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#CommunityFood: Shifting Organizational Structures for Equity and Empowerment

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Alternative organizational governance models to better reflect social justice values.


Meet two organizations that have adopted alternative organizational governance models to better reflect their social justice values in their organizational practices. Through their Shared Leadership structure, La Semilla Food Center shares decision-making power across 4 co-directors, all of whom are women. The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance, created in 2014 to ensure a Youth voice in food and agricultural issues in Indian country, is led by an all-youth board of directors which creates and drives the organization’s work and maintains a voting seat on the Board of Directors for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, its fiscal sponsor.





Webinar slides (pdf)


Presenter Bios

Krysten Aguilar, La Semilla Food Center

Krysten AguillarKrysten Aguilar is Co-Director of Admin and Policy at La Semilla Food Center, where she oversees all policy advocacy efforts and financial and administrative functions of the organization. Krysten led the initiative to get the Las Cruces Urban Agriculture and Food Policy Plan passed and is now leading efforts for a county-wide Healthy Food Financing Initiative. She is one part of a four woman leadership team, driving La Semilla's mission of creating a fair and sustainable local food system and riding on the frontier of nonprofit development with an innovative leadership model, holistic programming, and using food systems work as a tool for racial and gender healing.


Kelsey Ducheneaux, The Native Youth Food Sovereignty Alliance

Kelsey DucheneauxKelsey is the Youth Programs Coordinator and Natural Resource Director at the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). Kelsey accepted the position as IAC’s Youth Programs Coordinator just six years after participating in a High School Youth Gathering, which the IAC incorporated into their National Membership Meeting in 2009. Kelsey’s position connects her with youth from across the nation to coordinate and facilitate local, regional, and national youth leadership development opportunities. She carries the hope of inspiring the next generation of Tribal leadership to recognize the importance of food and agricultural systems as a key to each community's health, economic development, sustainability. Kelsey is a fourth generation rancher and small business owner, who calls her family ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation, home. She received a Bachelor's of Science in Range Sciences in 2015 from South Dakota State University and a Master's of Agriculture from Colorado State University in 2017; she's currently preparing to start her Doctoral studies this fall. 

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