Celebrating Yolanda Gordon and the fight against hunger

July 5, 2023
by Gabe Hafemann

In June, the Congressional Hunger Center convened its 30th annual Hunger Leadership Awards. The Congressional Hunger Center (also known as the Hunger Center) is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to the principle that access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food is a basic human right. With that in mind, the Hunger Center supports and spotlights anti-hunger champions through leadership programs and this prestigious awards ceremony. This year, we celebrate the success of RESULTS’ Manager of Expansion and Advocacy, Yolanda Gordon, recipient of the Community Champion Hunger Leadership Award! 

This year’s awards brought together representatives from across sectors to commemorate the achievements of anti-hunger champions. As a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow (a program run by the Hunger Center) hosted by RESULTS, I am proud to be part of this community and to attend the ceremony. The Hunger Center honored Yolanda alongside Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern, former South Carolina Governor and World Food Program Director David Beasley, and other anti-hunger champions. 

In her four years with RESULTS, Yolanda has been a vocal and passionate champion for people with lived experience of hunger. She’s a strong and highly-effective leader in part because she’s been there. She stands firmly in her own experience, inviting grassroots volunteers to share theirs in the halls of Congress. As she explained in her acceptance speech, “It takes brave people in power to stand up and say ‘enough.’ It takes people like me to remind people in power that no one should die from starvation.” As her colleague at RESULTS, I have seen Yolanda live into that truth every day through her thoughtful, grounded leadership, and her kindhearted direction of the RESULTS Fellowship.  

The RESULTS Fellowship is a cohort of young leaders 20 to 35 years old who receive coaching and support to hone their advocacy skills over an 11-month cycle. Fellows work on domestic and international poverty policies that include SNAP (formerly food stamps), ending tuberculosis, a federal Renter Tax Credit, and more. This hands-on advocacy experience empowers up-and-coming changemakers.  

Personally, I would like to highlight Yolanda’s tremendous commitment to her community. She’s honest, direct, and brings a variety of experiences to a robust presence here at RESULTS. Yolanda’s work aligns with the mission of the Hunger Center to cultivate leadership and expand the community of people fighting poverty through policy and advocacy. It’s my distinct honor as the Bill Emerson Hunger Fellow to carry that tradition and be part of the 20+ years of continued partnership between the Hunger Center and RESULTS. To learn from and alongside Yolanda is a delight, and the RESULTS team couldn’t be prouder! 

Yolanda put it best: “We have infinite capacity to change the world, change one life, and show kindness. We have infinite capacity to use our political will to ensure that no child or adult in this nation goes to bed hungry. It is immoral to allow that to happen. As long as hunger persists, our voices, time, and energy will be needed. Sometimes it feels like there’s no progress. But we make progress. We must continue to show up and raise our voices.”  

Please join us in congratulating Yolanda and the other talented, passionate honorees! 

To join the 2024 Fellowship class and to learn from Yolanda yourself, apply starting July 10th!  

To hear Yolanda’s speech in full, follow this link to the Hunger Leadership Awards landing page and begin the video at 49:00.  

Gabe Hafemann (they/them) is a current Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center. Originally, they come from La Crosse, WI but have called Minneapolis, MN home since 2017.

Image: Congressional Hunger Center 

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