Check out the 2021 PROGRAM for times.

Program subject to change.

Keynote Speakers

Introductory Remarks with Starhawk 8:05 AM


Director - Earth Activist Training

Starhawk directs Earth Activist Training,, teaching permaculture design grounded in spirit, with a focus on organizing and social permaculture. A PINA diplomate, she is the author or coauthor of thirteen books, including her visionary permaculture novels The Fifth Sacred Thing and City of Refuge and her book on ‘social permaculture’: The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups. With Donna Cooper Read, she wrote and co-directed the documentary Permaculture: The Growing Edge.

Theo Ferguson

Healing Living Systems, Inc., CEO and Founder

Theodosia Ferguson currently serves as the CEO of the California social benefit corporation, Healing Living Systems. Theo’s current focus is creating climate stability in agriculture. She has been an active investor and advocate in the infrastructure of the community food, farming, and finance space for 12 years and is a founding member of Slow Money National, Slow Money NoCal, and SOIL—Slow Opportunities to Invest Locally, Slow Money NoCal’s investment group. For more than that dozen years, Theo has served as an advocate, entrepreneur, and investor in public dialogue through undertaking deep inquiry into the impacts of food, farming and finance enterprises and their true cost pricing and true cost accounting metrics. This inquiry addresses the dynamics of the capitalistic economic system. She is a long standing member of the Social Investment Forum in addition to a developing a broad local food farming, and finance infrastructure portfolio through local relationship driven investments in California and Iowa in collaboration with SOIL and Slow Money. Theo is a frequently published author in Green Money Journal, the publication affiliated with the Social Investment Forum. As an entrepreneur, Theo founded Export Profiles, a renewable energy export venture to South and SE Asia and PRC, and founded a California shareholder-owned flexible purpose corporation, Vital Systems, Inc. that supported food, farming, and finance enterprises, entrepreneurs, and investors. Theo founded and supported not-for-profit corporations, Bay Area Energy Action, Exploratorium, and ISAST. Theo has held senior positions in the City of Nurenberg, Germany, the National Science Foundation, and served on the staff of California Assemblyman Leo Ryan, and the National and Northern California TPMG offices of Kaiser Permanente.

Dr. Ann Lopéz

Executive Director of Center for Farmworker Families

Dr. Ann López is the Executive Director of Center for Farmworker Families. She is an emerita professor and taught courses in biology, environmental science, ecology and botany in the biology department at San José City College for many years. She has a Ph.D. from UCSC in Environmental Studies where she studied the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the farms of west central Mexico. Her book entitled The Farmworkers’ Journey summarizes the results, arguments and conclusions of her research and was published by UC Press.. She has been recognized for her work by The U.S. Congress and many organizations. She was chosen as a Woman of the Year for 2013 and 2014 by the National Association of Professional Women. In March 2018, she was chosen for a 16th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Community Award in Watsonville and as Woman of the Year by Mark Stone’s 29th District for 2019.
Dr. Lopez’ research findings while interviewing central California farmworker families and their family members in Mexico were fundamentally disturbing and life transforming. As a result, she is actively attempting to create awareness about the Human Rights abuses that are endemic to every juncture of the migrant circuit. She has also initiated many projects on both sides of the border designed to alleviate some of the inordinate suffering experienced daily by migrant farm workers and their family members in Mexico.
The Center for Farmworker Families is a 501(c3) nonprofit. The website is designed to provide updates on the status of binational farmworker families and provides ways in which those who are interested can become involved with the work of improving their life circumstances.
September 10th has been designated by the County of Santa Cruz as Farmworker Family Day.

Lindsey Lusher Shute

CEO and founder of the Farm Generations Cooperative

Lindsey Lusher Shute is CEO and founder of the Farm Generations Cooperative, creators of GrownBy, and co-owner of Hearty Roots Community Farm in Clermont, New York. Lindsey co-founded the National Young Farmers Coalition and led the organization as Executive Director for a decade. Lindsey grew the organization from a few volunteer farmers to a nationwide network with 40 chapters in 28 states and a grassroots base of over 150,000.

Lindsey was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama and is the recipient of the Glynwood’s “Harvest Award.” EatingWell magazine named Lindsey and “American Food Hero” and she was included among “20 Food Leaders Under 40” by Food Tank. Lindsey has given talks and keynotes on a broad range of topics over the years across the country, including a ``distinguished alumni`` keynote at Bard College in 2017.


Lindsey Lusher Shute is CEO and founder of the Farm Generations Cooperative, creators of GrowBy, and co-owner of Hearty Roots Community Farm in Clermont, New York. Lindsey co-founded the National Young Farmers Coalition and led the organization as Executive Director for a decade. Lindsey grew the organization from a few volunteer farmers to a nationwide network with 40 chapters in 28 states and a grassroots base of over 150,000.

Under Lindsey's tenure the organization launched state and national campaigns on affordable farmland; a federal campaign to recognize that ``Farming is Public Service`` and to add farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program; and led multiyear campaigns on two farm bills that increased funding for beginning farmers, farmers of color, land conservation, and sustainable agriculture. The organization also called out pervasive inequities in the food and agriculture, and backed this with anti oppression trainings for staff and farmer leaders across the country.

