Come to the Table 2019 Conference Workshop Speakers

Listed in alphabetical order by last name below. Learn more about keynote speakers here.

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Shorlette Ammons is a native of Mount Olive, North Carolina, where she grew up in a large family of farmworkers, cooks, and storytellers. She is a former children’s librarian, with an MLS degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. Shorlette currently serves as Equity in Food Systems Coordinator, Extension Associate with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems at NC State University, although her work is statewide/regional with participation in some national networks. She leads the CEFS CORE (Committee on Racial Equity) team where she coordinates and facilitates racial equity trainings and ongoing learning sessions, guest lectures and develops curriculum and strategic tools to address food insecurity and other food systems disparities through the lens of structural racism.

Jordyn Appel | Mobilizing a Community Around Justice, Local Food Access

Jordyn Appel, Community Food Access Coordinator, is Michigan grown and had an early passion for environmental stewardship and action. She transplanted in Wilmington as a FoodCorps service member with Feast Down East in 2015 and spent two years engaging students, school communities and local partners in school garden education. Jordyn came to Wilmington with numerous seasons of experience in community organizing and mobilization, farming small to midsize sustainable farms, researching disparities in food access, and serving as a service-learning coordinator as an AmeriCorps*VISTA. Jordyn is empowered to be able to engage with the community in helping to create collaborative efforts to build an equitable, just, sustainable and accessible healthy, local food system.

LaShauna Austria | Creating a Framework for Using Food Policy Councils to Address Root Causes of Inequity and Sacred Practices of Food and Land: A Panel Discussion with Ministry Practitioners

LaShauna Austria is an ordained faith leader with a fierce commitment to, and deep experience with, building strong, vibrant, and sustainable communities as well as a demonstrated record of collaborating with rural communities, faith and non faith based organizations to address race, justice and equity issues. She has a professional and personal passion for, and involvement with, a variety of racial equity organizations, initiatives and food systems in the surrounding area. LaShauna is the Executive Director at Benevolence Farm, a reentry organization in Alamance County, NC serving women leaving NC prisons, and bi-vocational Pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ. LaShauna is married to Reggie and mother of 4 children.

Suzanne Babb | From Charity to Social Justice: Using a Story-based Strategy to Reframe the Dominant Narrative on Hunger and its Solutions

Suzanne co-directs WhyHunger’s US-based programs, which aim to support grassroots organizations in coalescing around a strategy to end hunger that is rooted in social justice. Through participation in strategic partnerships, Suzanne facilitates dialogue around the systemic inequities that cause hunger and poverty. Originally from Montreal, Suzanne has many years of experience working with the English-speaking Black community of Montreal on issues of education, employment and health. Suzanne is a co-founder and member of Black Urban Growers, which builds community support for urban and rural growers and nurtures collective Black leadership, and an urban farmer at La Finca del Sur Urban Farm, a Black and Latina women led farm, in the South Bronx. She holds a BS from Concordia University and an MPH from Columbia University.

Courtney Baines | Oh SNAP! Building & Sustaining Farmers’ Market Incentive Programs at Any Scale

Dr. Courtney Baines is the Executive Director of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. She considers herself a holistic sustainability educator and has over a decade of experience teaching sustainability and environmental science at the high school and university level. She was founder of the school garden support program, Lettuce Learn and holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and a Masters in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University. When she’s not busy strengthening the High Country’s local food system, you can find her gardening, hiking and playing pretend with her son Aiden and their dog Maple.

Deborah H. Barnes | Reinventing the Wheel: Imagining Food Security as an Inalienable Right

Deborah H. Barnes, Ph.D., a (retired) university administrator and professor of Africana Studies, has taught courses on and lectures widely about structural racism and the Politics of Food. Changing the public’s attitudes toward hunger, food security, and an industrial food system is the primary focus of her role as Chairperson of the NC NAACP’s Anti-Poverty Committee. The Bountiful Land Food Security Project is an arm of the Poor People’s Campaign and a signature program of the NC NAACP. It encourages food sovereignty by putting independent food production in the hands of people trapped in food deserts, who are denied access to healthy, fresh foods by structural inequities.

Tavia Benjamin | You OK, Fam?”: Centering Healing Justice within Food Movement-Building

Tavia Benjamin, an inquisitive and wandering soul, has deep love for their Black Southern roots, traditions, and foodways. With experience as an organizer, facilitator, trainer, and nonprofit professional, they enjoy bringing people from disparate backgrounds together with language, creative space making, and radically inclusive facilitation and connecting them to land. They have worked in several issue areas, including: healthy food access, racial equity, land equity, queer mental health and transcending historical trauma. Figuring out how communities can heal and be their whole selves is what motivates and excites Tavia about working towards a more equitable and just world.

Adam Bigelow | Successful Community Gardens from the Roots Up

Adam Bigelow is the Garden Manager for both The Cullowhee Community Garden and the Sylva Community Garden. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Horticulture from Haywood Community College and a B.S. Degree in Environmental Science from Western Carolina University. Adam has been gardening organically for over a 15 years. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, advisory member of the North Carolina Community Garden Partners, member of the Gardens That Give of WNC organization, on the board of Vecinos which provides health care and advocacy to Farmworker Communities, and a planning committee member of the Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor. Adam is the owner and operator of an eco-tourism business called Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions.

Michael Binger | Rethinking Hunger by Rethinking Food Distribution: Gleaning for Refugee Communities

Michael has been the Carolinas Regional Director for the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) for the last four years.  During that time, SoSA has increased the food shared by 75% and the number of volunteers by 50%.  Before coming to the Society of St. Andrew, Michael was a United Methodist pastor serving in Belmont, Otto, and Hayesville.  Michael is married to another UMC pastor, Marti Hatch, and has two children: Charlie and Gracie.

Don Boekelheide | Successful Community Gardens from the Roots Up

Don Boekelheide is a veteran community gardener who gardens at Reedy Creek Park
Community Garden in Charlotte. He is co-author of NCSU’s community gardening guide, Collard Greens and Common Ground, and edited Twenty-five Years of Community
Gardening for The American Community Gardening Association. For more than a decade, he was National Test Gardener for the Southeast for Organic Gardening Magazine. Don holds an MS in Agriculture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and was a Peace Corps agriculture volunteer and training coordinator in West Africa. He served on the Board of North Carolina Community Garden Partners, including one year as Chair, and is currently a Community Garden Advisor for RAFI-USA. His favorite vegetable is kohlrabi.

Megan Bolejack | Consent-Based Decision Making: A Cornerstone for Collaboration

Megan provides technical assistance and facilitation to the Collaborative Networks, food councils, and population health initiatives across the state. Megan collects and disseminates best practices, organizes webinars and trainings, and supports communication and technology for Care Share. Prior to joining Care Share, Megan worked with the NC Division of Public Health as the WISEWOMAN Project Health Educator and Interventionist and Chatham County Public Health Department as the Health Promotion Coordinator and Health Disparities Coordinator. Megan received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from UNC- Charlotte and her Masters of Public Health from UNC- Greensboro.

