Why the LEAFS Fellowship?

  • Food is community, interdependence, and well-being. Alas, our food system in North America is often at odds with many of our valuesand with the very web of life. Much of this food system is rooted in exploitation, and it involves many causes of suffering: human hunger and preventable diseases, industrial animal agriculture, and environmental racism.
  • Solving these problems (often in the face of entrenched opposition) requires that we create a “healthy ecology of change”encompassing genuine alternatives, personal transformation, new policies, and people power.
  • Leadership development is one critical way to promote 
this ecology of change. If we invest in creating leaderful organizations, campaigns, and movements, we will build greater shared power. We will break down the silos that inhibit collaboration, and we will build the solidarity that fosters trust.
  • Leaders grow most readily through experiential learning 
in a community that supports experimentation. LEAFS will provide a space for such learning and facilitate such a community. It 
will help build a more powerful and diverse movement to transform our food system, preparing the next leaders of 
the food justice and animal protection movements.

Food is not just essential for survival and health—it is a bridge between humans and connects us to all of life. Food is an incredibly powerful lens for exploring and understanding the world and a leverage point in shifting the global community toward greater health, equity, sustainability, and compassion. 
It connects us to basic questions of identity and personhood; values, ethics, and fairness; power and politics; and knowledge.

Program Elements

Learning and Leadership Development

In addition to feeling more empowered, connected, and supported, fellows will deepen their understanding and skill in the following areas:

  • Advocacy
  • Building shared power (leadership, organizing, and action)
  • Communication and digital skills
  • DEIJ—diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (working across difference)
  • Effectiveness over the long haul (resilience, planning, and self-management for individuals and teams)


Peer Coaching

  • The larger cohort will be split into pods of four or five people and meet virtually or in person between sessions to explore peer-to-peer coaching.

Staff Coaching

  • We will offer each fellow an optional one-on-one coaching session that can be scheduled between retreats.
  • Between sessions we will also offer drop-in office hours with staff.


To help remove barriers and ensure equitable participation, we are offering a minimum stipend of $1,000 to every participant. We will also offer alternate stipend tiers of $1,750 and $2,500 according to additional need. We will review requests for the increased stipend on a case-by-case basis to account for potential lost wages and costs associated with participation.

Networking and Alumni

Throughout the fellowship you will have the opportunity to build your network and meet people working in this space. While this is an initial pilot program, we intend to build a national network of alumni as the program expands.


Retreat 1

Building Power Across Difference
Noon on Thursday, November 10, to 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 13, 2022
  • Intro to organizing and strategy
  • Powerful storytelling/public narrative
  • Collective liberation and decolonizing our food system(s)

Retreat 2

Communicating for 
Noon on Thursday, January 12, to 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 15, 2023
  • Effective communication and advocacy
  • Strategic communications planning
  • Conflict and transformation

Retreat 3

Facilitating Change and Effective Teamwork
Noon on Thursday, March 2, to 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, 2023
  • Strengths-based leadership
  • Designing high-functioning teams
  • Coaching

Between Sessions

Coaching and Collaboration
  • Pods of four to five 
participants meet.
  • Participants work 
to develop a public narrative and organizing statement.
We are building this program collaboratively and in community. Content areas are subject to change according to community input. If you visited this website before August 12, 2022, please note that the September retreat has been rescheduled for early March. The November and January retreat dates remain the same.