Meet the staff

Eric Jackson

Eric Jackson is the founder and Servant-Director of Black Yield Institute. Black Yield Institute is an emerging Pan-African institution based in Baltimore, Maryland. It aims to build independent power by establishing an action network and incubator of and for Black people and entities in pursuit of Black food sovereignty.


From 2011 to 2013, Eric served as a Community Health Organizer with the Baltimore City Health Department’s Baltimarket program, where he established an initiative called Neighborhood Food Advocates and worked to organize residents to improve access to healthy food in Baltimore City. Since 2013, Eric has been educating future change agents as an Adjunct Professor teaching community organizing and macro social work practice. From 2013 to 2016, Eric was employed by the University of Maryland School of Social Work in its Social Work Community Outreach Services, where he served as a Community School Coordinator at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School. Eric worked with students, families and the school community to support school climate, culture, attendance and family engagement, including through cooperative economic development and food/environmental justice work. Eric has received Bachelor’s and Master’s of Social Work degrees from Morgan State University and the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, respectively.


Ultimately, Eric’s vision is to organize and develop leadership within Black and poor communities with the goals of dismantling racism; building greater social, political and economic power; and establishing self-determination though institution and nation building. Eric, a lifelong resident of Baltimore, also enjoys teaching, reading, connecting with good people and eating good food. He is supported and loved on his journey by his four strong children and powerful Queen, Diara.

Founder and Servant-Director

Twanneshia Thomas

Twanneshia Thomas is the Administrative Organizer for Black Yield Institute. As the Administrative Organizer, Ms. Thomas supports Black Yield Institute in managing office related tasks and supporting Servant-Director, Eric Jackson. As an inspiring social worker and community organizer, Ms. Thomas has served as the School & Community Liaison at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts for the last 5 years. During this time she was able to bring many different partnerships and resources to the high school. With a determined drive to better Baltimore City, Ms. Thomas hopes to bring more opportunities to Black Yield Institute through her position. 

Administrative Organizer

Lee Jordan

Lee Jordan is an organizer, mentor, and entrepreneur serving as a Community Organizer for Black Yield Institute in Baltimore.  Always having been out-spoken, Lee consistently uses his platforms to speak out about issues in his community and others that mirror it.  After graduating with a Bachelors in Philosophy with a minor in Computer Science, Lee has successfully launched his own business, mentors, and works in the movement toward black land and food sovereignty and the fight against food issues in Baltimore.

Community Organizer

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