Come to the Table 2017 Speakers


Workshop Speakers & Bios

Alphabetical List by Last Name

Alan, Susan
National Farmworker Ministry
Power on your Plate: Deconstructing the Agricultural Food System and Empowering Workers
Susan is Associate Director of Operations and Organizational Leadership for the National Farm Worker Ministry. She has worked at NFWM for 15+ years in administrative, fundraising, and programmatic capacities. She has visited work sites and met with farm workers around the country. Susan believes deeply in the solidarity mission of NFWM to support farm worker led efforts to improve their living and working conditions as the power to name and solve problems should be in the hands of these men and women themselves.

Bolejack, Megan
Care Share Health Alliance
Food Policy Councils: A Tool for Organizing from Neighbors to Decision-Makers
Megan serves as the Program Coordinator for Care Share Health Alliance. She provides technical assistance and facilitation to the Collaborative Networks and models, Healthy Carolinians Partnerships, and collective impact initiatives across the state. Megan collects and disseminates best practices, organizes webinars and trainings, and supports communication and technology for Care Share.

Burge, Bridgette
NC Center for Nonprofits
Working Towards Equitable Partnerships
Bridgette directs the Center’s executive succession planning initiative and membership work and manages our webinar training and collaborations with local and regional partners. She has more than two decades of nonprofit experience serving as an executive director, board member, program manager, trainer, fundraiser, and volunteer. Bridgette earned her Bachelor’s from Rhodes College, her Master’s in anthropology from the University of Memphis, and her nonprofit management certificate from Duke University. She loves living in Raleigh with her husband, their two children, and their goofy rescue beagle.

Byrd, Randi
UNC American Indian Center
Native Ways: Community-Based Philanthropy and Giving
Randi is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the American Indian Center at UNC at Chapel Hill. She coordinates the Healthy Native North Carolinians Network. Ms. Byrd works closely with American Indian communities in North Carolina around health and wellness through a holistic community lens, valuing indigenous ways of knowing and practices, and facilitating and promoting tribally-vetted and culturally appropriate curricula. Her work also affirms tribal self-determination in sustainable planning and fostering mutually beneficial partnerships.

Castro, Bacilio
Western NC Workers Center
Lives on the Line: The Human Cost of Chicken

Cates, Jared
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Food Policy Councils: A Tool for Organizing from Neighbors to Decision-Makers
An Orange County native, Jared has worked in nonprofit organizations in North Carolina for more than 10 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. Jared lives in Hillsborough, NC where he is an active gardener, poultry parent, and fermentation aficionado.

Crain, Carter
Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC
Boots on the Ground: Disaster Relief Experiences from the Field
Carter joined the Food Bank team in September 2008 as the Volunteer Coordinator. In 2010 he moved into the Food Resources position. He loves the challenge of getting more healthy food to those in need in North Carolina mostly through work with retailers, manufacturers, growers, pack houses and wherever else we see excess! Prior to joining the Food Bank life Carter spent 10 years as a project manager in the construction world with a year off in the middle living in South Africa. Carter stays busy away from the food bank with his new twin girls that were just added to the Crain family. Ask to see a picture or 300 if you have time.

Davis, Steve
Greene County Health
Boots on the Ground: Disaster Relief Experiences from the Field

Foley, Kylie
Institute for Emerging Issues
Faith Values and Food Connections

Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble
Workplace/Community/Cultural Organizing in Harmony: Building Solidarity in Action through Music
The Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble, their songs and music was born out of the struggle of organizing African American workers in the “Black Belt” region of North Carolina and the South. More than twenty-two workers have participated in this dynamic cultural workers organization at various times. Recruited from workplace and community struggles, they have captured in music the community and workplace struggles of oppressed peoples and the working class. Join these talented organizers and cultural worker musicians, and get ready to raise your voice in an energetic, participatory workshop on how to lift up community and workplace struggles through music.

Galvan, Leonardo
NC Farmworkers Project
Power on your Plate: Deconstructing the Agricultural Food System and Empowering Workers

Graves, Eleanor
Renaissance Community Coop
Cooperatives: Lessons for Community Development
Leonardo has worked for the NC Farmworkers Project for 15 years as an outreach worker. For many years he managed projects and data collection in collaboration with Wake Forest University. Since last year, he has been managing a lay health promotor program teaching farmworkers to teach their peers. Before joining the Farmworkers’ Project, he worked in tobacco in North Carolina for 10 years.

Hammond, Andrew
Garden of Concord
Building Livelihoods: Self-Sustaining Faith and Food Projects
Andrew is a life long learner, but has only been learning about food and faith for a couple of years. As a student at Duke Divinity School, Andrew learned about the God’s love for creation, and wondered how to take part in that love. Through the field education program at Duke Andrew learned about The Garden of Concord. In his role at the Garden Andrew continues to discover God’s love for creation above and below the dirt. He currently resides in Graham, NC with his wife Justine, and their dog Bowie.

