Rooting DC 2010 – Speaker & Panelist Bios
Button Farm Almanac
Historian turned farmer Anthony Cohen details the story of The Button Farm, a living history center in Maryland growing 19th century heirloom vegetables and herb as a tool for social justice, community revitalization and development.
Anthony Cohen is an historian, author, filmmaker, farmer and explorer of the American past. His love of history has led him to embark on two historic expeditions retracing routes of the Underground Railroad walking hundreds of miles to Canada in 1996 & 1998. He is director of The Button Farm Living History in Germantown, MD which depicts 1850s plantation life through hands-on history experiences. Under the motto “have your history and eat it too” Cohen’s project grows 19th century heirloom vegetables and herbs as a tool for teaching social justice, community revitalization and development.
Cohen has served as a consultant to the National Parks Conservation Association, Maryland Public Television, and NASA among others and trained Oprah Winfrey for her role as Sethe in the 1998 motion picture Beloved. He is has published articles in national magazines and is Founder and President of The Menare Foundation, Inc., a national non-profit working to preserve the legacy of the Underground Railroad. He received his B.A. in American Studies from American University. A native of Washington, DC he makes his home in Olney, MD.
A Specialty Crop Program for the District of Columbia
Dr. James R. Allen’s interests and expertise are in the field of Crop Agronomy with special emphasis on using sustainable agricultural techniques in producing vegetables, herbs and spices in the urban gardens of the District of Columbia. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Crop Physiology from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Allen earned his B.S. degree in Agronomy from Tuskegee University. In 1989, Dr. Allen joined the University of the District of Columbia as the Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. After serving as Director for the DC AES for eight years, Dr. Allen switched gears in 1997 to concentrate on his true passion, Sustainable Agriculture Research. Currently, he serves as the lead researcher for sustainable agriculture initiatives in the Station and has been awarded nearly $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Specialty Crops research. Dr. Allen has more than 50 publications consisting of local, national, and international sources.
For 32 years, Yao Afantchao has engaged in innovative agricultural transfer of knowledge to small farmers in USA and in the Africa. He can be described as a creative, motivated, enthusiastic and dynamic professional with extensive experience in administration, and applied research. He has the vision to identify new ideas and develop them from conception to completion. He is an expert in ethnic and specialty foods including African and Caribbean vegetables and seafood processing. In this capacity, Mr. Afantchao consults with several institutions including universities, government agencies and private organizations. His work has been recognized in the Mid-Atlantic Region. (Mid-Atlantic Food & Farm Coalition)
Afantchao has also been involved in rural development, sustainable rural micro enterprise and related activities. These activities had been sponsored by such organizations as, USAID, USDA, OICI*, NIFI*, UMES*, UMCP*, MIPS* contributing to poverty alleviation efforts in designated African countries. His educational background originates from Togo, West Africa, and continues in the USA with Small Farm Planning and Agricultural Marketing. (Prairie View University, Texas)
Starting Seeds Indoors
Christopher Turse joined the staff of the Washington Youth Garden as the Garden Coordinator in June 2007. He is responsible for meeting the needs of the garden and integrating with WYG education programs. Christopher received his Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from Rutgers University in January 2007, a teaching certificate in Biological Sciences grades K-12, and also earned a Horticulture Therapy Certificate. His experience includes serving as a student manager of the Cook Student Organic Farm, student intern at the Rutgers Botanical Gardens, a teacher at a middle-school gardening program, and an instructor for a children’s organic farm club.
Lola Bloom has been interested in gardening for more reasons than her last name. Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area, she was able to watch and learn from her parents working in the back yard. Lola became involved with City Blossoms through CentroNia in 1999 while she worked with the youth summer program. After studying at Antioch College and Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, she returned to the D.C. area in 2001 and joined dirt-loving forces with Rebecca. In addition to working as a full time art teacher (Congressional Schools of Virginia 2001-2005, International School of Curacao 2005-2007, Community Academy Public Charter school presently), Lola enjoys traveling around the world and baking cupcakes for well-behaved kids.
Mia Ballard first came to City Blossoms as a volunteer in the Spring of 2008 and is now our first workshop leader. In the past, her interests in food production have lead her to work on farms in Washington State, Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mia also brings with her a passion for community empowerment and child education.
Vegetales en Macetas
Jerry Potter Mi nombre es jerry potter, soy egresado de la Universidad de Costa Rica y del Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje en San Jose, Costa Rica.
