A Look at Community Controlled Funding in Food Systems and Beyond

In Story, Videos by Esperanza Pallana

 In 2022, FFCF co-hosted this 90-minute recorded webinar, hear from EFOD* leaders Camryn Smith of Communities in Partnership (Durham, NC), Nicole Anand of Inclusive Action for the City (Los Angeles, CA), and Mariela Cedeño of Manzanita Capital Collective on how Black, Indigenous, and other community-based practitioners of color are working to fill critical funding gaps for under-invested food systems innovators and projects through alternatives to conventional community development funding and finance. *Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD) is a community-based development strategy centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color food and agriculture projects and enterprises as vehicles for shared power, cultural expression, and community asset-building.  

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Esperanza was raised in California where she spent her childhood in the Bay Area, the Central Valley and the Tuolumne mountains. She is an Indigenous descendant of the Caxcan of the Nahua Nation of Northern Mexico and Southwest U.S. She is a strategic leader whose passions are community led economic development, equitable and sustainable food systems and racial justice. She has worked with nonprofits for over 20 years with an emphasis in leadership, systemic change, and policy advocacy. Her work has supported social justice entrepreneurs and movement leaders in removing policy barriers, consolidating resources and accessing grant and lending capital for their nonprofits and small businesses. As Executive Director of Food & Farm Communications Fund, a movement-led participatory grantmaker, Esperanza is committed to community-controlled capital structures, narrative shift and emboldening transformative food and agricultural systems change.