Harvell, Cliff
NC Conference of the United Methodist Church
Boots on the Ground: Disaster Relief Experiences from the Field

Hatley, Shawn
Sun-Raised Farms
Growing Innovation: Best Practices and Lessons Learned from RAFI Grantee Farmers
Shawn joined Sun-Raised Farms as managing director, to grow agricultural opportunities on utility scale solar farms for sheep farmers. Shawn serves as interim director of the Upper Pee Dee Farm & Food Council, serves as Chairman of the Stanly County Chamber and serves as secretary of the NC Natural Hog Growers Association, a 30+ member hog growers coop selling to Whole Foods Market, Firsthand Foods and others. Shawn lives in Oakboro, NC and received his bachelor degree in landscape architecture from the NC State School of Design.

Hiatt, Annette
Land Loss Prevention Project
Up From Discrimination to a Future in Building the New Local Food Economy
Annette is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Land Loss Prevention Project. She worked with LLPP from 2001 to 2008 as an Attorney and Policy Director and rejoined the staff in 2012 as a Senior Attorney. In the interim, she worked with a nonprofit focused on assisting the Southeast Asian refugee farming community in Fresno, CA. In addition to her broad spectrum of legal work across the LLPP’s practice areas, Hiatt participates in collaborative efforts to foster low-resource farmer participation in local food systems. She is also a certified Superior Court mediator in North Carolina. Ms. Hiatt graduated with a Bachelor’s of Social Work from UNC Charlotte and a J.D. in 2001 from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Horne, Savi
Land Loss Prevention Project
Up From Discrimination to a Future in Building the New Local Food Economy

Hummel, Laxmi
Student Action for Farmworkers
Sharing Our Experiences Through Visual Storytelling
Laxmi has worked with SAF for 15 years. For over 8 years she co-coordinated SAF’s Into the Fields Internship & Sowing Seeds for Change fellowship programs. As Assistant Director she helps manage the organization’s finances and policies, coordinates the Solidaridad internship and co-directs the SAF Theater Group. She is from Durham, has a BA in Religious Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill, and has served on the boards of Toxic Free NC and the NC Farmworker Health Program.

Jacobs, Chad
American Prawn Cooperative
Growing Innovation: Best Practices and Lessons Learned from RAFI Grantee Farmers
Chad is a retired Sargeant from the USMC. He has been an organic prawn farmer since 2004 and is a Member of the American Prawn Coop Charter Board.

Jensen, Anna
NC Farmworkers Project
Power on your Plate: Deconstructing the Agricultural Food System and Empowering Workers
Anna has been the Executive Director of the Farmworkers’ Project since 2014. She previously worked at the Project as an outreach worker from 2008-2010. Between stints at the Farmworkers’ Project, she attended grad school and practiced her community organizing skills with Toxic Free NC. Anna grew up in North Carolina and became interested in working with farmworkers after an internship in college made her aware of this too-often hidden community in North Carolina, and she is proud to work alongside farmworkers in the search for a more equitable food system.

Jones, Jeremiah
Hog Growers Coop
Growing Innovation: Best Practices and Lessons Learned from RAFI Grantee Farmers
Upon completion of five associate degrees in agriculture at NCSU in 2001, Jeremiah began his lifelong dream to farm his family land in 2002. Since then, he has expanded from a solely grain operation to raising AWA and GAP approved hogs, cattle and laying hens. Jeremiah was pivotal in the inception of the North Carolina Natural Hog Growers Association, a cooperative of members farmers supplying hogs to niche markets, where he currently serves as President. Jeremiah is regarded as a leader and authority in the natural hog industry.

Kessler, Mo
Renaissance Community Coop
Cooperatives: Lessons for Community Development
Mo is a queer Appalachian artist and community organizer living in Greensboro, North Carolina with a long history of organizing for food justice. Mo is a founding board member of the Renaissance Community Co-op and is the chair of the Governance and Policy Committee. Mo also serves as the co-chair of the Central Carolina Worker Justice Center and a Board Member of the Beloved Community Center. They spend most of their time making art, hanging out with their dogs, and uplifting the intersections of food access, and environmental, racial and economic justice.

Knight, Gini
CEFS
Food Policy Councils: A Tool for Organizing from Neighbors to Decision-Makers
Gini 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, managed several public and private sector teams developing stormwater and agricultural conservation practices, and currently works for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems on the Community Food Strategies team. As part of Community Food Strategies, she works on food council development and communications to support the growing network of 30 food councils across North Carolina.