Mi experiencia es amplia en el tema agronomico. Mi especialidad son Orquideas en Costa Rica tuve una granja de produccion de orquideas con al menos 2000 plantas. Aqui en los Estados Unidos mi experencia laboral es totalmente relacionada a la agricultura, he trabajo en diferentes Garden Centers en el area, ademas soy voluntario en US Botanical Garden. Trabajo actualmente en Garden District DC.
Low Cost Vegetable Salads
Niko Welch was born in Ecuador, raised in New Mexico and has since lived in CO, CA, GA, Thailand, Zambia, and DC. Niko has worked with children in rural Africa on a community gardening program, has three years experience farming and gardening in Africa and the US, as well as over ten years experience in professional kitchens. He is passionate about food and issues surrounding food security and volunteers with Common Good City Farm.
Common Good City Farm (formerly called the 7th Street Garden) is an urban farm and education center growing food for low-income residents in Washington, DC and providing educational opportunities for all people that help increase food security, improve health, and contribute to environmental sustainability.
Preserving summer’s bounty: canning basics
Liz Falk has worked to improve food security and strengthen the local food movement in Washington, DC since 2003. Liz co-founded and has served as the Farm Director of Common Good City Farm since 2007. She spent three years managing five farmers markets for FRESHFARM Markets and successfully increased food stamp access at markets through the “double dollars” program. Liz holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Education and a Dual MA in Natural Resources and Community Development along with certification in Permaculture Design. She has worked on organic farms and CSAs in Virginia, Australia and Costa Rica. Liz designs and leads classes for adults and at-risk youth using gardens and fresh foods as a source for learning and living healthy.
Breaking through the Barriers – the Business of Better Food for All
Join Robert Egger, Founder and President of DC Central Kitchen and the Founding Chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Nutrition as he outlines his vision for a DC Nutrition Center, where local food, job training, community service, social enterprise, nutrition education and micro-finance would intersect to create the sustainable business model of the future.
Robert L. E. Egger is the President of the DC Central Kitchen where unemployed men and women learn marketable culinary skills while donated food is converted into balanced meals. Since opening in 1989, the DCCK has distributed over 22 million meals and helped 700 men and women gain full-time employment.
Robert was the Co-Convener of the first Nonprofit Congress in 2006, and is the Founder of the V3 Campaign, which is working to elevate the voice, value and votes of the nonprofit sector.
Robert was the founding Chairperson of the DC Mayor’s Commission on Nutrition as well as Street Sense, Washington’s “homeless” newspaper.
Robert has been on the Non Profit Times “50 Most Powerful and Influential Nonprofit Leaders” list in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was the recipient of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s 2007 “Lifetime Achievement” award and the 2004 James Beard Foundation “Humanitarian of the Year” award. He has also been named an Oprah Angel, a Washingtonian of the Year, a Point of Light and one of the Ten Most Caring People in America, by the Caring Institute. He is also a 14-gallon blood donor to the American Red Cross.
Robert’s book on the non-profit sector, Begging for Change, received the 2005 McAdam Prize for “Best Nonprofit Management Book” by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.
Robert speaks nationally and internationally on hunger and homelessness, social enterprise, and nonprofit unity. For a complete list if speaking engagements, or to access Robert’s op-ed, podcasts, videos, op-eds or blogs, please go to www.robertegger.org
A Specialty Crop Program for the District of Columbia
A repeat of the previous presentation by Dr. James Allen and Yao Afantchao.
All the Dirt on Compost
Cheval Force Opp, owner Garden Tours LLC. Visiting gardens has been a special part of my life. As an Air Force “brat” we visited gardens traveling from state to state. When my career took me to countries all over the world I continued visiting exotic gardens soaking in the joy and renewal. Now I live in the Capital Region with exquisite private gardens and over 100 public gardens. Writing, lecturing and garden tours allows me to share my love of gardens.
Gardening crafts and games with the Washington Youth Garden!
Kacie Warner is currently the Education Coordinator at the Washington Youth Garden, where she conducts year-round garden-based educational programs for DC children and families. Before joining the WYG, Kacie built trails in the woods, grew vegetables on a farm, and advocated for sustainable agriculture policies. Kacie is graduate of the UDC Master Gardener Program, as well an associate with Metro Ag – Alliance for Urban Agriculture.
Annabeth Roeschley has been connected to the urban ag scene since moving to DC in 2007, after graduating from Bluffton University (OH). She currently works at the Washington Youth Garden, as well as with the District Alliance for Safe Housing, where they are planning to start a garden with domestic violence surivivors and their children. Annabeth’s roots run deep in Illinois soil where she grew up on her family’s hybrid seed corn farm.
