Leland Fellows Share Next-Generation Perspectives in Briefing

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On Friday, August 6, the 10th Class of Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows shared insights and recommendations in a virtual briefing entitled “Next-Generation Perspectives in Global Food Security.” These presentations, delivered a few weeks before the fellows concluded their two-year fellowship placements, reflect the diversity of experiences and expertise within the cohort. Topics ranged from adapting monitoring and evaluation practices for social distancing to supporting local and regional food systems and decolonizing advocacy.

“Nothing good happens, nothing changes for the better unless like-minded people come together and demand change,” said Rep. James P. McGovern, in pre-recorded introductory remarks. “Your work, your contributions are going to help us find a way to deal with global hunger, to change the current trend.”

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“You’re the future of global food and nutrition security,” said Tom Pesek, Senior Liaison Officer of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, in closing remarks. “And I won’t call you future leaders, as leading isn’t something you’ll be doing at some undefined point in the future: you’re clearly already leading now, and will continue doing do well in to the future.”

“Now more than ever,” Pesek continued, “we desperately need your ideas, your problem-solving skills, your passion your dedication, your innovation your technical expertise, as well as your recommendations for how to make international development and humanitarian interventions more efficient, more effective, and more inclusive and just.”

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The 14 members of the 10th Class of Leland Fellows have been learning together and working at placements since their fellowships began September 2019. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, over half of the fellows were repatriated from their field placements. In this blog post, four of those fellows reflect on that experience.

“It’s our mission at the Hunger Center to recruit, select, and support young people who are passionate about food security and nutrition,” said Emily Byers, Senior Director of the Leland Fellowship, “and passionate about putting principles of justice into action. In these presentations, we’ve seen that passion, coupled with professional rigor, and commitment to actionable steps, no matter how small, to eliminate the injustice of hunger.”

“I hope we all leave this room room more hopeful and inspired than we came into it. I know I will be.”

The briefing was co-sponsored by Action Against Hunger, FAO, Helen Keller International, InterAction, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, SDG 2 Advocacy Hub, World Cocoa Foundation, and the World Food Program USA.

Logos of co-sponsor organizations listed above

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