About 10 years ago, someone asked me what was on my “bucket list.” I began to think about great tasks, divine mandates, that remain unfinished: ending hunger, healing the sick. The Andrew J. Young Foundation is not about keeping my name alive; it is about changing the world. As you can see from the programs described here, we are doing it. Thank you for supporting our work to share the blessings we have received and to bless the world with the work of our hearts, heads, and hands.
— Ambassador Andrew J. Young
International Humanitarian Initiatives
As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young embodied President Jimmy Carter’s commitment to human rights as a core element of U.S. foreign policy. The Foundation maintains programs designed to inspire leaders from around the world to work toward a global community of peace, prosperity, and inclusion. Ambassador Young uses his diplomatic skills and global relationships to encourage innovative partnerships among governments, non-governmental organizations, and private enterprise to address the world’s most challenging problems.
The Foundation is committed to contributing to the alleviation of the global challenges of hunger, poverty and food insecurity. In January 2017, the World Bank hosted Ambassador Young for a summit on the future of food, designed to form partnerships between academia, governments and international institutions.
The Duckweed Project
The project focuses on the Duckweed water plant as a potential cost-effective alternative protein source that could help alleviate malnutrition and starvation worldwide. Preliminary research sponsored by the Foundation indicates that Duckweed produces a nutrient-rich organic protein as well as an anhydrous ethanol at low cost.
The Foundation’s intention is to pursue a research agenda that guides the Foundation’s next steps in developing a cash crop to create economic opportunity for smallholder farmers on a sustainable basis. The Foundation has requested that the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) leadership facilitate the engagement of HBCUs and Agriculture Research Programs to develop a full-scale research agenda that will help determine optimal conditions for cultivation, processing, and operating at scale.
Duckweed could provide opportunities for formers in the Southeast United States and for sustainable economic development in rural areas that face widespread poverty, declining farm productivity, and a falling interest in farming among younger generations. HBCU’s could become innovators of Duckweed cultivation processes and new technologies and products needed for full scale commercialization. HBCU’s and students will benefit from the education and training that will prepare the next generation of local farmers, producers, entrepreneurs and job creators.
The International Food Hub Network
Over the last four years, the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture and Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), has developed and successfully implemented a model “food hub” program that provides urban underserved communities access to high quality foods produced through state-of the-art, high efficiency, bio-intensive aquaponics and hydroponic food production systems. CAUSES offers student and community members education, training and certifications in the areas of hydroponics, aquaponics, master gardening, urban agriculture, food safety, food preparation and related fields of study. CAUSES also offers instruction in business ownership and marketing as it relates to food distribution to local farmers markets, grocers as well as other food, hospitality, dietary and health industries. In this regard, the food hubs help to create local economies in communities. The Foundation is working in partnership with CAUSES to replicate the Food Hub model in 25 other urban and rural communities across the U.S.
The Foundation hopes to engage HBCUs in targeted communities to become anchor sites for the food hubs. At the Foundation’s request, the leadership of the CAUSES program has offered to assist in the replication of their complete program at any HBCU interested in adopting their model.