Kaifa Anderson-Hall’s involvement with the Washington Youth Garden dates back to 1971 when she was a program participant as a child. Before assuming the role of Program Director in March 2007, she was an active volunteer for two years. Previously, she co-founded Tree of Life Community Public Charter School where she served as the school’s social worker and Family Support Coordinator for five years. Kaifa earned a B.A. in Psychology from Howard University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. She has also completed the Master Gardener Program at the University of the District of Columbia and is currently enrolled in the Horticultural and Landscape Certificate Program at the USDA Graduate School.
Christopher Turse – see above for bio.
Sembrando Sabores de mi Tierra: taller practico sobre el cultivo de hierbas y vegetales Latino Americanos en el Área Metropolitana de Washington, D.C.
¿Añoras el sabor fresco de los vegetales de tu tierra? ¿Te hace falta el trabajar la parcela y tener contacto directo con las plantas? ¿Buscas en vano las tiendas de tu vecindario tratando de encontrar Culantro, Epazote y Zacate Limón?
Participa y aprende sobre como aprovechar tus recursos para el cultivo y cuidado de las hierbas y verduras que tú conoces.
Este es un taller práctico sobre lo que necesitas saber para poder cultivar tus propias hierbas y verduras en el patio de tu casa, ventana o jardín comunitario. Empezaremos explorando las necesidades básica generales para el cultivo de hierbas y vegetales: el tipo de suelo, la temperatura, la luz, fertilizantes orgánicos, el riego, las semillas etc. Después exploraremos trucos y practicas al alcance de todos para ahorrar dinero en el cultivo y cuidado de las plantas usando productos de nuestro hogar. De ahí, discutiremos las características específicas de varias hierbas y vegetales de nuestros países. Finalmente, cada uno tendrá la oportunidad de llevarse una muestra de sabor Latino para así dejar de añorar los sabores y empezar a tenerlos al alcance de tus manos.
La presentación será llevada a cabo por Rafael Merchan:
Rafael Merchan es economista agrícola de la Universidad de Maryland y apasionado por el cultivo de vegetales, frutas y hierbas. Sus diez años de experiencia cultivando plantas Latinas en el área metropolitana, lo convierten en gran conocedor sobre las necesidades específicas de los distintos cultivos. Actualmente, Rafael tiene más de 40 variedades de vegetales y hiervas en un jardín comunitario al Noroeste de DC. Fuera de su trabajo en el campo, Rafael hace parte de Fabretto Children’s Foundation, una organización sin animo de lucro que implementa proyectos en educación, salud, nutrición, y agricultura en zonas rurales de Nicaragua.
Quick and Easy Spicy Kale Salad
Learn how to make a delicious and nutritious spicy kale salad in minutes.
This dish is so good, you’ll want to eat it every day!
Tracye McQuirter is a nutritionist and 20-year vegan who leads worldwide seminars on vegan nutrition, helping people achieve extraordinary health through better food choices. Tracye directed the Vegetarian Society of DC Eat Smart program, the nation’s first federally-funded vegan nutrition program, and worked on legislation to improve federal nutrition guidelines. She currently works with the UDC Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health to promote lifestyles of healthy eating among District residents. Her new book titled By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat will be published on May 1, 2010 by Chicago Review Press. Tracye is a graduate of Amherst College and New York University, where she received her master’s of public health nutrition.
The UDC Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health assists District of Columbia residents to aquire the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for healthy lifestyles throughout the life cycle.
Green Smoothies: The Ultimate Nutrition
Green smoothies may not sound like they’d be very tasty, but this demo may surprise you. Learn how to provide your body with balanced nutrition in a fast and easy meal that even the busiest person can make in a snap. These meals in a blender provide your body with the ultimate in nutrition for your body — fresh fruit and veggies including lots of fresh greens — in a formula that goes down easy. Join us for this fun and interactive session.
Steve Seuser is an enthusiastic gardener and for the past 7 years a raw foodist. After struggling through variations of raw food diets for years, he discovered that blending fruit, greens, and sprouts was the ideal solution for delivering the incredible nutrition of LOTS of fresh greens to his body. A picky eater who grew up on a farm in Kansas, Steve brought his love of gardening and fresh produce with him to Washington, DC where he has lived for 25 years. At 50, and after 7 years of a raw food diet, he looks and feels younger than when he turned 40.
