The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is excited to announce a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to convene the Racial Equity Learning Lab (the “Lab”).

The purpose of the Lab is to advance racial equity within the farm to school movement, mobilizing partners in the movement towards a deeper understanding of how to apply racial equity in our collective work and providing the necessary tools and resources to do so.

In 2020, NFSN launched the pilot Lab and co-developed curriculum with a 13-person, cross-sector cohort from across the country. Now, in partnership with the USDA, NFSN will continue and build upon the program and further collaborate to deepen the understanding of how racial equity can be integrated with farm to school/early care education (ECE).

The Lab is meant to be replicable and tailored to fit the unique assets and needs of individual organizations and communities, and the curriculum will constantly evolve as new cohorts participate in the process.

To ensure the Lab is rooted in its intended values, NFSN formed an advisory council to help plan the curriculum. The Advisory Council consists of expert stakeholders who have been immersed in applying a racial equity lens in their work in the food systems and/or have long-established expertise in farm to school. Council members were selected with high regard for their collective ability to contribute towards resource development, literature review, as well as facilitation and participation framework design for the Lab. We are excited to announce the following Lab Advisory Council members:

  • Jamese Kwele
  • Joshua Yuen-Schat
  • Mark Becker
  • Tessa Thraves
  • Tina Wong
  • Yousef Buzayan

We are also excited to have an equity consultant, Alena Paisano, working together with us through the project’s end in summer 2025. For full bios, check out the full Racial Equity Learning Lab page.

The Lab supports NFSN’s collective Call to Action: 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system. NFSN’s approach is reflected here, building authentic relationships valuing connections over transactions.

To learn more and apply for the Racial Equity Learning Lab, click here. For questions, contact Trisha at