2019 Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship Crowdfund
In 2011, my sister, cousin and I hosted a sold-out dinner featuring modern Ethiopian cuisine in Los Angeles. I boarded a plane back home to Chicago, smiling and hoping to return periodically to host more “pop-up” dinners like it. Instead, I uprooted and moved to L.A. to pursue Bereket, which means “gift” in the Ethiopian language Amharic.
We spent two years occupying various spaces around L.A., educating and engaging with diners about Ethiopian food and traditions, and partnering with businesses such as Help a Life Foundation, which housed and educated orphaned girls in Ethiopia. But, I had never been to the country. I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t feel authentic.
. . .
I applied for the Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship last year, but was not selected for the 2017-18 cohort—thank goodness. Different doors opened instead.
This year, I spoke on a panel about food waste reduction strategies for organizations in San Francisco; I was invited to record a podcast on how the fashion industry has intentionally marketed and profited from the obesity epidemic for Oxford University; and in my graduate school food studies program, I gave presentations on alternative food packaging and the plight of a family farmer in Italy struggling with climate change. I have visited 10 countries on four continents. I’ve tasted new languages, cultures, customs, and—of course—food.
My word for 2018 was "travel." My word for 2019 will be “home.”
BECAUSE I WAS AWARDED THE FELLOWSHIP THIS YEAR! I’m going to live and work in Ethiopia in January of 2019. Will you help me get there?
EDF has asked that I crowdfund the $1,000 program fee—and I would so LOVE if you can be part of my journey. I will have the opportunity to work as a Sales & Marketing Fellow for an amazing non-profit called GreenPath Food that helps small farmers transition to organic, biodynamic, and permaculture growing practices.
Thank you for your support!