Food for Black Thought and Urban Roots Build Food Justice Partnership


For immediate release

September 15, 2016

Austin, Texas – Food for Black Thought (FFBT) is partnering with Urban Roots to explore food justice with young adults from the Austin area.

FFBT is an initiative that creates resources for food justice education in support of more socially-just food work, organizing, and policy. Black food experiences past and present serve as FFBT’s lens.

Urban Roots is a non-profit that fosters youth leadership through food and farming. This fall, the organization is launching its first Food & Leadership Fellowship. The fellowship is a paid, six-week internship on the farm for applicants ages 18 to 23 that builds life and leadership skills.

“Urban Roots has seen the benefit of engaging diverse young people as leaders in our food system and our community, and we’re excited to work with a new group of older leaders for the Food and Leadership Fellowship. We are actively recruiting young people of color for this program, because their voices are powerful and needed in the food movement,” said Ian Hunter-Crawford, Programs and Operations Director at Urban Roots.

Fellows will have an opportunity to grow fresh food and mentor high school students. FFBT will facilitate workshops on topics such as race/racism and the food system, self-reflection and action, and practicing food justice. 

“We’re ecstatic to partner with Urban Roots because of its intentional work with the next generation of community builders,” said Dr. Naya Armendarez Jones, co-founder and Managing Director of FFBT. Jones is also a former Urban Roots apprentice.

“As an apprentice on the farm, I gained invaluable skills that I take into Food for Black Thought and other community work. Facilitating workshops on the farm feels like sharing back as we grow an inspiring partnership,” Jones added.

FFBT began in 2012 and 2013 as a symposium in Austin, Texas. Today, co-founders Jones and Dr. Kevin Thomas are partnering with classrooms and organizations committed to socially-just food systems to pilot curriculum. At Urban Roots, they will facilitate workshops based on a course they co-teach at the University of Texas-Austin. 

“As co-founders, Naya and I bring together food marketing, advertising, geography, Black Diaspora studies, holistic wellness, and social justice. This synergy allows us to see food justice work as multifaceted and to teach it as transformational,” said Thomas, who is also an Assistant Professor at The Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Texas-Austin.

The fall partnership with Urban Roots is a first step in sharing the action curriculum with a broader community. 

“We are excited to partner with FFBT and for the experience FFBT facilitators will bring into these important conversations with the fellows,” Hunter-Crawford said.  

To learn more about Food for Black Thought and to connect about partnerships or consulting, visit or e-mail

To apply for the Food & Leadership Fellowship at Urban Roots and for more information, visit The deadline to apply is Monday, September 26, 2016. 

Photo Courtesy of Urban Roots