Castanea Fellows will fulfill the promise of hope we have in the future of food. I cannot wait for them to continue to showcase their brilliance. You’ll hear more about this as we begin to share more about the work (like our upcoming podcast) of the Fellows in the coming months.
So while I will no longer be an official part of Castanea Fellowship, a piece of my heart will always be in service to our mission, values, and the people who have made it what it is today and will be in the future.
If you’re wondering what’s next for Castanea Fellowship – get excited. Recruiting for a new Director or Co-Directors will go hand in hand with details of our recruitment plan for Cohort 3!
Thanks for being part of the journey,
P.S. I can’t resist the chance to showcase some of the Castanea Fellows work
P.P.S. Got more questions? Contact Chan Cain