Meet Our Staff


Kai Hartsfield

Grants Coordinator
Hometown: Richmond, VA

Kai brings passion and experience in community organizing, environmental justice, and food access to Elevate. Before joining Elevate, they interned with DC UrbanGreens where they worked to enhance and implement new methods for their Community Supported Agriculture program providing Southeast DC residents with fresh, locally grown produce.  Throughout their undergraduate career, Kai also served as a core campus organizer of Virginia Student Power Network where they and their fellow organizers built grassroots power to fight for more accessible, affordable, and democratic higher education. Their experiences with nonprofits and community organizing have solidified their interests in nonprofit work and social change.

Kai earned their BA in Integrative Studies with a concentration in International Studies from George Mason University. This interdisciplinary degree program allowed them to focus their studies on globalization as it relates to race and class. During their time at Mason they led a funded undergraduate research project titled Food Deserts: Exploring Local Perceptions of Washington D.C.’s Ward 8 Food System where they interviewed Southeast DC residents regarding their experiences with food access in one of the most food insecure wards of the city.

Outside of work, you can find Kai at a local show supporting DC musicians, at the record store looking to add to their collection of Fleetwood Mac vinyl, rewatching the Office for the fifth time, or volunteering with urban gardens and farms in the DC area.

What punctuation mark would you be and why?

I'd be a question mark. Partially because I ask "huh" a lot, but also because I'm constantly questioning and searching for answers to big questions.

What is your favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Cooking and reading a good book or watching the Office.

What is your grammatical pet peeve?

You have got to use that Oxford comma.

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