Food for the Brain! Cooking Workshop with Tambra Stevenson, MS
You have been bombarded with messages of childhood obesity, diabetes, and ADHD. But how do you make healthy dishes that’s good for your kids’ brain and you? Food is another smart way to boost performance at school or work and calm the mood! Convinced? Then come to this interactive cooking workshop to taste fresh, flavorful yummy organic recipes that are quick and fits in your budget. Even on WIC and Food Stamps, it can be done! Get a copies of recipes, tips on how to shop healthy, and taste food that’s good for your brain.
A creative soul, personal chef, and food justice advocate, Tambra Stevenson, enjoys cooking vibrant cultural dishes, practicing yoga, teaching nutrition, and developing art and writings. She chairs the Food and Environment Committee for Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association and is a founding member of the DC Food Justice Coalition. Her background spans from nutrition/health research, policy/politics to social media. Selected as 2009 “Rising Star” honoree from Oklahoma State University, Tambra is also a graduate of Tufts Medical School and Emerson College Master’s in Health Communication Joint Program.
How North American cities have been organizing for urban agriculture – and what the DC region can learn from that
Urban Agriculture has become a genuine social movement over the past decade across North America. As with all movements, the map of best practices in urban agriculture is very patchy, with certain cities (or certain organizations in those cities) emerging as leaders in certain aspects of urban agriculture. This session will review some of these “success stories”, emphasizing how these cases represent ways in which urban agriculture is organizing itself as a movement. It will lead to a reflection on the relevance of these examples to the Washington, DC region.
Joe Nasr, co-coordinator, MetroAg – Alliance for Urban Agriculture; associate, Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson University, Toronto
Kim Hodgson, Manager, Planning & Community Health Research Center, American Planning Association
Joe Nasr is an independent scholar, lecturer and consultant based in Toronto, with a doctorate in urban and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He co-curated the traveling exhibit “Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture” at Toronto’s Design Exchange. He is co-coordinator of MetroAg – Alliance for Urban Agriculture, and President of The Urban Agriculture Network. He is a Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow in Sustainable Food Systems at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts for 2010. Joe has taught at a number of universities in several countries. These include distance-learning courses on Urban food security and Urban agriculture through Ryerson University, where he is an Associate at the Centre for Studies in Food Security. He coordinated a training course on urban agriculture in the Middle East and North Africa. He is currently founding a new Urban Food and Agriculture Learning Centre in Toronto. He is co-author or co-editor of three books (including the seminal Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs and Sustainable Cities) and author of dozens of articles.
Over the past six years Kimberley Hodgson’s work has focused on the research and design of healthy communities. As Manager of the Planning and Community Health Research Center at the American Planning Association, Ms. Hodgson works closely with a network of planning, health, and food policy researchers, organizations and institutions in the research and development of healthy, sustainable communities. She manages several research projects and engages in multiple outreach and education activities, which focus on the integration of community health issues into contemporary urban and regional planning practice. Prior to her work with APA, she assisted in the development of the City of Alexandria’s sustainability vision and plan, providing the City with expertise in community health and food systems. She has also worked extensively in the research, development and implementation of a variety of food policy and nutrition programs targeting youth and young adults in New York City, Boston and Southwest Virginia—farm to school, school wellness policy, nutrition education, nutrition communication, and health promotion. Kimberley received a Master of Science degree in Food Policy & Applied Nutrition with a concentration in Nutrition Education from Tufts University and a Master of Urban & Regional Planning degree with a specialization in community health and food systems planning from Virginia Tech. She is also a Registered Dietitian.
Fresh! Healthy! Available Locally?
Easy access to affordable healthy food is essential to good nutrition and good health (not to mention a matter of social justice). But sources of affordable fresh and healthy foods are absent from many lower-income District neighborhoods – the same neighborhoods that tend to have high rates of obesity and diet-related chronic illnesses. Come learn about access and health disparities in the District and a variety of programs and policy efforts underway to address the problem.
At D.C. Hunger Solutions, Kristin Roberts advocates for improved access to healthy food in low-income parts of the District, and leads work on the D.C. Healthy Corner Store Program. Her background includes youth program development, event planning, writing and communications, and volunteer coordination. Kristin received her B.A. in health and exercise science from Gettysburg College and M.A. in nonprofit administration from Marquette University.