KD Brown | Just Transition: Our Stories, Our Needs, Our Future

KD Brown has worked for over a decade as a technical resource for multilingual, socio-economically disadvantaged communities struggling with environmental injustice, both domestically and internationally. Their professional practice has focused on the synthesis of environmental science, community organizing, and public health. They have designed and implemented five federally funded projects focused on the surveillance and abatement of bacterial and chemical contamination, community based participatory research, and education and outreach. KD is presently pursuing a PhD in Geography at UNC Chapel Hill focusing on hazardous waste trafficking, political ecology, critical race theory, and environmental injustice.

Elijah Brunson | Just Transition: Our Stories, Our Needs, Our Future

Elijah B. has committed himself to supporting the just and sustainable transition movement. Elijah’s background combines a B.S. in Psychology from Duke University, 2 years of case management experience, and theater of the oppressed training. At RCC, Elijah forms partnerships with campuses to cultivate a passion for the environment and a heart for justice. These projects include campaigns for community health protections & industry accountability. Elijah also creates campus curricula that incorporates both expert and local knowledge to lead and direct efforts to redress environmental harms to frontline communities.

Stephanie Campbell | Eating Together Faithfully

The Rev. Stephanie Campbell is an ordained minister in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church and serves as Ministry Engagement Coordinator of Life Around the Table. After thirty years in ministry with children and families in suburban south Florida, Stephanie Campbell and her husband, John, moved to NC in order to become farmers and live out their conviction that discipleship is deeply grounded in the care of the earth. She loves engaging folks in transformative conversations at the intersection of food, creation, and spirituality.

Bacilio Castro | Lives on the Line: An Update of Issues Affecting Poultry Processing Workers

Bacilio has been an organizer with the Western North Carolina Workers’ Center for the past eight years. As a native of Guatemala, Bacilio moved to Morganton, NC where he started working as a poultry worker in the local poultry processing plant and became involved in the WNC Workers’ Center as a volunteer.

Jared Cates | Circles of Influence and Circles of Concern: How Local Food Councils Collaboratively Opposed Negative SNAP Changes

An Orange County native, Jared holds a Masters in Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in nonprofit organizations in North Carolina for over a twelve years. His work on the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Policy Team focuses on connecting, organizing and mobilizing community members around critical public policy issues across the Carolinas. Jared also works to support the growing network of food policy councils in the region through his work on the Community Food Strategies Team. Through both of these roles, his work focuses on raising the visibility of local farm and food issues and supporting communities in advocating for fair farm and food policies.

Alison Cohen | From Charity to Social Justice: Using a Story-based Strategy to Reframe the Dominant Narrative on Hunger and its Solutions


Alison Cohen was born and raised in Western North Carolina but has been living, gardening and riding bikes in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two daughters for the past 18 years. For more than twenty-five years, she has worked with grassroots-led organizations in rural and urban communities struggling to farm and feed their communities with dignity. Since 2009 she has been stewarding WhyHunger’s programmatic strategies which center on providing support to grassroots who are working toward addressing the root causes of hunger and the deep inequities of poverty at the intersection of agriculture and food systems, racism, health and climate change. She believes that grassroots-led social movements are the most effective means for dismantling inequitable systems and erecting new socially just ones.

Sarah Fletcher Daniels | Demystifying Runaway Inequality for Social Justice Activists

Sarah Fletcher Daniels is the founder of Heirloom Ideas Consulting, where she works with public service providers and community organizations around economic and social justice. She is also a founding member of the Wilmington-based Alliance for Economic Justice and the Cape Fear Food Council. Sarah’s passion for this work developed during her time as Associate Director and then Executive Director of Feast Down East, a nonprofit local food distributor in southeastern North Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s in Public Administration from UNC Wilmington, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from the University of Georgia. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys performing as a classical violist, training in Muay Thai kickboxing, and tending her vegetable garden.

Jarrod Davis | Sacred Practices of Food and Land: A Panel Discussion with Ministry Practitioners

Jarrod is a native of eastern NC where his family has farmed the same land since 1776. He is a graduate of both NC State University and Duke University and has served as a pastor in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2012. He is passionate about sharing how God speaks through soil, homegrown tomatoes, bees, compost, and shared meals. He is currently pastor at Center United Methodist Church in Sanford, NC where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Rev. Dele | Resilience, Environmental Justice, and Equitable Allyship in African American Communities of Faith

Rev. Dele is a grandmother, author and pastor, who uses her skills as a permaculturist and contemplative to train the next generation of mission leaders in faith, ecology and economic empowerment. She serves on the UCC Council for Climate Justice, as a regional liaison for Green the Church, and as a council member for the National Congress of Black American Indians. She launched Soil & Souls to train 300 mission leaders from 30 U.S. communities that need the most assistance in climate resilience. She taught Permaculture at College of William & Mary and currently consults with Baylor University on Eco-Theology. Dele’s B.A. is from University of California-Riverside and M.Div. from Howard University School of Divinity. She serves in the Southern Conference of the UCC with Baptist Affiliations.

Raven King Edwards | Retail redlining: Exploring the Intersection Between Food Security and Healthy Equity 

Raven King Edwards is a subject-matter expert in food access, food security and community engagement. King currently serves as a Health Equity Consultant for the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Her work is connected to promoting and advocating for the elimination of health disparities among all racial and ethnic minorities and other underserved populations. In her most recent placement, King worked at the Atlanta Community Food Bank to strengthen local neighborhoods by addressing food access and security. In collaboration with Georgia Food Oasis, King emphasized the importance of using the resources already within the community as a tool to empower neighborhood residents. Her educational accomplishments include a Master’s degree in Public Health from Emory University with a concentration in Health Policy and Management in addition to a Certificate in Socio-Contextual Determinants of Health, and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Science with a minor in Chemistry from North Carolina Central University. A native of Raleigh, NC, King is dedicated to improving opportunities for all communities in need while promoting strategies to advance health equity.

David Ferris|Hunger: Root Causes and Beautiful Solutions

David Ferris joined the Highlander Education Team in September 2018. David leads Highlander’s work in economic justice and social solidarity economies, also known as Highlander’s Economics and Governance program. They first became involved with Highlander through the 2010 Threads Leadership and Organizing School for Economic Justice. Originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia, David was radicalized through transformational experiences working and learning in solidarity with low-income families in central Appalachia, peasant communities in Northeast Thailand, and youth in New Orleans after the levees broke. David recently moved to Knoxville, Tennessee from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they used popular education to support community self-determination in working class, raised-poor, and Black and Brown neighborhoods. When they’re not working, David can be found cooking, playing guitar, gardening, snuggling, and walking their dog Judy.

