Cervantes headshot

Emerson Fellow

Jamila Cervantes

24th Class, 2017-2018

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Jamila graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a combined degree in LGBT studies, Latin American studies, and sociology. While at Berkeley, Jamila proudly served as the co-director for Project Pueblo, an organization that aided local communities in the Bennett Freeze region of the Diné Reservation in implementing sustainable infrastructure projects. They also interned at the UC Gill Tract Community Farm, a community-managed food system attempting to address food insecurity among both students and community members. Since graduating, Jamila has focused much of their efforts in mentoring high school youth, most recently as a Sisters of South Los Angeles (SoSLA) mentor and Student Success Agency (SSA) agent.

Field placement: Oregon Food Bank

Portland, Oregon

Jamila worked at Oregon Food Bank (OFB) as the organization’s Client Engagement Fellow. Jamila’s work involved bridging the gap between the food bank, their partner agencies, and participants accessing services. Their goal was to assess past and current engagement initiatives, understand the role of OFB in such efforts, and construct a model that outlined the most efficient way(s) to provide client-driven service.

Policy placement: Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Washington, DC

At the Office of Public Witness, Jamila’s work focused on building the leadership capacity of grassroots leaders in congregations across seven states to strengthen movement infrastructures in their respective and local communities. Additionally, Jamila supported the local Poor People’s Campaign movement.

Hunger Free Community Report

Client Engagement at Oregon Food Bank (OFB) assesses past and current client engagement efforts, identifies areas for improvement, and provides a series of recommendations to fortify the relationship between the organization and the people who access services from the food bank. In addition, the report includes examples of distinct models of engagement at other organizations.

Publications & Blog Posts