Emerson Fellows pose for a photo at Rayburn House Office Building
The 25th Class of Emerson National Hunger Fellows gathered at Rayburn House Office Building on Thursday, February 28, to present their findings from their six months spent working to end hunger with local organizations in communities across the U.S. These presentations, delivered before a live audience of anti-hunger advocates and their fellow fellows, and streamed live via Facebook, allow each class of fellows to share the lessons they’ve learned in the first half of their fellowship while providing a snapshot of the hunger situation in their host communities.
- Discussing findings of surveys, like Paige Milson’s survey of food bank clients in central Alabama, or Pierre Collins’ survey of food-insecure students at the University of Rhode Island;
- Sharing new tools and frameworks, like the interactive poverty dashboard Jeremy Arnold developed with Alabama Possible;
- Exploring best practices, like Keisha Perkins and Mackenzie Aime’s recommendations for meaningful community engagement in McDowell County, West Virginia; and
- Methods for expanding the equity practices of anti-hunger organizations, like Baridilo Dube and Chesterfield Polkey’s presentations on centering the voices and cultivating the leadership of people with lived experience of hunger and poverty.
Opening remarks were provided by the Hunger Center’s Board Chair, Rep. James P. McGovern. “It makes me hopeful that we’re going to end hunger in this country,” he said, addressing the fellows, “because we have people like you who are dedicated to doing just that…you could be doing anything, but you’re doing this; you could be focused on any issue you want, but you’re focused on this.”
Emerson Fellows Chesterfield Polkey and Pierre Collins during a break between presentations.
Transitioning to Policy Work
The field work presentations marked the end of the fellows’ two-week policy training and re-orientation to their new home in Washington, D.C., where they will spend the second half of their fellowship working with organizations that focus on anti-hunger policy at the national level. This year’s selection of policy sites includes:
|Policy Placements||Emerson Fellows|
|1,000 Days||Malak Kudaimi|
|Association for Enterprise Opportunity||Kat Vang|
|Brookings Institution||Courtney Colwell|
|Center for Law and Social Policy||Kiese Hansen|
|Center for Native American Youth||Paige Milson|
|Feeding America||Jeremy Arnold|
|Food Research & Action Center||Keisha Perkins|
|Housing Assistance Council||Katie Starr|
|National Conference on State Legislatures||Chesterfield Polkey|
|National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty||Pierre Collins|
|Poverty & Race Research Action Council||Jade Adia Harvey|
|Prosperity Now||Baridilo Dube|
|Root Cause Coalition||Davis Chhoa|
|U.S. Dept. of Agriculture||Shelli Grogg|
The fellows will begin work at their policy sites this week.
For community-based organizations or agencies interested in hosting a Hunger Fellow in fall 2019, applications are open now! See here for more information.