Nykke Ford | (Re)Insecure: Food for Thought

Nykke Ford-Andersen is a social entrepreneur, facilitation guide, and nonprofit and community development professional, serving organizations and programs that embody collective community support and engagement. Nykke received her Learning Sustainability and Community Engagement Certification from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Nykke’s past work includes helping organizations incorporate collective community narrative and engagement in their program design and evaluation. She has coached government officials, educators, youth workers, and more to create and implement innovative programs and structures designed to serve all people. Nykke is a certified facilitator for Chopra Center Primordial Sound Instruction, Copeland Center Wellness Recovery Action Plan (W.R.A.P), FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.) Program Manager, Bread for Life, PURPOSE Coach, and Sound&Breath.

DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren | Revitalizing Catawba Foodways: History, Present, and Future of Food on Catawba Lands

DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren is a queer artist, researcher, and organizer from Catawba Indian Nation whose areas of interest range from performance to installation art to community education to food sovereignty to language revitalization. Since 2017 he has been the Special Projects Coordinator for the Catawba Cultural Preservation Project where he facilitates the Catawba Language Project, several food sovereignty initiatives, and other community education projects. He has also performed, lectured, and exhibited throughout the U.S. including the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, College of Charleston, Vanderbilt University, Ithaca College, and more.

Elizabeth Gerndt | The Nuts and Bolts of a Healthy Food Pantry: From Solidarity to Action

Elizabeth is the Food & Built Environments Associate with NC State University’s Steps to Health SNAP-Ed program. In this role, Elizabeth develops and oversees Steps to Health initiatives designed to inspire healthier communities by shaping the environments where low-income people buy, cook, consume, and enjoy food. Prior to working with Steps to Health, Elizabeth worked on local level implementation of healthy eating/active living projects in South Carolina. Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Clemson University and a Master of Public Health from Emory University. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, running, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers!

Mavis Gragg | Standing on a Lot of Love: Land Justice in Connection with Food Justice

Mavis is the founder of the Gragg Law Firm, PLLC, which assists individuals and families in estate planning, estate administration, and heirs property matters. Mavis synthesizes her professional experiences as a lawyer and mediator with her passion for helping individuals and families maintain and grow wealth. Mavis serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for Triangle Land Conservancy. She is also an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University.

Debbie Grunbaum | From Charity to Social Justice: Using a Story-based Strategy to Reframe the Dominant Narrative on Hunger and its Solutions

Debbie is the Senior Director of Communications at WhyHunger where she develops and implements organizational strategies to increase WhyHunger’s visibility and advance its programmatic initiatives and impact. Overseeing the organization’s marketing, public relations, creative direction and brand strategy, Debbie brings expertise in media relations, organizational messaging and event planning to WhyHunger. Prior to joining WhyHunger in spring 2011, Debbie served as the Director of Communications and Development for the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, a community based human service non-profit, where she shaped strategic communications and fundraising initiatives for the organization. Debbie is a strong believer in the power of storytelling and volunteers her time as a CASA advocate and a youth soccer coach.

Matt Gundlach | Sacred Practices of Food and Land: A Panel Discussion with Ministry Practitioners

Matt Gundlach is a farmer and permaculture designer, recently relocated to Chapel Hill, NC. He is passionate about helping churches envision how their landscapes can be used to grow and share food while restoring health to the soil. Matt spent the previous 4+ years as coordinator of Beatitude Gardens, a faith-based permaculture demonstration plot and market-scale community garden in Todd, NC. He was a 2017 Fellow in the Re:Generate Fellowship for Ecological Vocation and Religious Leadership through Wake Forest Divinity School. His passion for learning and teaching about regenerative agriculture began through two years as an intern at historic Koinonia Farm. Matt lives and cultivates goodness with his wife, Jaimie, and their baby son Amos.

Grace Hackney | Eating Together Faithfully

The Rev. Grace G. Hackney is an ordained minister in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Founding Director of Life Around the Table. Grace has served churches in Cedar Grove and Bahama, NC, and was co-founder of Anathoth Community Garden and Farm. Grace lives on twelve acres with her husband Tony and two goats, a cat, a dog, and a fluctuating number of ducks and chickens. She is passionate about nourishing community around the table and leading people, churches, and communities to discover a way of life grounded in Sabbath practices, delight in creation, and food that LAUGHS (Local, Affordable, Uncomplicated, Good, Healthy, and Sustainable).

Sarah Hackney | Advocacy for Busy People: Getting Heard in a Noisy World

Sarah works with NSAC’s member organizations and allies to empower and mobilize grassroots food and farm voices nationwide. She staffs NSAC’s Grassroots Council and facilitates its work developing grassroots advocacy campaigns. Raised in rural Florida, her prior work has included community-led efforts to improve small farm viability, increase fresh food access, and build leadership in rural communities in the Pacific Northwest.

Nancy Hagan | Beyond the Headlines: An Introduction to Sex and Labor Trafficking in Rural Communities in North Carolina

Nancy Hagan is an analyst with Project No Rest, which is a statewide effort based at the School of Social Work at UNC-CH designed to build relationships and help communities strengthen and expand the state’s capacity to address human trafficking. Prior to joining No Rest, Nancy worked for seventeen years at a faith based institution in southern Wake County, where she played a number of roles as director of the community’s social justice efforts. Her expertise includes coalition building with Limited English Proficiency Spanish speaking groups, in particular women, seasonal and migrant workers, and their allies around issues of labor rights, health care, sexual and domestic violence, and human trafficking.

Devon Hall, Sr. | The Social, Racial, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of Contract Livestock Production

Devon Hall, Sr. is the co-founder and current program manager of REACH. Devon is a native of Duplin County and lives there today, personally exposed to the impacts of swine and poultry operations concentrated in his community. Over the last decade, Devon has assisted in REACH’s collaboration with UNC-Chapel HIll and Johns Hopkins University of four water research projects, three air quality research projects, two pediatric health research projects, and four occupational health research projects. These projects include: Community Health Effects of Hog Operations (CHIEHO) (with UNC-CH and Concerned Citizens of Tillery, NC, 2005); Duplin Environmental Health Awareness Project (with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and an environmental justice small grant, 2005-06); Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem Solving grant (with the EPA, 2007-10); Rural Air Pollutants and Children’s Health Education (with UNC-CH, 2007-09); Community Environmental Awareness Project (with United Food and Commercial Workers, 2008-09); Water Sampling Project (with UNIH, 2010-11); Exposure to Bacteria and Viruses Among Livestock Workers (educating and testing livestock workers for the presence of MRSA (Methacillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureous), with UNC-CH, 2011-12); Exposure to MRSA and other viruses among household members (with UNC-CH and Johns Hopkins, 2013-14); and more.

