Highlighting Claudia, a participant in MESA’s Urban Agripreneurs program. This new program is offered virtually by Center for Food Faith & Justice (CFFJ) in Berkeley, CA. Participants in our first cohort of Urban Agripreneurs are tasked with developing a business and sustainability plan for a food or ag-related venture. Participants interested in running business, 501c3 nonprofits, and other community organizations are given the fundamentals of running an organization over a 10-week class, with an additional 6-week section where students are taught how to write a business plan. The next cohort of Urban Agripreneurs is slated to start in January 2022. Reach out to [email protected] or look on MESA’s social media for more information.
Claudia comes from a legacy of African American herbalists, focused on community-health and well-being. Her passion to give back has led to the creation of her project Cultivating Gardens, a venture that saw her leading workshops at the African American Musuem and Library at Oakland, selling herbal blends to her community. After retiring in February 2020, she saw an opportunity to refocus on this passion project, to turn it into a viable, structured organization. “[Urban Agripreneurs] is helping me become more focused, to be more efficient in what I’m doing.” Claudia understands that while giving back to the community has been the fuel for this project, she realizes she needed the business skills to sustain this work. “I’m still developing where I’m going with this. Sharing that knowledge through the foods that we eat, that our ancestors ate. Finding peace and self-care.”