Susan Topping is the Manager for the Harvest for Health Department at the Capital Area Food Bank. Susan develops and teaches classes on food system education as part of the From the Ground Up program at Clagett Farm. – a partnership project between the CAFB and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Susan also works as part of this collaboration to ensure that half of the food grown at Clagett reaches low-income individuals. Susan joined the Capital Area Food Bank staff in 2004 where she coordinated the Anacostia Farmers Market and worked with the Capital Area Food Bank’s Food Stamp Initiative. Susan began her work in sustainable agriculture and social justice in 2002 at Community Harvest’s Urban Oasis Farm where she created and implemented curricula and managed all aspects of the organization’s educational work. Susan graduated from Juniata College with a degree in Environmental Studies and Communication.
Jamie Schuman is Manager of Partner Relations at DC Central Kitchen. In that position, she oversees DCCK’s volunteer, nutrition-education and agency-outreach programming.
Kristin Roberts bringing own laptop & projector!!!
Soil Preparation for Small-Scale Production
Tommy Pyne, a native of the D.C. area, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Crop and Soil Sciences from Virginia Tech. He has a wide range of experience working at farmers’ markets, on nearly a dozen organic farms in the US and in Europe, and in restaurants. His farming background includes performing animal care and husbandry for goats, horses, donkeys, and chickens; harvesting olives, grapes, hazelnuts, oranges, lemons, mangoes, and avocados; producing organic goat cheese and organic/biodynamic wine; tending organic vegetable and herb gardens; general farm maintenance; and most recently he is working part-time at a llama farm in Potomac, MD.
Tommy is also interning with the Neighborhood Farm Initiative, a non-profit project of America the Beautiful Fund. Begun in late 2008, NFI spent the 2009 growing season teaching new gardeners (both adults and teens aged 14-21) how to cultivate and harvest their own organic produce. NFI runs a half-acre demonstration garden for community-wide education about small scale intensive organic vegetable production.
Gardening crafts and games with the DC Childcare Collective
The DC Childcare Collective provides childcare as an act of solidarity with social justice organizations in the DC Metro area in order to make their work more accessible for people with childcare responsibilities.
The collective is founded on the belief that mothers, women of color, and people with low incomes are critical leaders of social justice movements. However, because of the lack of affordable childcare in DC and because the responsibility for childcare is disproportionately placed on these individuals, it can be difficult for mothers and other caregivers to become involved and stay involved in community organizing.
DCCC also believes that children are an important part of the community and believes that every child deserves quality childcare that meets their needs. DCCC seeks to transform caring for children into a community responsibility, rather than primarily the work of women of color and people with low incomes.
Nutrición General y Comida Saludable
Vamos a conversar de:
¿Qué es salud para nosotros?
¿Qué es comida para nosotros?
¿Cuál es la importancia de nutrición en nuestras vidas?
¿Cómo podemos comer platos saludables en nuestras casas?
Ideas corrientes de nutrición y alimentación, estadísticas de nutrición de la población latina en EE. UU.
¿que pensamos de salud y alimentación?
Vamos a conversar de:
¿Cómo preparar comida sin mucha grasa?
¿Cómo usar más vegetales y comer ensaladas?
Vegetales no bien conocidos y como prepararlos
Preparar una ensalada:
Vamos a preparar una ensalada con ingredientes frescos
Nicholas Welch es un hombre de 35 años que nació en Ecuador. Tiene diez años de experiencia en las cocinas profesionales en Nuevo México, California, y DC. Fue un coordinador de un programa de alimentos y jardinería enfocado en jóvenes y la población vulnerable en África del Sur por 2 años. Es un voluntario con Common Good City Farm en el área de LeDroit donde trabaja con jóvenes y jardinería. Estudió bioquímica y después salud publico y espera seguir sus esfuerzos en alimentación, nutrición, y jardinería.
Wild Fermentation with Ed Bruske
A D.C. resident since 1975, Ed Bruske in a previous life was an award-winning reporter for The Washington Post, writing primarily for the paper’s Metro section. During a later stint in the catering industry, he became service manager for a busy local catering firm, but returned to his first love—writing—as a frequent contributor to the Post’s Food section, as well as Martha Stewart Living magazine and the late, lamented Edible Chesapeake. His recipe for green beans braised three hours was featured by publisher Houghton-Mifflin’s “The 150 Best American Recipes.”
A personal chef who prides himself on using fresh, local ingredients, Ed is perhaps best known in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood for turning his front yard into an herb and vegetable garden. He received his Master Gardener certification in 2006, and led the construction of a 1,600-square-foot container garden on the grounds of his daughter’s charter school, the Children’s Studio School, located at 1301 V St. NW. He was a cofounder of D.C. Urban Gardeners, now a listserv with more than 700 members. He has frequently lectured on composting and preparing food from a kitchen garden. His videos on composting and vegetable garding have been viewed by thousands of people worldwide at the MonkeySee website.