Sam Hoeffler | The Nuts and Bolts of a Healthy Food Pantry: From Solidarity to Action

Sam is the Data Analysis & Food Systems Associate at Steps to Health, North Carolina State University’s statewide SNAP-Ed program. In addition to overseeing reporting and evaluation, Sam helps build healthier communities by shaping the environments where low-income people buy, cook, consume, and enjoy food. Prior to her work with Steps to Health, Sam managed nutrition and gardening programs in Boston public schools; conducted program evaluation for North Carolina non-profits; and analyzed federal nutrition policy in Massachusetts. Sam holds a BA in International Studies from Kenyon College and an MS in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from Tufts University. In her free time, she enjoys biking around Durham, traveling to new places, enjoying food with friends, and staying active in local politics.

Sarah Horton-Campbell | Sacred Practices of Food and Land: A Panel Discussion with Ministry Practitioners

Sarah Horton-Campbell is the founding pastor of Common Life Church & Farm, a new United Church of Christ church plant forming now in Saxapahaw, NC. While still in the early stages, Common Life is a church that meets for dinner church worship and community gardening, and hopes to grow to add a sustainable farming social enterprise and a young adult formation program. Sarah’s childhood passion for earth care led her to learn about how healthy food systems can have a huge positive impact on human and non-human creation. In her life and ministry, she seeks to connect people to practices of justice and community that dismantle destructive systems and participate in co-creating God’s healing and wholeness for society and creation.

Erin Hostetler | Boots on the Ground: A Panel Discussion on Food Access and Charlotte’s West Side

Erin Hostetler is the Program Coordinator at the Energy & Environment Innovation Foundation and Rivendell Farms of the Carolinas where she is actively involved with food systems and environmental work. Erin holds a Master of Arts in Global Ethics & Human Values from Kings College London with a focus on food ethics and has spent the last four years working as a farmer to gain the food systems experience needed to make true change in her community. As a Charlotte native, she is committed to furthering awareness of the food community in her hometown and promoting active involvement within it. Erin also owns The Patio Farmer, a consultation business where she teaches people how to grow food in small spaces. In her free time, you’ll likely find Erin with her sleeves rolled up, sweat on her brow and hands in the dirt.

Andrew Hudgins | Bread & Wine in the World

Born and raised in Virginia, Andrew has quickly come to love calling North Carolina home. Prior to moving to Raleigh, he graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelors of Social Work. He continued his studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. and recently graduated with a Master of Theological Studies. His thesis work was on using the sacrament of communion as a model for a just food sharing system. He now works for the North Carolina Council of Churches to amplify the progressive faith voice in our state. He enjoys summer evenings on the front porch swing with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Jack.

Misun Hur | At a Stranger’s Table: An Introduction to the East Coast Migrant Farmworker Community

Misun Hur is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at East Carolina University. She holds a Ph.D. in City & Regional Planning from Ohio State University with a human and environment emphasis; a master’s degree in City & Regional Planning from Ohio State University and another master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from University of Seoul, South Korea. Her research interests include neighborhood satisfaction, quality of life, housing, community development, community-driven research through scholarship in engagement, and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Hur’s recent work includes research on marginalized groups’ access to resources and quality of life. She currently works on research which focuses on marginalized groups’ housing locations and the relationship with health and well-being in eastern North Carolina.

Sally Jacobs is the executive creative director for the documentary At a Stranger’s Table, an in-depth introduction to the east coast migrant farmworker. Her recent body of work provides a voice to hidden communities. She is a lecturer at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC. She received her MFA in visual arts from Western Carolina University and her BFA from the University of Cincinnati. Jacobs’ work is represented at Prince Street Gallery, NYC. She lived for 8 years in Florence, Italy where her work was exhibited at Gruppo Donatello Gallery. While in Italy, she was the recipient of the Premio Prize from Leo Fortham studios. Sally Jacobs artwork can be viewed at www.sallyjacobs.net.

Vivette Jeffries-Logan | Journey to Wholeness: Restoration and Rejuvenation Practices

Vivette (Kanahabnen Tabunitckia translation Morning Star) is a citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation (OBSN), the Indigenous people of Orange, Alamance and Caswell counties. She founded Biwa Consulting, her Leadership, Organizational Development, Equity and Training consulting business. She served as an elected member of the Tribal Council and as Founding Director of the OBSN Tribal Health Circle. For 10 years, Vivette was a trainer with Dismantling Racism Works. She was recently appointed to the Advisory Board for the American Indian Center at the UNC. Vivette earned a B.A. in Psychology and Community Studies from Guilford College and an A.D. in Hospitality Management from Alamance Community College. She is also a Certified Executive Chef. She lives in Hillsborough with her husband Douglas and their sons Uriah and Elijah.

Nicole Johnson | Building Resilience is Not a Zero Sum Game: When Communities Look Within

Nicole Johnson has had the wonderful opportunity of living in different countries, having been born in Belize City, and currently calling North Carolina home. She is deeply convicted in her belief that faithful congregations can meet the environmental, social and ethical challenges of the 21st century in practical and tangible ways. Her travels and beliefs have motivated her to seek ways of merging faith, health, sustainability, justice and ethics. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be working with congregations and individuals in creating and supporting more healthy communities. Nicole is a graduate of Salem College and Wake Forest University with a Master’s of Divinity and Master of Arts in Sustainability.

Maggie Kane | Bread and Wine in the World

Maggie Kane is the Founder and Executive Director of A Place at the Table, the first pay-what-you-can cafe in downtown Raleigh. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2013 and began working for a nonprofit with people experiencing homelessness. By befriending many people living on the margins, she knew something needed to be done. Maggie has a heart to serve, a desire to always be inclusive, and a passion for loving people. Through her work with people on the streets, she realized the power of community, the importance of dignity, and the beauty in bringing people together over incredible food. February 2015, A Place at the Table was birthed and Maggie never looked back.

Gini Knight | Consent-based Decision Making: A Cornerstone for Collaboration

Gini is a Program Coordinator for the Community Food Strategies Initiative at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems. She brings more than a decade of project management and communications experience around agriculture, local food systems, and conservation. She holds a MS degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, started and operated an organic vegetable farm, and managed several public and private sector teams developing stormwater and agricultural conservation practices. With this project, she works on communications, leadership, and network development to support the growing network of 30 food councils across North Carolina.

Cassey Mapp-Ahmed | Art Imitating Justice Ways of Community Gardens

Cassey Mapp-Ahmed is a Health Educator with the Department of Public Health, Health Coach, Consultant and Doula. She is passionate about justice, healthy eating and living, building sustainable communities and educating others on how to grow healthy foods. She loves her husband and is a mother of one son.


