Leadership, Equity, and Action for our Food System (LEAFS) Fellowship

Food Justice.

People Power.

Animal Justice.

The LEAFS Fellowship supports emerging leaders passionate about building a just and sustainable food system—for everyone.

Rooted in the vision of a food system that is good for all beings, LEAFS is a leadership-development program for emerging social-change agents in the Chicago foodshed. It is open to those working at (or seeking to work at) the intersection of food justice, animal justice, and people power.


Join the Next Cohort

The fellowship will bring together 18 leaders for individual learning, collective capacity building, and collaboration. It will take the form of three retreats in or around Chicago beginning in the fall of each year. These will be in-person retreats supplemented with online training, coaching, self-directed learning, and community-building events.

What You’ll Gain from LEAFS:

  • Learning: experiential learning and broadened self-awareness
  • Skills: skills in the areas of advocacy, organizing, communication, and working across difference 
that can help strengthen communities and organizations
  • Relationships: a community of practice, an expanded network, and likely lifelong friendships
  • Tools: a strategic plan for your work, a more powerful story or public narrative to support your leadership, and practices for sharing your learning
  • Impact: collaborating on food-system change and advancing a healthier, fairer, more compassionate world

Building Leaders to Change the Food System

The program is designed to serve early- to mid-career grassroots leaders who live in the greater Chicago area and have taken responsibility for helping a community, a campaign, or an organization move toward transformative change.

The cohort will be fellows who are passionate about animals, food justice, and social justice. Hungry for change, these leaders are excited to learn and grow in community and in a cohort that is diverse in identities and approaches.

Elements of LEAFS

Click to learn about each element.