The Black Food Fund is founded and led by a collective of Black women who have extensive experience in the food system field as healers, farmers, educators, and advocates. They bring their content expertise, lived experience, and unique perspectives to this effort.
Jamese Kwele, Co-Founder
Jamese is a shaper of change, a strategic pattern weaver, and a mama of two, with over twenty years of experience in building community and facilitating transformation.
She currently serves as VP, Organizational and Food Systems Equity at Ecotrust, a nonprofit that works in partnership towards an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. In addition, she serves as a board member of the Black Oregon Land Trust, the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, and the National Farm to School Network.
Originally from California, she spent twenty years living and working in the greater Philadelphia region before returning to the West Coast in 2019. She believes in the power of Black people reclaiming our connection to the land and feels deep gratitude for the love, wisdom, and fortitude of our communities and ancestors who make this work both joyful and possible. She is fueled by authentic connection, subversive humor, and deep joy.
Tiffany Monroe, Co-Founder
Tiffany is a fifth-generation farmer with a bachelor’s degree in Crop and Soil Science with a minor in Horticulture and a master’s degree in Community and Leadership Development with an emphasis in Agricultural Education. Ms. Monroe has worked as the first African American Female Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Kentucky history and for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in the Office of Marketing and Product Promotion. Now home in Oregon, Ms. Monroe farms with her husband and engages in agricultural advocacy work across the country and locally. Ms. Monroe serves as co-chair of the state’s Racial Justice Council and serves as co-chair of the Environmental Equity Committee.
Shantae Johnson, Co-Founder
Shantae serves as Executive Director of Feed’em Freedom Foundation. Her grandmothers are her muses and inspiration for how to grow and give back to the community and interact with the land. She is a cultural bridge-builder with strengths in community organizing, project management, and program creation with a public health lens. She also serves on the Oregon Board of Agriculture, appointed by former Governor, Kate Brown, where she sits on the advisory committee to represent small-scale producers. Shantae is also a co-founder and Farmer at Mudbone Grown, a Black-owned farm enterprise that promotes inter-generational community-based farming and is on the leadership team of the Black Oregon Land Trust. She is a parent, healer, chef, and referee to six beautiful brilliant children.