Scott Marlow | Navigating Disaster Recovery for Direct Market & Organic Farmers

Scott Marlow is Senior Policy Specialist at the Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, a non-profit organization based in Pittsboro, NC. Previously RAFI’s Executive Director, Scott also directed RAFI’s Farm Sustainability program, providing in-depth financial counseling to farmers in crisis, education on disaster assistance programs and access to credit, and addressing the needs of mid-scale farmers who are increasing the sustainability of their farms by transitioning to higher-value specialty markets. Scott’s specialty is financial infrastructure, including access to credit and risk management, and how that infrastructure addresses food security and global climate change. He has served on the steering committee of the National Task Force to Renew Agriculture of the Middle, the Organization Council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Board of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, the Board of the NC Farm Transition Network, and the NC Agricultural Advancement Consortium and serves on the Advisory Committee of the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. He has a Masters Degree in Crop Science from NC State University, and a BA in Political Science from Duke University.

Diana McCall | Community-based Impact Unlocked #1: Leveraging Partnership for the Benefit of All

Diana McCall has been involved with the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden since 2005 and began managing the program as a part time employee for Black Mountain Parks and Recreation in 2007. She is a regular presenter and educator on gardening and community development in WNC. McCall is a Technology of Participation Methods facilitator and trainer. She works with organizations to honor all perspectives, and engages them in efficiently achieving agreed upon outcomes. The Dr. John Wilson Community Garden was founded in 2004 by Black Mountain resident, Dr. John Wilson, on a piece of town owned property along the Swannanoa River. The garden’s mission is to provide growing space for residents, educate folks about growing their own food, and growing enough to share with those in need.

Alicia McDaniel | Being a Better Ally: Strategies, Challenges, and Common Pitfalls for Community Engagement

Alicia McDaniel currently serves at the Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) as a Program Manager. She received her Master’s degree in Public Health in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior from the University of South Carolina. As a Certified Health Education Specialist, she has health promotion experience in the areas of physical activity, nutrition, and health equity. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska she enjoys returning home to visit family and friends, hiking and eating authentic Thai cuisine

Ann Meletzke | Creating a Framework for Using Food Policy Councils to Address Root Causes of Inequity

Ann Meletzke is the Executive Director of Healthy Alamance, a non-profit partnership between Cone Health – Alamance Regional and Alamance County Health Department. Healthy Alamance serves as a neutral health agency, focusing on identifying and addressing the root causes of health inequity. She has 20 years of federal and state funded grant administration experience. Her career has been devoted to assisting businesses, organizations, and individuals in the formation of innovative collaborations to make change. Ann currently resides near the Haw River in Saxapahaw, NC with her 17 year old son, William Conrad and their Great Dane, Friedrich, who competes with the blue herons as town mascot.

Earline Middleton | From Charity to Social Justice: Using a Story-based Strategy to Reframe the Dominant Narrative on Hunger and its Solutions

Earline Middleton currently serves as the Vice President of Partner Services and Public Policy for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Her team has and continues to greatly expand the capacity of the Food Bank’s 900 partner agencies. Following natural disasters, Earline and Partner Services take on an even bigger role serving communities who were impacted as long as it is needed. Earline has served many roles in her 28 years with the Food Bank, providing key leadership during a time of tremendous growth. She has always been interested in social justice, and in her years with the Food Bank she became active with many national and regional anti-hunger organizations including Feeding America, Food Research and Action Center and WhyHunger.

Lisa Misch | North Carolina Farmers Market Manager Summit

As the Come to the Table Program Coordinator, Lisa provides support to farmers markets and other local markets who want to increase low-income/low-resource community members’ access to fresh, healthy food. Lisa also serves as Coordinator for the RAFI Policy Team and participates in national-level policy advocacy on local food, direct marketing, and food access issues. Prior to joining RAFI, Lisa served as the AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, WI where she managed the Tribe’s farmers market. Lisa has previous experience managing a farmers market in La Crosse, WI and working on small, sustainable farms in the Midwest and internationally. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from St. Olaf College.

Juan Monroy | Lives on the Line: An Update of Issues Affecting Poultry Processing Workers

A native of Guatemala, Juan has been an organizer with the WNC Workers’ Center since 2017. Before that he was a worker member of WNC Workers’ Center worker leadership circle in Morganton.

Rick Moyers | Reimagining Board Diversity

Rick is an independent consultant to philanthropy and nonprofit organizations. From 2003 to 2017 he was program officer for capacity-building and then vice president for programs at the Meyer Foundation, which supports local nonprofits in the Washington, DC region. Before joining Meyer he was executive director of the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations, and from 1992 to 1999 was a senior staff member at BoardSource, where he co-authored the first national study of nonprofit board composition. In 2009, Rick received the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s inaugural Grantmaker in Capacity Building Award. He currently serves on the boards of BoardSource (and was chair from 2016-2018) and the Community Foundation for the Central Blue Ridge.

Eva Moss| Farming on the County Line: Food as a Tool for Community Development Across All Lines

Eva Moss is a first-generation small-scale CSA farmer growing produce, cut flowers, and herbs on leased land of a 200+ year old historic farmland property in Randolph County. She has a background in anthropology, food and agriculture law and policy, and permaculture design. In addition to farming, Eva also teaches food policy at Guilford College and is a farm business law educator with Farm Commons.

Marci Mroz | Rethinking Hunger by Rethinking Food Distribution: Gleaning for Refugee Communities

Marci Mroz is the General Program Coordinator at Refugee Support Services in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She coordinates is the Free Fresh Produce Distribution Day that occurs every Wednesday as part of the RSS Refugee Help Center session.  50-100 refugees and former refugees are welcomed during this time to receive at least 1-2 bags of fresh produce.  Once or twice a month, a local tilapia farm also provides 1,000 lbs of fresh fish for refugee families. On occasion, Marci recruits fellow volunteers, and sometimes refugees themselves, to participate in local farm gleanings.  The produce is then available at the Refugee Help Center in the upcoming week. Marci has been involved in the collaboration with Society of St. Andrew since the beginning in 2010.  As a volunteer, Marci has been involved in refugee resettlement and refugee assistance efforts since 2007.

Naeema Muhammad | The Social, Racial, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of Contract Livestock Production and The Sacred Foodscape of eastern North Carolina: Controlled Animal Feeding Operations, Environmental Justice, and Adaptation toward Climate Resiliency

Naeema Muhammad is the Organizing Co-Director of the NC Environmental Justice Network. She is married to Saladin Muhammad and together they have 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren. They have been married for 52 years and reside in Rocky Mount, NC.

