Leadership Update: A Message from the Food First Board of Directors

Food First | 06.25.2020

The Institute for Food and Development Policy, better known as Food First, works to end the injustices that cause hunger through research, education and action. The COVID-19 pandemic which has touched every corner of the world and left the global economy reeling with children, families and communities struggling to cover the basic necessities including food, highlights the urgency of our mission. Since 1975, Food First has been at the forefront of exposing the root causes of hunger and amplifying the voices of the communities and movements advancing real solutions.

2020 has been a year of remarkable and unprecedented challenges and change which recently touched us directly as our executive director Dr. Jahi Chappell recently announced his resignation. His last day at Food First was June 23, 2020. Dr. Chappell shared with the board of directors that he has “been offered an irresistible opportunity to work even more directly with food justice and farmers’ movements and will be departing Food First.” He ended with words to our donors and constituents that “I encourage you to stay closely engaged with Food First and to continue supporting its important work.”

The board of directors appreciates the service and effort Jahi has provided to Food First and we wish him success in his future endeavors, particularly as they will continue to benefit the food justice movement. We are proud of our impactful work for the past 45 years and see the future as an opportunity to enhance the thoughtful research and community-focused work that has been a hallmark of Food First since it was founded. The board is excited about what lies ahead for Food First because of the work that leaders like Jahi and staff have dedicated themselves to in fulfillment of our compelling mission. Change brings opportunity. Indeed, the opportunity to deepen the work of the organization to make a greater difference in the world is the board’s focus as we move forward to answer the dynamic challenges of racial injustice, inequality and societal change.

We are grateful for the generosity of our many donors, community partners and constituents who understand the importance of the impactful work of Food First and appreciate your continued support as we build on the vital work of the past 45 years. Food First board member, Hank Herrera, is now serving as Interim Executive Director. We have also retained the services of Dr. Omowale  Satterwhite, President of Leadership Incorporated, a highly respected management consultant firm, to assist us during this transition period. We will provide future updates as we move through the search process for our next executive director and we will keep you informed of ways you can contribute to our success. For further information, please contact Hank Herrera (hank@c-prep.org / 510.637.9399).

Thank you,

First Board of Directors
Joyce King, President
Shyaam Shabaka, Vice President
Hank Herrera, Treasurer /Interim Executive Director
Malik Yakini, Secretary
Michael Dorsey
Carol Kalafatic
Dyanne Ladine
Demalda Newsome
Bobby Wilson