Details

Biography
Topics
African Americans
Economy/Economic Visions
Environment
Food Justice
Programs for High School Students
Racism/Racial Justice

Tanya Fields is a food justice activist, educator, urban farmer, food blogger, and the founder and executive director of the The Black Feminist Project (formerly the BLK Projek). This Bronx-based food justice and health organization serves underserved woman of color by creating women-led economic development opportunities and is committed to urban farming and the elimination of food deserts. Fields and her work are gradually revolutionizing low-income neighborhoods in one of the poorest congressional districts in the country.

In her attempts to construct an urban farm on a piece of underdeveloped New York City Parks land as well as other underdeveloped land in the South Bronx, Fields is shaking up the New York City borough from the earth up. Over the past 10 years Fields and her community created Libertad Urban Farms, a 5,400 square foot lot they turned into a radical food growing green space that has hosted numerous events that politicizes and support families in the Bronx and NYC. In addition, they developed the South Bronx Mobile Market, a clean energy vehicle with solar panels, and a retro-fitted engine to run on veggie oil which distributes healthy food to the community and offers nutrition education. The organization is now in their third year of the SBMM Buying Club, creating access to healthy, locally grown food that feeds the community AND supports local rural farmers. And they hosted four Not Just Talk Summits, a yearly multigenerational conference that centers the narrative, experiences, and work of women, youth and children. All of these opportunities not only help create organic, nutritious and local food but give underserved woman the chance to build community with other women, learn in workshops and gain skills.

Fields' inspiration came from her experiences as a single working mother of four, living in a marginalized community. She witnessed sexist institutional policies, structurally reinforced cycles of poverty, and harsh inequities in wealth and access to capital that result in far too many women being unable to rise out of poverty and sustain their families. In response, she founded the BLK ProjeK in 2009 and two years later, the organization was nominated for a 2011 Union Square Award which identifies visionaries responding to society's most pressing social, political and economic issues. Entering their 10th year they are ready for their next stage of growth and in 2019 changed their name to The Back Feminist Project.
Prior to creating the BLK ProjeK, Fields earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Baruch College and worked with several high-profile environmental organizations in the South Bronx - Mothers on the Move, Sustainable South Bronx and the Majora Carter Group.

She was also a Fellow with Green For All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Fields is recognized for her effective strategies for engaging low-income communities of color in the So. Bronx in building healthy neighborhoods and climate solutions.

Fields 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. Fields has appeared on numerous TV programs including MSNBC's "Up With Chris Hayes" and "The Melissa Harris Perry Show."

Testimonials

"Inviting Tanya Fields to our campus opened new conversations about the connection between nutrition, environmental issues, and poverty. Her impressive experience with community organizing, intimate knowledge of structural inequalities, and passionate nature made these important topics accessible to both our Women's Studies and Sustainability communities."
— Che J. Hatter, Colgate University Center for Women's Studies

"Tanya was OUTSTANDING!   Her quality and experiential presentation stands out in all the noise.  KUDOS Tanya for your work and leadership!"  
 LaNiece Jones for Black Infant Health Project, San Francisco
 

"I wanted to take the time and thank you for making the Tanya Fields event a reality. Tanya was great and her lecture got amazing feedback from the Smith College community. I hope to have her back again some time."

— Jocelyn Proietti, President, Smith College Association of Class Activists

"She spoke about her personal narratives, and showed us the reality of many people in the South Bronx. I cannot wait to get home in May and support her cause."

— Valerie Garcia, Women's Health Intern, Colgate University

Media