Naeema has worked on two NIEHS funded grants. The first was Community Health and Environmental Reawakening (CHER) in which she served as a community organizer working with communities dealing with waste from industrial hog operations. In this position, she worked with the late Dr. Steve Wing, Associate Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health and supervised by Gary R. Grant, Executive Director of Concerned Citizens of Tillery. She has co-authored publications with Dr. Wing regarding community based participatory research. She also serves on NC Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Secretary’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board.

Cyril Murphy | Cooking Matters: Addressing Hunger through Practical, Hands-On Cooking Skills

Chef Cyril Murphy currently leads the made-from-scratch, locally-sourced kitchen at Camp Chestnut Ridge that serves over 40,000 meals a year and yearly purchases over $100,000 in local food from area farmers. He is currently in the process of founding Harvest’s Table which shares a community-strengthening vision for all people to gain informed access to local, sustainable, healthy, seasonal food through offerings of catering, hospitality, and community engagement programming. Growing up on the family dairy farm makes his farm-to-table seasonal cuisine an extension of his upbringing when his mom and grandma began teaching him to cook at age 4. Cyril has also worked as chef and teacher for Farmer Foodshare and has served as co-chair with the Orange County Food Council. For more information follow @chefcyrilnc or email [email protected].

Hunter Ogletree | Lives on the Line: An Update of Issues Affecting Poultry Processing Workers

Hunter has worked with the Western North Carolina Workers’ Center for the past five years. Before that he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. He holds a BA in International Studies and Spanish from UNC-Chapel Hill, an MBA from Gardner-Webb University, and is currently completing a MA in Adult Education from East Carolina University.

Sarah Ogletree | The Sacred Foodscape of Eastern North Carolina: Controlled Animal Feeding Operations, Environmental Justice, and Climate Resiliency

Sarah Ogletree is the Sacred Foodscapes Program Intern at North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light. She was raised in the mountains of western North Carolina and is currently earning her Master of Divinity, with a concentration in religious leadership and ecology, from Wake Forest University School of Divinity. She is a graduate of the sustainable development program at Appalachian State University where she minored in Appalachian studies with a focus in environmental justice.

Michelle Osborne | Racial Wealth Gap Simulation

Michelle serves as the Come to the Table Program Manager for Faith-Based and Community Partnerships. The CTTT program connects faith communities with farmers, farmers market managers, and other community leaders engaged in food access work to increase capacity and promote equity. Michelle earned a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a Master of Social Work from the UNC-CH School of Social Work and has served in leadership positions in churches, nonprofit ministries, and community organizing groups. In her free time, Michelle performs improv comedy, writes sketches, and plays with her dog.

Lucile Patterson | Creating the Catawba Trail Farm

Lucille Patterson retired from the City of Durham Parks and Recreation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Shaw University, two Associate’s Degrees – one in Early Childhood Education, and the other in Operation Management. Mrs. Patterson has a passion for sharing, caring, and collaborating with others. She has collaborated with many organizations in the past in an effort to provide for those in need.

Quaneisha Payne| Summer Lunch Program in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor

Quaneisha Payne recently met her requirements to receive her degree this May, where she will be graduating cum laude from Johnson C. Smith University with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Community Health. Quaneisha is hailing from the Gate City of Greensboro, NC. She hopes to pursue a career in public health policy and advocacy. Her passions include reproductive justice, food justice, and many other interests as a social justice advocate. She currently serves as the President for the Johnson C. Smith University NAACP, President of JCSU for Reproductive Justice, 2nd Vice President for the Johnson C. Smith University Section of NCNW. She actively serves her campus and the Charlotte community with her various passions.

Kim Pevia | The Necessity of Healing in Uprooting Oppression and Social Justice Work

Kim is an experienced life strategist, an engaging keynote speaker, and a uniquely skilled experiential style transformational workshop facilitator. Her company, K.A.P., Inner Prizes, specializes in identifying and addressing the issues that can keep us stuck by continually developing a personalized toolbox to help us hurdle over them. Her favorite work is done in circles. Born and educated in Baltimore, MD she currently lives in Robeson County, NC where her roots run deep as a member of the Lumbee Tribe. She serves on many local, state and national boards that support community activism and local economy through arts, food, culture and tourism. She is a writer and is the founder of Artist Market-Pembroke, providing retail opportunities for local and regional artists in southeast North Carolina.

Abbey Piner | Building a Community of Practice Through Dialogue on Racial Equity and Food

Abbey is a native of Eastern NC and hails from a long line of resourceful fishermen, boat builders, and educators. Her work over the last decade at the intersection of food and community builds on her training in public health and horticulture. Abbey works at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) as Project Director of Community Food Strategies, a multi-organizational project team supporting a network of local food policy councils across NC – elevating the community voice to create equitable food policies. When she isn’t focused on building community-based food systems, you might find her gardening with neighbors at her Durham, NC home or driving east to sail the Neuse River.

Justine Post | Innovative Food Ministries in Rural Places

Justine works on an initiative focusing on the intersection of faith, food and local economies in some of North Carolina’s most economically-distressed communities. She helps rural churches deepen their food ministries and strengthen community engagement through innovative partnerships and community projects. She earned her M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and M.S.W. from the School of Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill. Justine lives with her husband, dog, and baby girl in Southern Alamance County.

Alisha Pruett | Boots on the Ground: A Panel Discussion on Food Access and Charlotte’s West Side

Alisha Pruett has worked within social services (specifically homeless services) for over 11 years. Alisha obtained her B.A. in Psychology at Hunter College, City University of New York, and furthered her education with non-profit management and media studies at Queen Mary University of London. It was through her work in helping veterans experiencing homelessness in Charlotte, NC that she became more aware of the food insecure areas and individuals experiencing barriers to resources on a whole. She became an advocate for sustainable food systems and formed The Bulb, an organization that provides access to produce and education on how to cook and budget for a healthier lifestyle. Her other passions revolve around creative outlets, animal welfare, gardening, yoga, and simply being outside (the box).

Sarah Rhodes | Just Transition: Our Stories, Our Needs, Our Future

Recently completing her PH.D program. Dr. Sarah Rhodes is a microbiologist and advocate for community-driven research and, for the past five years, she has conducted her doctoral research in partnership with the Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH), a community-based organization located in Duplin County, NC. REACH provides support to communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by pollution from industrial agriculture. Sarah’s work with REACH aims to characterize the impacts of industrial animal production on the health of rural communities and the environment. Sarah is excited to work collectively to envision a just, healthful transition for communities that are burdened by industrial pollution in North Carolina.

