Eliza Fisher is fascinated by the way systems collide with, compound, challenge and cross-pollinate one another. When they do, she values reconciling complexity compassionately.
She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2020 as a Jefferson Scholar with a double major in Environmental Science and Global Studies prior to joining Normal>Next as a summer associate.
Her academic focus was on environmental humanities and environmental political theory with her thesis on envisioning coalition-building in Appalachia between environmental and criminal justice movements. She studied and systematized the history of coal extraction and mass incarceration to formulate an argument for prison-ecological abolition.
She plans to study the pedagogy of citizen science through UVA’s Environmental Science master’s program next year.
As co-director of Taste of Home, Fisher fosters alternative models of organizing by structuring non-hierarchical, team-work based working environments. Taste of Home celebrates new neighbors by harnessing the communal power of food: connecting people new to the community who identify as immigrants, asylum-seekers, or refugees with local Charlottesville Virginia restaurants. The restaurant shares their space, the chefs new to the community share their food traditions, and the organization collects donations to support people’s transition to Charlottesville.
As a project intern at the Kevin Rohan Memorial Eco Foundation (KRMEF) based in Kathmandu, Nepal, Fisher helped develop and implement programs at the Waldorf School and biodynamic farm to support sustainable development initiatives spearheaded by Nepali community organizers.
In addition to making sense, Fisher enjoys making things: pottery/ ceramics as well as music on her mandolin and violin. She also enjoys the outdoors: having walked from France to the western coast of Spain on El Camino and recently trekked Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. She unwinds by channeling love to her porch plants and reading historical fiction.