Lee, Sally
RAFI
Fairness in Contract Poultry Production: Partial Screening of Under Contract documentary and Farmer Panel

Marlow, Scott
RAFI
Recovery and Resilience: Support, Healing and Faith in the Wake of Disaster; Disaster Relief Resources for Farmers and Communities

Murphy, Cyril
Chestnut Ridge Camp & Retreat Center
Building Livelihoods: Self-Sustaining Faith and Food Projects
Working in food and music ministry, Chef Cyril shares affordable, local, sustainably raised, made-from-scratch food at Chestnut Ridge Camp & Retreat Center and throughout the Triangle. His passion for food comes from growing up on the family dairy farm where his faith journey also has its roots. Cyril also serves as Minister of Music at Duke Memorial UMC and as co-chair of the Orange County Food Council. In his 12th year of ministry his focus is on offering all people a seat a table – if you would like to share a meal or conversation around the table please contact Cyril at harveststable@gmail.com.

McCall, Diana
John Wilson Community Garden
Before you Get Started: Community Asset Mapping
Diana has been working on a weekly basis at the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden since 2005. Under her leadership the garden has grown to serve nearly 90 gardening families, educate hundreds of volunteers and interns annually in biointensive horticulture, and now includes over 100 fruit, nut or native tree and shrub species. She has taught cooking and gardening classes for over a decade at the Organic Growers School and other local schools and organizations. In 2016, McCall was certified in Technology of Participation Facilitation techniques which she uses to support the growth and development of regional community gardens as well as non-profits and private consulting companies. McCall is the mother of three children ages 11-16. In addition to her work in community organizing and education, she teaches Kundalini yoga and a variety of dance forms. She enjoys making family dinners and herbal medicine, as well as taking day hikes and camping trips.

Parker, John
Wake Forest University Divinity School
Theology and Food: the Vocation of Communion
John is a consultant with the NC Council of Churches and the Duke Endowment, and adjunct faculty at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity focusing on collaborative community organizing, culturally appropriate development, and restorative justice. John is a Moore County native. He received a BA from Wake Forest in anthropology, international relations, and politics, a MA in applied anthropology from the University of Memphis, a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke, and a M.Div. from Duke Divinity School. John serves on the boards of the UNC American Indian Center, Repairers of the Breach, and the Sandhills Cooperation Association.

Piner, Abbey
CEFS
Food Policy Councils: A Tool for Organizing from Neighbors to Decision-Makers

Poe, Donna
Garden of Concord
Building Livelihoods: Self-Sustaining Faith and Food Projects
Donna is the founder and present garden coordinator for the Garden of Concord, an extension ministry of Concord UMC planted in Eli Whitney, NC in May 2009. Donna is passionate in sharing God’s love to many through garden stewardship as well as empowering those in need with healthy food and relationships. Beginning with little to no gardening experience, Donna later went on to complete a 2-year degree in Sustainable Agriculture at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro along with an internship and later employment at two local farms followed with becoming a certified NC Master Gardener. Donna has served on the Conference planning board to include presenting at the 2015 conference as well as being a cohort with the 2015-16 Fellowship. She has also shared the garden history and plantings at many other churches and organizations to inspire others to begin, join, and/or support community gardens.

Post, Justine
Resourceful Communities
Theology and Food: the Vocation of Communion
As the Faith & Food Coordinator for Resourceful Communities, Justine works alongside rural churches as they seek to deepen their food ministries. This kind of work aims at improving access to healthy and local foods for low income consumers in rural communities. As a recent recipient of and MDiv and MSW, Justine has always been passionate about strengthening the bridge between the church and the social injustices in our world. Justine sees great potential for rural churches to improve their communities, whether it be through hosting a farmers market, holding cooking and preservation classes, or partnering with local farmers.

Pridgen, Genell
Farmer
Fairness in Contract Poultry Production: Partial Screening of Under Contract documentary and Farmer Panel
Genell Pridgen is a farmer and former chicken grower for Perdue and Case Foods. Genell’s farm has been in her family since the 1700s. They are one of the oldest farming families in her area. They have always had a very diversified operation, she grew up helping her dad raise hogs, cattle, row crops, and backyard chickens that they would sell independently. Today Genell and her family are still farming, and have opened a local butcher shop in Kinston, NC, to go along with their grassfed and free-range products.

Rencher, Brandon
Reverend, Duke Divinity School
Meaningful Engagement Across Your Community

Rivera Chapman, Cristina
Tierra Negra Farms
Gathering Roots Part 1 and Part 2: Looking Inequities in the Food System
Cristina has been working at the intersection of social justice, food systems, and education for the past 14 years. Working extensively in both rural and urban settings throughout the United States, she has provided training and facilitation to diverse groups of people and organizations. Cristina has worked as a trainer for Dismantling Racism, and she currently works at (and co-founded) Tierra Negra Farms, a teaching farm, striving to model a community controlled food system that is just and sustainable. She is a proud to be founding member Earthseed Land Cooperative, a center for community resilience committed to People of Color and other communities pushed to the margins.

