theGrio’s 100: Tanya Fields, activist for food justice
Who is Tanya Fields?
Tanya Fields, 33, is a single mom of four (who’s expecting her fifth) living in the Bronx who was frustrated by cycles of poverty, inequalities in wealth and women not being able to sustain their families.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in political science from Baruch College, she worked with several high-profile environmental organizations in the South Bronx such as Mothers on the Move, Sustainable South Bronx and the Majora Carter Group.
She is a respected public speaker and educator who has conducted several workshops at various colleges, served as a panelist and as keynote speaker at regional meetings.
She also writes a twice-monthly column on food and food justice for EBONY.com and contributed a chapter for the book The Next Eco-Warriors by Emily Hunter. She was recently on the MSNBC shows Up With Chris Hayes and The Melissa Harris Perry Show.
Why is she on theGrio’s 100?
Fields built on her nonprofit experience to form the BLK ProjeK. It’s a Bronx organization that combats food justice and creates good food for low-income people using urban agriculture and innovative small business strategies.
The organization ran a three-year campaign to turn a city lot into an urban farm. The campaign included local press, Twitter and 300 community signatures, which resulted in the city granting BLK ProjeK access to the 5,400 square foot lot. Libertad Urban Farm will be open to the community as a safe green space and used as workforce development while the community grows its own fresh food.
What’s next for Tanya Fields?
Her organization recently turned an old school bus into a clean energy vehicle using vegetable oil instead of diesel fuel and added solar panels to the bus. The bus, called South Bronx Mobile Market, will service the South Bronx with affordable, locally-grown produce and high-quality food, including food from the Libertad Urban Farm. She also wants to become a national voice and advocate.
“I hope to start to do more work around the intersections of race, gender and poverty not just limited to food,” Fields says.