Juvencio Rocha-Peralta | At a Stranger’s Table: An Introduction to the East Coast Migrant Farmworker Community

Juvencio Rocha-Peralta is the Executive Director of The Association of Mexicans in NC, Inc. [AMEXCAN]. AMEXCAN’s mission is to increase advocacy and awareness on vital topics pertinent to minorities, such as poverty and human rights, as well as improve the social, physical, and mental health of the Latino community of rural eastern North Carolina through educational, leadership, cultural, advocacy and health programs. Mr. Rocha-Peralta completed research together with Drs. Misun Hur and Katharine Didericksen on migrant farmworker’s labor camp locations and the relationship with health and well-being in eastern NC.

Edna Rodriguez | Reimagining Board Diversity

Edna serves as RAFI-USA’s Executive Director and directs the Come to the Table program. She previously served as RAFI-USA’s Operations Director and Development Director. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Edna was raised in a global environment, growing up between The Hague, Netherlands and Santo Domingo. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, Edna served as Senior Program Officer at the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, and Director of Educational & Career Services at the Latin American Association in Atlanta, GA. Edna holds a BA in Economics with a Concentration in Latin American Studies from Haverford College. Edna lives in Pittsboro with her partner Hameed and her three children, Nora, Daniel and Samuel.

Crystal Rook | Art Imitating Justice Ways of Community Gardens

Elder Crystal Rook, MDiv, MACC is an activist, writer, community organizer, Womanist preacher, rising scholar, Creative Director & Consultant of Apostolic R.E.B.E.L, a faith-based organization that provides consulting, mentoring, and workshops for thinking laypersons and leadership who desire to create or expand transformative ministries. She’s passionate about the intersections of food justice, faith, race, spirituality, & body politics. Her work is to create spaces for dialogues and action of communal love, healing, and liberation, especially in the lives of Black women. She received a Masters in Christian Counseling from Apex School of Theology and a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Food and Faith from Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

Fatimah Salleh | Reimagining Board Diversity and Journey to Wholeness: Restoration and Rejuvenation Practices

Rev. Dr. Fatimah S. Salleh was born in Brooklyn, NY to a Puerto-Rican and Malaysian mother and an African American father. She is the eldest of seven. Dr. Salleh received her PhD in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also earned a Master’s degree from Syracuse University in Public Communication and a second Master’s in Divinity from Duke University. She served a mission in Campinas, Brazil. She is married to Eric Sorensen and they have four children. She is the founder of A Certain Work, an organization dedicated to educating on issues of faith, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Carlton Sanders | The Social, Racial, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of Contract Livestock Production

Carlton Sanders has been a contract chicken grower in Mississippi for the past 26 years. After 26 years of successfully raising chickens on contract, Carlton’s contract was unjustly terminated due to the age of his poultry houses for reasons that seemed to be racially motivated. Carlton’s problems began when he expressed dissatisfaction to his live production manager, resulting in his company requiring him to invest more than $150,000 in upgrades to his farm to maintain his contract. Carlton has now been out of raising chickens for more than 4 years. This manager and his company has caused Carlton to lose everything he worked his entire life to acquire. Carlton has chosen to speak out because something must be done to improve the lives of black, white, and all contract chicken growers.

Delphine Sellars | Creating the Catawba Trail Farm

Delphine Sellars is co-founder and Executive Director of UCAN (Urban Community AgriNomics), a small nonprofit focusing on the integration of agriculture and health and wellbeing of urban communities. She retired in 2016 as Director of the Durham Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension Prior to moving to Durham Delphine served as Director of the Center for Employment Training (CET) an adult vocational education center and a Social Worker focusing on youth and adult independence. She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a BA in Social Studies and Pfeiffer University with a Masters in Organizational Management. She currently serves on boards to include: Durham Partnership for Children, Retired & Senior Volunteer Program and DOVE Inst.

Katherine Shor | Just Transition: Our Stories, Our Needs, Our Future

Katherine Shor is a member of the NC Environmental Justice Network Planning Committee. She is experienced in working with diverse stakeholders, across the public and private sector, to cultivate innovative solutions to complex problems. Katherine is a skilled meeting facilitator and offers tools like collective visioning and interviewing techniques. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Reggie Singleton | How to Effectively Engage Black Men into the Food System

Baba Reggie Singleton is a husband of 28 years, father of three children, and native of Sea Islands/Charleston, South Carolina. He is a graduate of USC School of Public Health and Certified Master Gardener. Reggie is the founder and Executive of The Males Place which is Charlotte’s premiere agricultural non-profit and has introduced hundreds of Black boys to food system work and food politics. He is also a powerful speaker in issues including, Food System and Justice, Manhood, Youth Engagement, and Mentoring. Learn more at: www.themalesplace.org.

Laketa Smith | Racial Wealth Gap Simulation

Laketa Smith serves on RAFI-USA’s Come to the Table Program (CTTP) as an MSW intern from Arizona State University’s School of Social Work. In this capacity, she collaborates on a number of CTTP projects that connect farmers, markets, faith organizations and other community stakeholders involved in food production, justice, and access. Laketa holds a BA in Psychology and is a fairly new North Carolinian, having worked for the previous 10 years in New York City in benefits administration at 1199SEIU, the largest healthcare union in the United States.

Lani Sol | Nurturing Self-Care Practices through the Arts, Movement, and Reflection

Lani Sol is the CEO of Healing House-A Safe Space for Sacred Soul Searching, a global wellness company. She is a natural intuitive who has been practicing various forms of healing arts for over 25 years. She has a masters in psychology and a professional certificate in spiritual coaching. She sees wellness as a way of life. Her goal in working with you is to facilitate a life changing & sustainable healing experience.

Jessica Stokes | Bread and Wine in the World

Jessica Stokes is the PHW Regional Coordinator for Eastern North Carolina. Jessica has lived throughout NC, studying and working in Winston-Salem, Wilmington, and the Outer Banks. Jessica earned her Master of Divinity from Wake Forest University and BS in Clinical Psychology from Averett University. She is an ordained Baptist minister. Jessica’s background includes non-profit work, hospital chaplaincy, higher education, and the local church. Her convictions are rooted in experiences that range from ministry in Appalachia and a coastal psychiatric hospital to international travel. Jessica is based in Wilmington and connects with congregations and partners in the Eastern part of the state.

Scott Temple | At a Stranger’s Table: An Introduction to the East Coast Migrant Farmworker Community

Scott Temple is co-director, principle photographer, editor, and researcher for the documentary At a Stranger’s Table: An in-depth Introduction of the East Coast Migrant Farmworker. He has a MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and BA in English from Appalachian State University. He has been awarded numerous grants, including the North Carolina Humanities Large Grant, North Carolina regional artist grants, a Community College National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and Vermont Studio Center partial fellowship for writing. He has walked down the Appalachian trail, through the canyon lands, stood on snowy peaks of the Rockies, mountain biked the pacific Northwest and lived in a teepee for 4 years in Boone, NC. He has a love for nature — human nature is his favorite!