Rubin-Blose, Noah
Chef, Educator, and Activist
“Bread from the Earth”: Creating Sacred and Community Spaces with Food
Noah is a chef, baker, and community organizer. He is proud to be a queer, Jewish Southerner, and is grateful to be part of Jewish Voice for Peace’s Triangle chapter and the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia. He was a founding member of Bread Uprising community bakery in Durham. He seeks to ground all of his work in collective liberation, humility, and the deep sense that we are all made in the image of g-d.

Sachs, Susan
Starfire Consulting
Meaningful Engagement Across Your Community
Susan is Principal and President of Starfire Consulting, Inc. offering organizational development services to nonprofits across North Carolina. With more than 25 years of experience, Susan provides support to nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning, program development, fundraising, grant writing, evaluation, curriculum development and training and board and staff relations as well as professional coaching to nonprofit executives. Starfire Consulting is based in Durham, NC.

Salleh, Fatimah
Duke Divinity School
Our Stories as Sacred Ground: Land, Food, and Our God
Fatimah graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Duke University in May 2016. Prior to her education at Duke Divinity School, Dr. Salleh received her PhD in Mass Communication from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. She is currently serving as a minister in the Berean Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.

Santiago, Zulayka
Earthseed
Cooperatives: Lessons for Community Development

Sendor, Julia
Anathoth Community Garden & Farm
Building Livelihoods: Self-Sustaining Faith and Food Projects
Julia is the co-farmer and program coordinator at Anathoth Community Garden & Farm in Cedar Grove, NC. Anathoth’s garden, now grown to a farm, began as a response to a murder that brought to light divisions in the community. Anathoth’s mission is to cultivate peace by using good food and sustainable agriculture to connect people with their neighbors, the land, and God. Julia coordinates Anathoth’s core production program – HarvestShare, a sliding-scale, 180-member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program). HarvestShare creates a practical structure for Anathoth’s vision: of community members fully sharing the harvest, connecting each through other’s gifts and needs.

Smith, Camryn
Communities in Partnership
Gathering Roots Part 1 and Part 2: Looking Inequities in the Food System

Theodorou, Christina
Native Seeds Giving Circle
Native Ways: Community-Based Philanthropy and Giving
Christina serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the UNC American Indian Center’s NC Native Asset Coalition. A graduate of UNC-Pembroke, Christina has 12 years experience advocating for and working with American Indian populations in NC. While attending the UNC Chapel Hill, she co-founded the Alpha Pi Omega Sorority Inc. Her professional experience has included work with the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, Guilford Native American Association, LRDA and the NC Indian Economic Development Initiative in program management.

Tippins, Ashton
TABLE
Hungry Kids: How To Help and Why It Matters

Tuttle, Susannah
NC Interfaith Power and Light
Recovery and Resilience: Support, Healing and Faith in the Wake of Disaster
Susannah is on staff of the NC Council of Churches and the director of NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL) a program supporting faith communities to identify and implement positive, hope-filled responses to climate change as a moral imperative. Susannah received her Masters of Divinity from the Graduate Theological Union and was hired as UNC Chapel Hill’s first Sustainability Research Associate. She currently serves nationally on the Justice Action Mobilization Network (JAMN) executive committee and is an active member of the U.S. Climate Action Network (USCAN).

Watts, Craig
Farmer
Fairness in Contract Poultry Production: Partial Screening of Under Contract and Farmer Panel
A fourth generation North Carolina farmer, Craig resides in rural Robeson County. He is a former contract poultry producer for Perdue Farms (1992-2016) and currently serves as an independent consultant with the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP).

Williams, Joy

The Body and Worship: Moving to Social Change
Joy is excited to call NC her home. Despite the experiences that taught her to appreciate new places–from attending Wheaton College in Norton, MA where she received a B.A. in Hispanic Studies to spending time in Mali–nothing was like home. She earned a Masters of Public Health degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and a Masters of Fine Arts at UNC-Greensboro. Through the Partners in Health and Wholeness position, she found a Jehovah-given opportunity of sharing health with congregations. She is now serving as one of the Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW) Regional Coordinators.

Youth from Youth Voices Workshop
Youth Voices in the Food System
Working with trailblazing youth and adult allies from Conetoe Family Life Center, Growing Change, Poder Juvenil Campesino and Transplanting Traditions, to build a strong network of youth leaders in food justice, the Food Youth Initiative (program of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems) strives to co-creating strong ties amongst youth that are doing food justice work across NC. This network of youth focuses on many issues from immigration, (migrant) farm labor rights, community ownership, and awareness raising around school to prison pipeline. They work creatively through all of these issues with food and justice as their platform. Attendees are welcome to engage these youth on their experiences, challenges and uniques opportunities in their advocacy, policy and justice work.