Meet OUR scholars

Jahshana Olivierre

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.

Orlando Johnson

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.

Quayla Allen

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.

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© 2020 Edna Lewis Foundation