Trish Tripp | Nurturing a Community-Based Food Safety Culture

Since 1995, Trish has been committed to sustainability, food security and public health. She was a restauranteur for 14 years, advocated for safe, nutritious and sustainable food production by partnering with farmers, schools and local health departments, and conducted research and developed strategies to support small farms in meeting food safety and supply chain challenges. Trish earned an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and a Masters of Science Degree in Agricultural and Life Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). She currently holds certifications as a Food Defense Coordinator, Preventive Controls Lead Instructor and HACCP Coordinator and is proficient in multiple third-party food safety standards.

Susannah Tuttle | The Sacred Foodscape of Eastern North Carolina: Controlled Animal Feeding Operations, Environmental Justice, and Adaptation toward Climate Resiliency

Susannah Tuttle is the director of NC Interfaith Power & Light, a program of the NC Council of Churches, addressing the issues and impacts of climate change as a moral imperative. Susannah received a Masters of Divinity degree with an emphasis on ecological ethics from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Susannah currently serves on the Board of Directors for National Interfaith Power & Light, Southeast Climate & Energy Network, Duke Energy’s NC Eastern Advisory Council, and the Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics Advisory Board at UNC Law School.

Josie Walker | Building Resilience is Not a Zero Sum Game: When Communities Look Within


Josie Walker, a native of Eastern North Carolina, has been exposed to unique outlooks on life which help her keep an open mind in new situations, because she has lived in different parts of the United States as well as southern Germany. Josie has a passion for self-sufficiency. She believes strongly that people should be able to have access to fresh, healthy food and growing it themselves should be a right, not a privilege. She also believes that there is more than one solution to a problem. By sharing her experiences from travelling, working in different sectors, and meeting different types of people along the way, she hopes to help people learn to use their imaginations creatively and find answers.

Tahz Walker | Cultivating Land Justice: Wealth Retention Strategies for Families and Communities

Tahz serves as Program Manager for RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network, providing technical support and helping to facilitate farmer to farmer relationships and capacity building. He also works as an outreach and support staff with the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund. Tahz spent the last 12 years working on small organic farms, community-based urban and rural food projects in North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky. Tahz is co-founder of Earthseed Land Collective, a people of color led 50 acre property in Durham County that hopes to be a model of community resilience through cooperative ownership of land and resources. Tahz is the father of two amazing kids Amaru and Kala.

Kelly Warnock | Oh SNAP! Building & Sustaining Farmers’ Market Incentive Programs at Any Scale

Kelly Warnock is a Nutrition Program Manager at Durham County Department of Public Health, where she and her staff work improve policy, systems and environments to make the healthy choice the easy choice. She works closely with Durham Farmers’ Market’s Double Bucks program, assisting with grant writing and marketing efforts. She also has worked with mobile markets and corner stores to increase access to healthy foods. Kelly is a co-chair of the Partnership for a Healthy Durham, a collaboration of over 500 Durham residents and organizations that works to improve Durham’s health priorities. She was the recipient of the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Child Health Recognition Award in Public Health category in 2015. Kelly has a BS in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s in Public Health – Nutrition from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Shakia Washington | (Re)Insecure: Food for Thought – A Simulation on Reentry

Shakia Washington is originally from Buffalo, NY. She became a resident of the Charlotte metro area in 2011. In Charlotte, she has become an active community advocate providing stigma awareness facilitation around topics such as mental health, literacy, re-entry services, and personal/professional development. Shakia holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and in addition to serving her community she works with children who have been diagnosed with Autism as a Registered Behavior Technician. It is her goal to be a community connector for all which is why she continues to educate and provide implicit bias training at both the corporate and private sectors.

Craig Watts | The Social, Racial, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of Contract Livestock Production

Craig is a former contract chicken grower for poultry giant Perdue. He made headlines when he teamed up with Compassion in World Farming USA to expose animal welfare issues that were rampant throughout the company’s operations. Craig has been outspoken about the power of giant meat companies, given testimony on Capitol Hill and shared his story on the Farm Aid stage with musicians Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson. Craig’s story also appeared in the New York Times and on Tonight with John Oliver. Craig was named Whistleblower Insider’s “2015 Whistleblower of the Year”.

Ayo Wilson | The Social, Racial, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of Contract Livestock Production

Ayo grew up in the West End community of Mebane, NC – a historically black community founded by former slaves after the Civil War and the birthplace of West End Revitalization Association, a nonprofit, people of color-led, community improvement organization founded by his parents and other concerned neighbors.  In 2013, he analyzed and provided recommendations for a national land records digitization project managed by Liberia’s Center for National Documents and Records Agency funded by the World Bank. He has participated in and facilitated leadership and racial equity workshops in Liberia and around NC. He is a 2001 graduate of Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Communications and a 2013 graduate of NC Central University, cum laude with a Masters in Public Administration. He serves on the Board of Directors of Haw River Assembly and NC WARN.

Omari Wilson | Cultivating Land Justice: Wealth Retention Strategies for Families and Communities

Omari M. Wilson is a staff attorney with the Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP), a non-profit public interest law firm in Durham, North Carolina, whose mission is to provide comprehensive legal services and technical support to North Carolina’s financially distressed and limited resource farmers and landowners seeking to preserve their farms, homes, land, and rural livelihood. LLPP was founded in 1982 by a taskforce of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to stem the unprecedented losses of Black-owned land in North Carolina. The organization was incorporated as an independent entity in 1983, and has been operating for 35 years. Wilson grew up in the West End community of Mebane, North Carolina – an historical black community founded by former slaves after the Civil War and home of the West End Revitalization Association. Wilson is an alumnus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, with a degree in General Psychology received in 2001. He earned his Juris Doctor in 2005 from Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. He currently serves on the Planning Committee of the NC Environmental Justice Network as well as the NC Climate Justice Collective Leadership Team and the Advisory Board of Audubon NC.

Renai Wisley | Sincere Community Engagement: Strategies, Challenges, and Common Pitfalls

Renai Wisley is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Imagine Forsyth, a collective impact initiative that works to improve the means that community and institutional partners work together to address health and wellness outcomes and create an equitable framework that helps to bring about systems change.

Mary Yost | Oh SNAP! Building & Sustaining Farmers’ Market Incentive Programs at Any Scale

Mary Yost is the manager of the Durham Farmers’ Market. After completing her undergrad degree in Journalism, Mary moved to Denver, Colorado to serve in AmeriCorps as a case manager to teens experiencing homelessness. After two years of service, Mary moved to the administrative side of the AmeriCorps program and managed the federal grant for 25 AmeriCorps members. After spending several years in Colorado, Mary re-located to Durham and began working at the Durham Farmers’ Market. Mary is passionate about sustainable food systems, public health and ensuring all community members have access to fresh, local produce.

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