Meet OUR scholars
2021 Scholar Recipient - Culinary
Clifford (Cliff) is a New York City culinarian born and raised on Chicago’s South Side. He is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he received his BA in International Studies. During his matriculation in college, his mother's unexpected passing catapulted him to discover his true passion – food and cooking.
After a brief stint back home, Cliff chased his dreams by moving to NYC to pursue culinary studies at the International Culinary Center, formerly known as the French Culinary Institute. He trained through the professional culinary arts program while simultaneously working at the Council on Foreign Relations and Foreign Affairs. Once Cliff completed culinary school, he decided to embark on his unconventional career path by creating pop-ups, catering, teaching classes, and being a personal chef under his business Culinary Cliff. However, Cliff yearned to find opportunities in food full-time to learn more about the business of the industry and expand his culinary horizons. That led him to other career opportunities, such as being a chef assistant at ICE, recipe testing with HelloFresh, and a leadership role with Union Square Hospitality Group.
The pandemic put a few wrenches in Cliff’s plans but has not deterred his continued love for food and to grow within the culinary landscape. He recently self-published a recipe book, “Hungry N’ Homesick,” in tribute to his late mother and returned to the academic setting by studying for his Master of Management with a focus in Entrepreneurial Hospitality through the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.
Cliff is proud and honored to be a recipient of the Edna Lewis Scholarship. He will use this grant as support for the remainder of his graduate studies. Cliff will continue to pursue his love for food while building a future venture that intersects his enthusiasm for food with his knack for intercultural experiences, business operations, and healing himself and his community.
2021 Scholar Recipient - Agriculture
Elizabeth Bryant grew up in small town Minnesota and is a lifelong student of the Minnesota River Valley. Elizabeth is interested in policies and practices that will help protect land so that it may be stewarded by Black people and people of color. She believes that the impending transition of much of this country's farmland must have plans in place to support land ownership by emerging stewards. She knows land in the hands of these stewards could begin to heal many of our relationships to rural landscapes and foodways.
Elizabeth is a member of the Midwest Farmers of Color Collective, Burn Something Collective and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's inaugural Emerging Farmers Working Group. She's studied history, Black studies, literature and filmmaking. Generous support from the Edna Lewis Foundation will allow Elizabeth to continue work with rural community organizations and an emerging Black land trust to create models for land transitions, and to secure land within a growing ecosystem of Black land stewards.
Savannah leone bundy
2021 Scholar Recipient - Storytelling
Savannah Leone Bundy is an artist and scientist from Oakland, California. After graduating high school she studied graphic design, fashion design and culinary arts before moving to Brooklyn, New York, where she worked in various fields, and ultimately founded and operated skincare company Dimple & Dot Homemade.
Now, having moved back home, Savannah is currently pursuing an associate degree in Baking at Laney College in Oakland. She is a lifelong student of the culinary arts and plans to use this formal education as the basis for her exploration and documentation of cooking as an intersection of art and science. In addition, Savannah will be studying the diasporic nature of Black American cuisine and writing about her findings.
Receiving the Edna Lewis Foundation Scholarship for Storytelling is an incredible honor and Savannah is looking forward to following in the footsteps of Ms. Lewis herself as a chef, writer and pioneer.
2020 Scholar Recipient - Storytelling
Jahshana is a documentarian from Canarsie, Brooklyn who collects and documents stories and practices of healing within Black communities. She is interested in the relationship between trauma and cultural memory and practice. Using what is accessible to her, Jahshana works to create healing moments, spaces and repositories that assist individuals and communities with remembering, connecting with and documenting their histories.
Zetwal Arkive is a mobile healing library and apothecary that creates sacred space for the people to reckon with and reconcile their pasts in the present. Through herbal education, guided reflection and documentation for one's own keeping, Zetwal seeks to center and affirm Black peoples' healing journeys. The Edna Lewis Foundation Scholars grant will support Jahshana in the process of designing Zetwal’s digital and physical mobile libraries.
2020 Scholar Recipient - Agriculture
Orlando Johnson is an herbalist, activist, musician, inter-disciplinary artist, and steward of Gray’s Manor Farm, a permaculture site in Port Republic, Calvert County Maryland.
Orlando trained as a visual artist. His creative work feeds his spirit and roots him in an expansive sense of community. Johnson’s output is multi-faceted. He has organized multi-media exhibitions in support of Indigenous people’s land rights. He has performed music and dance in venues along the eastern seaboard, including at the High Zero festival in Baltimore. However, the work that moves Orlando most deeply, is his work with the land.
For thirteen years, Orlando has dedicated himself to re-tuning and nurturing land that has been in his family since 1830. Johnson seeks to continue Gray’s Manor Farm’s tradition of providing grounding space for young people of color and the LGBTQ community living in Baltimore and Washington D.C.. Orlando envisions Gray’s Manor as a space for interdependence with the land and supportive social bonds, a sustainable Black-owned permaculture farm and wellness center. The Edna Lewis Foundation Scholars grant for Agriculture is in support of Orlando’s work on the farm.
2020 Scholar Recipient - Culinary
Quayla Allen is a Pittsburgh native and Black feminist foodie. Her identity in the food space is heavily influenced by both
her women’s college education and everlasting love for Black women. It’s an ode to her mother who first introduced food
as a love language and a reconciliation of her mother’s dream deferred. As a product of the support and grace of Black
women, Quayla engages them in harnessing their agency to create pathways to meaningful careers. In the wake of the
devastating pandemic, her work will extend to designing equity-based solutions to increase access for Black and women
of color in the creation of sustainable careers within the food & beverage industry.
A graduate of the defunct Chatham College for Women at Chatham University, Quayla holds a BA in Professional
Communications and has served as a talent and diversity strategist in higher education, management consulting, and film
& media. Nearly six years after leaving Chatham University, she’s returning as a Master of Arts, Food Studies (MAFS)
candidate where she’ll gain a holistic and equity-based view of the food system, from agriculture and food production to
cuisines and consumption.
Quayla is honored to be a 2020 recipient of the Edna Lewis Foundation Scholarship! The generous gift will apply to tuition
and expenses related to her fall coursework and unpaid internship at the The Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and
Transformation (CRAFT) at Chatham University.