Christopher BradshawSocial Justice Entrepreneur at Dreaming Out Loud Washington, DC Award Year: 2021
Christopher Bradshaw is a social justice entrepreneur who is using social innovation through the food system to grow meaningful community economic development within marginalized communities. Christopher was named a 2015 Ashoka-American Express Emerging Innovator, one of Food Trust’s 20 Leaders Under 40, and is the longest-serving member of the DC Food Policy Council, where he co-chairs the Urban Agriculture working group. Under his leadership, Dreaming Out Loud has grown to a $1.4M social enterprise with 14 full-time staff members, and four seasonal farm and food hub assistants. He is a frequent speaker on the intersection of racial justice, class, gender, and food sovereignty. His appearances include the Atlantic Ideas Festival, the Bloomberg American Health Summit and regional and national gatherings for farmers and food activists. Christopher is the recipient of the John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award for 2021, presented by Georgetown University.
After working for three years straight without a vacation and feeling burnt out, Christopher used his award to take a vacation as well as to create a retirement plan for himself – something he did not have because his longtime work with marginalized communities had been on a volunteer basis, rather than paid. He is also using his award to support himself while continuing his work. He believes rest and joy are revolutionary and is living his values by reestablishing work-life balance and self-care in ways that have enabled him to continue trying to address food insecurity at a time when the pandemic has exacerbated the problem.
The Washington Post published an article featuring Christopher, where he discussed food insecurity and “must-see” spots in Washington, DC and the Hyattsville Wire featured the Black farmers market organized by Dreaming Out Loud.