Nystrom headshot

Emerson Fellow

Chas Nystrom

30th Class, 2023-2024

[email protected]

Having grown up in Richmond, Kentucky, Chas is a recent graduate from Centre College with a B.A. in Sociology and English. The highly prevalent Issues of poverty and food insecurity, which Chas witnessed in his own community in rural Kentucky, led him to focus on examining the structural roots of these problems as an undergraduate. In addition to studying sociology at Centre, Chas participated in the National Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty Program, where he worked at the Evolution Center in Atlanta to connect those experiencing houselessness to resources and housing, and he has also interned with local legal aid offices who provide assistance to those most vulnerable in the Appalachian region. As an Emerson Fellow, Chas is excited to grow and learn as an advocate for food justice.

Field placement: Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Chas works with the Policy Team at IFAI, tracking legislation affecting Tribal governments and their agricultural operations. By creating a needs assessment report and communicating with stakeholders, Chas hopes to expand support for food sovereignty efforts and remove barriers faced by Indigenous operated urban agriculture projects.

Policy placement: Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice

Chas Nystrom is working with the policy and advocacy team at the Hope Center to advocate for basic needs policy for students in higher education. By tracking participant colleges for various national and statewide basic needs surveys and collecting grant utilization data, Chas is building a tool that will streamline communication with the Hope Center's partner colleges and connect more institutions with available basic needs grants.