The James Beard Foundation appoints Zella Palmer to its leadership committee
Zella Palmer at Dinner en Bleu in 2019. Photo: Sabree Hill/Dillard University.
For Immediate Release
September 21, 2020
NEW ORLEANS — The James Beard Foundation has appointed Zella Palmer, chair and director of the Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture, to its Food and Beverage Investment Fund For Black And Indigenous Americans leadership committee. The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans is a new grant initiative that will provide financial resources to food and beverage businesses owned by Black or Indigenous people that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund is a component of the James Beard Foundation’s Open For Good campaign. The campaign launched in April to help rebuild and develop a more equitable restaurant/food services industry.
“I am thrilled to sit on this committee with so many dynamic Black and Indigenous change agents,” Zella Palmer shared in a statement. “I was invited in 2018 to attend an event with the James Beard Foundation and MIT Open Agriculture Initiative. I'm proud to be part of the leadership committee for the Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund that provides financial resources for food and beverage businesses that are majority-owned by Black or Indigenous individuals.” The investment fund aims to disburse grants of $15,000 each equally across Black and Indigenous populations throughout the United States. The foundation believes that all contributions to the food industry should be appreciated, especially Black and Indigenous Americans to the nation’s food culture. “Food trucks, pop-up supper clubs, fast-casual restaurants, and brewpubs are all a part of the unique culinary fabric of this country,” the foundation proclaimed on its website. “With this new Fund, the Foundation aims to support and encourage businesses of all forms that help to make American food delicious and diverse.”
Palmer was recently highlighted by New Orleans Magazine as one of the 2020 People To Watch in New Orleans for her work on preserving African-American food culture and educating New Orleans youths about careers in the food and culture industries. In March 2020, USA Today Department of Agriculture special edition issue featured Palmer addressing food insecurity and education on college campuses. At Dillard, Palmer is known for her innovative programming and department’s food studies minor. Dillard’s food studies minor involves the governance, planning, history, design, business and implementation of food systems within urban and rural environments. Challenges involving food sustainability and security pose some of the most serious threats and greatest opportunities for planning the future of resilient cities. This degree-seeking minor program provides an integrative approach to food studies in the urban environment, focused on an introduction to the study of food that is essential for preparing the next leaders in this field. Feature coursework includes: Food & Media, The History of the Food Industry and the Psychology of Food.
For more information on the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans or Dillard University’s food studies minor, please contact Zella Palmer, chair and director of the Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture (email@example.com).
Dillard University, located in New Orleans at 2601 Gentilly Blvd., is a private four-year liberal arts historically black institution with a history dating back to 1869. For more information, please visit www.dillard.edu. Also, follow us on Twitter, Facebook @DU1869 and Instagram: Dillard University.