Ed teaches what he calls “food appreciation”—hands on instruction on where our food comes from, healthful eating and why we eat the foods we eat–to children in the after-4 program at Georgetown Day School. He writes a daily food blog called The Slow Cook, is a contributing editor on food access issues for the DC Food For All blog, and recently became a contributor to Grist, the national online magazine focused on environmental and sustainable food issues.
A Community of Gardeners
The documentary, “A Community of Gardeners,” produced by local filmmaker Cintia Cabib, will explore the vital role of seven community gardens in Washington, D.C., not only as sources of fresh, nutritious food, but as outdoor classrooms, places of healing, centers of social interaction, and oases of beauty and calm in inner-city neighborhoods. The work-in-progress screening at Rooting DC will feature the gardeners at the Fort Stevens Community Garden, the 7th Street Garden, the C. Melvin Sharpe Health School Garden and the Melvin Hazen Community Garden. For more information, visit www.communityofgardeners.com.
Cintia Cabib is an independent producer, videographer and editor whose award-winning programs have aired on PBS affiliates and cable television. Her documentaries and educational videos have been purchased by non-profit organizations, school systems and libraries. Cintia’s new documentary, “A Community of Gardeners,” will show how seven Washington, D.C. community gardens have changed people’s lives, their communities and their environment. The projected completion date is fall 2010. To learn more about Cintia’s programs and to view video clips, please visit www.cintiacabib.com and www.communityofgardeners.com.
Creating Healthy Food Systems
This panel will be an introduction to the systems that bring food from farmers to the city, and showcase different initiatives throughout DC to make that system safer, more just and accessible to poor people, and more sustainable. In short, these are initiatives that are working together to create a food system that works for us, not against us. Panel speakers include:
Judy Davis, Glut Food Co-op: The oldest worker-owned food co-op in the DC area, the Glut sells healthy and affordable food to the Mt. Rainier neighborhood, just a few blocks northeast of the District. This progressive business keeps prices low through a collective management structure, selectively sells food from small and local farmers and producers, and is a pilar in their community.
Vinnie Bevivino, Engaged Community Offshoots: A new organization with an established track record in urban farming, ECO seeks to reverse the effects of systemic poverty, racism, oppression and neglect that disempowers our communities by establishing and promoting green social businesses that meet basic community needs. They are starting a network of urban and suburban farms in Prince George’s County to provide healthy food and meaningful jobs to the DC metropolitan area.
Michele Levy, Crossroads Farmers Market: Located in the heart of Langley Park’s “international corridor”, the Crossroads Farmers Market is an example of creative and effective community organizing within the food system. They offer their customers subsidies found at few other markets in the country, and have had great success with bringing the good food movement to all their community.
Making a Difference: Policy & Advocacy
Carl Rollins is a longtime DC resident. Before beginning a spiritual journey that led him to have a passion for food security and the environment he practiced law and did some energy consulting. Carl is a master gardener trainee, on the advisory board of the DC farm to School Network, and a past co-president of the DC Environmental Education Consortium.
Andrea Northup coordinates the DC Farm to School Network, an initiative of the Capital Area Food Bank. She makes connections and finds creative ways to get more healthy, local foods into Washington, DC schools. She holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Engineering from Tufts University. Her past experience includes research, direct service and policy-level public health work in the non-profit and government sectors. She loves her garden in her backyard, playing ultimate frisbee, and cooking delicious food.
Parisa Norouzi is the co-founder and Executive Director of the grassroots organizing project, Empower DC. After graduating with honors from Marlboro College in Vermont with a degree in Environmental Policy and Interest Group Politics, Parisa quickly entered the field of organizing for social change. Early in her career she was involved in local and national level organizing around environmental and environmental justice issues, working with organizations including the Alaska Wilderness League and Friends of the Earth. She transitioned to issues of social, racial and economic justice in 2002 when she joined the staff of Washington InnerCity Self Help where she led efforts around quality, affordable child care and other “safety net” preservation efforts. Parisa co-founded Empower DC with colleague Linda Leaks in late 2003. She has served as lead organizer of the Ivy City Coalition, the People’s Property Campaign and the Child Care for All Campaign. Parisa completed a Masters Degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University in 2006.
Jennifer Jefferson is a native Washingtonian with over 20 years of experience in gardening and container gardening. Jennifer is self taught. She has worked at Behnke’s Nursery as a perennial specialist and has a vast library on plants, flowers and herbs.