2021-2022 Luce Scholar

Eva Dickerson dreams of a freer, greener future for herself and the communities she loves, and sees her work connecting culturally relevant food justice strategies to global climate solutions as an integral part of getting there. Studying under Black earth stewards, farmers, agrarians, and climate activists of the south, she was initiated in the Black radical tradition of building self-determined communities through cooperative agricultural practices. After apprenticing on both scale production farms and urban education gardens in Atlanta, she developed her own theory of change, Constellation Architecture, the practice by which communities support individuals in the work that makes them feel most brilliant, and collectively shine as a result. As Miss Spelman College, she worked across departments to develop the Spelman Fresh Food Market, the college’s first ever community farmer’s market. Later appointed as manager of the West End Farmer’s Market, she was able to demonstrate to scale how food sovereignty, community development, and climate change intersect, and continue to use food and land justice as an innovative solution to community problems. Today, Eva passionately serves as the Urban Agriculture Program Manager for Thomasville Heights Elementary School, where she works with students and their families to catalyze a future in which growing food nourishes our bodies, our communities, and our planet. Her students study the legacy of Black farming, practice mindfulness in the garden, and learn to be bold conservationists. After the pandemic struck Atlanta, Eva worked alongside parents and educational advocates to adapt the class structure and start a mutual-aid garden project. She has been appointed to the AgLanta Grows-A-Lot Advisory Committee where she brings her community organizing background to policy discussions. When she is not on the school farm, Eva most enjoys working with her friends on Sapelo Island and playing in their sandy low country soil.