2021 Food Systems Change Fellowship

Launched in early 2021, the Food Systems Change Fellowship serves as a “test kitchen” for incubating ideas related to potential leverage points identified in the Menu of Actions. The Fellowship provides support for local leaders to develop and validate their ideas while growing partnerships essential for bringing an idea to life. 

The Fellowship concluded on July 28, 2021 with the Showcase of Opportunities, where Fellows pitched their visions for community-driven food system change.  We invite you to view a recording of the Showcase of Opportunities and to learn more about how to get involved with the visions through the linked documents in the Fellow profiles. 


Meet the 2021 Fellows


Lena Boswell Headshot

Lena Boswell comes to the cohort with deep-rooted connections, both local and national, to gain and maintain Black food sovereignty. Ms. Boswell seeks to strengthen resources to increase Black and indigenous communities' access to land so they can nurture and grow new food systems.

Learn about Lena's vision for the Soil to Soul Food Web

Watch Lena's pitch of her vision from the 2021 Showcase of Opportunities.

Marilyn Burns 20221

Marilyn Burns is motivated by the possibilities for better linkage/s of healthy eating and active living activities with the interests of residents in public housing. Ms. Burns has been a community leader and advocate for 17 years.  Her main focus has always been to serve her community, residents, and neighbors while promoting a spiritual and healthy outlook, uplifting community engagement whenever possible.

Learn about Marilyn's vision for the Mind, Body, and Spirit Initiative 

Watch Marilyn's pitch of her vision from the 2021 Showcase of Opportunities

Kellee Etheridge Headshot

Kellee Etheridge has a well-rounded view of issues surrounding healthy food access for families receiving food assistance.  Ms. Etheridge's desire is to team up with local chefs and teach families healthy eating, shopping, and preservation of food.

Learn more about Kelle's vision for Cooking with Chef Kellee

Watch Kellee's pitch of her vision from the 2021 Showcase of Opportunities

Antunesia Harris Heashot

Antunesia Harris is an active community leader and volunteer in Cleveland's Ward 7. Ms. Harris comes to the cohort with a desire to embark on social entrepreneurship to advance solutions for improving nutritional outcomes in urban communities.

Learn about Antunesia's vision for the People of Cleveland Volunteer Core

Watch Antunesia's pitch of her vision from the 2021 Showcase of Opportunities

Michelle B. Jackson Headshot

Michelle B. Jackson lives at the intersection of politics and the culinary arts. Drawing on her strong ties to activist communities, plus her decade as a restaurant chef, Ms. Jackson will focus her fellowship efforts in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood on advancing food sovereignty through community gardening and food entrepreneurship. 

Learn more about Michelle's vision for Seeds to Shelves

Watch Michelle's pitch of her vision from the 2021 Showcase of Opportunities

Fellowship Details

On July 28th, 2021, the Food Nest Collaborative will be featuring our first annual 'Showcase of Opportunities.; The Showcase of Opportunities will feature the 2021 Cohort of Food Systems Change Fellows and their ideas for community-driven food systems change. The Fellows will present their ideas during the Showcase and Reviewers will allocate funding for these impact-oriented visions. There will be an opportunity to join small group sponsorship meetings following the Showcase. 

This event is free and open to all. CLICK HERE to register for the event.

Throughout the 6-month engagement, Fellows will participate in monthly capacity-building workshops, collaborate with the study team through weekly office hours, and connect with mentors from a number of organizations, including: 

Central Kitchen Pisanick Partners 
Cleveland Fresh Plant the Seed
From The Heart LLC The FARE Project
Greater Cleveland FoodBank Twelve Literary Arts
John Carroll University Village Family Farms
Little Africa Food Collaborative CWRU Weatherhead School of Management
Ohio State University Extension CWRU Department of Nutrition


To learn more or to get involved in the Food Systems Change Fellowship, please contact Sheena Fryerson, Community Engaged Researcher, at sxf442@case.edu.