Mia Divecha

Research Engineer

When I walk into the Franklin store, I feel at home. I am surrounded by fresh, local food that nourishes my body; products that align with my values, and a diversity of people that represents my own multitude of identities. I am often at the intersection of multiple identities: I am South Asian and I am white; I am a social extrovert and I am a PhD chemical engineer; I work for a large agriculture company, and I am from Berkeley, CA, and passionately care about food equity. Together, these backgrounds inform my worldview: a people-first, science-based perspective.

I will contribute to accomplishing Seward’s Ends statement by approaching problems from multiple perspectives. When I think about food systems, I think about justice and equity, and asking if everyone, including our environment, are able to benefit from this system. I think about science, and what we can do to empower consumers to make informed decisions about their food choices. And I think about economics, and envisioning a food system that is financially accessible, sustainable and cooperatively governed.

Practically speaking, I have a PhD in Chemical Engineering, and thus am extremely comfortable with anything to do with numbers, math, and science. From my day job, I have extensive knowledge of food manufacturing practices, food systems, and supply chains. I have immersed myself in alternative models of philanthropy by participating in the Headwaters Foundation for Justice’s Giving Project, where I worked collaboratively within a multiracial, cross-class cohort to raise and grant money to MN-based BIPOC organizations. I will bring all these experiences, along with my commitment to listening, self-education, and trust of community to the board position.

I envision a world where all aspects of life, from safety, housing, and food, are community centered. The co-op is already a thriving, critical component to that vision and it would be my privilege to serve it and to serve the community that holds it up.