Lindsey worked closely with USDA, encouraging the agency initially to start a microlending program that has now served tens of thousands of farmers nationwide. Lindsey and her team routinely briefed the agency on the needs of young farmers and collaborated on opportunities to improve how the agency served farmers across the country.

In 2018, Lindsey campaigned with the coalition's five New York chapters, members of the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass the ``Working Farms Protection Act``. This law, the first of its kind in the country, requires the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to fund conservation easements that keep farmland affordable. This is one of many bills that state chapters of the National Young Farmers Coalition have passed to support future generations of growers through structural change.

National Young Farmers Coalition also distinguished itself in providing services and education for farmers nationwide. Projects Lindsey worked on included a guidebook to help growers understand how USDA lends farmers money; an online calculator for farmers buying land; a guidebook for growers who want to work with land conservancies; and a guidebook on becoming a certified organic farmer.

Lindsey was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama and is the recipient of the Glynwood’s “Harvest Award.” EatingWell magazine named Lindsey and “American Food Hero” and she was included among “20 Food Leaders Under 40” by Food Tank. Lindsey has given talks and keynotes on a broad range of topics over the years, including a ``distinguished alumni`` keynote at Bard College in 2017.

Mark Squire

Owner and General Manager of Good Earth Natural Foods & Tara Firma Farms

Mark Squire has one of the most celebrated resumes in the organic food industry. Since 1977, he has been a co-owner and manager of Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax California. An “organic oasis,” as one of OCA readers nominating the store described it, Good Earth provides a wide selection of produce, much of it sourced from within a 100-mile radius. But it’s Squire’s passion for organics and his dedication to preserving and raising organic standards, growing the organic industry and working to keep GMOs out,
that set him apart. Here are just a few of Squire’s accomplishments over the past few decades:
o Played a pioneering role in developing the state’s organic certification standards. In the 1980’s there were no certified organic standards in California. Realizing that the standards were a necessary prerequisite for the state’s organic food movement, Squire worked with like-minded retailers, farmers and other advocates to assemble and codify production practices and allowable inputs and to educate farmers about these new standards.
o Served on the Board of Directors for the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), an organization that took on the task of further developing California’s fledgling standards. Squire helped write some of the original organic certification standards that are still in place today in the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program today.
o Serves on the Board of the Non-GMO Project, which he was instrumental in creating. Concerned that GMOs weren’t addressed under organic standards, because the standards were written before GMOs came on the market, Squire reached out to other like-minded food retailers to create what would eventually become the Non-GMO Project.
o Helped write Measure B, the Marin County initiative that prohibits 
the outdoor cultivation of GMOs. The measure passed by 61 percent of the popular vote in 2004.
o Served from 1988-1993 on the board and then on staff of the Organic Crop Improvement Association. OCIA was at that time the largest certifier of organic foods worldwide. Squire oversaw international certification staff training and operations for both farm and manufacturing

James Cassidy

Senior Instructor Soil Science & Sustainable/Organic Agriculture

Speakers and Panelists

No Till Climate Resilience Agriculture 8:40 am Aug 6


Paul Kaiser

Owner of Singing Frog Farms

Paul Kaiser is a multi-award winning organic vegetable farmer with dual Masters Degrees in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development. He operates Singing Frogs Farm in Sonoma County.

Paul Kaiser with his wife Elizabeth have operated Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, California since 2007. With a background in tropical agroforestry, natural resource management and public health in the Sahel of West Africa, Central America as well as Northern California, they had fresh insights into farming and as such developed Singing Frogs Farm’s innovative model. Their farm is multi-award winning for their highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system. They have increased their soil organic matter by over 300%, while drastically reducing their water use and generating over $100,000 per acre in sales. Recently, they have focused on teaching their model of successful small-scale, regenerative, no-till vegetable production.

Francis Madiba Akolbila

Francis Akolbila, a Ghanaian and I hold a BSC Mechanical Engineering. I have been working officially for the Howard G. Buffett Centre For No-till Agriculture in Ghana( HGBF-CNTA) since 2013 to date as the lead facilitator of the center's small holder mechanize no-till systems. HGBF-CNTA is a family business owned by the C.E.O. Okuani(farmer) Kofi Boa Ph.D. who worked previously for the Crop Research Institute in Ghana. He has been in the climate resilient farming for quite over 35 years now. I came in contact with him in 2020 while I had graduated from Junior high school and was not going to further to the senior high school because of financial constraints. Since I had nothing doing around that time I was following him to his farm from that time to learn about farming and he throughout his life. SO IN BRIEF, THIS HIS HOW MY JOURNEY IN NO-TILL AGRICULTURE STARTED WITH Kofi Boa.
In 2018, I had an opportunity and it was thrilling to be an intern at the SINGING FROGS FARM, in SEBASTOPOL, CA, learn about their INTENSIVE, AGROECOLOGICAL, no-till SYSTEMS for a period of 6 month, an incredible experience which has an indelible prints in my heart.
I was also thrilled to visit Prof. Dwayne Beck in SOUTH DAKOTA, to continue my internship at the DAKOTA LAKES RESEARCH FARM to be exposed to the large scale No-till systems through MESA sponsorship.
My educational background,( MECHANICAL ENGINEERING) and the experience gathered from these experience people thus,my God father Kofi Boa (pertaining the period I got ENGAGED IN FARMING), Prof Dwayne Beck, and the Kaisers has got me equipped with a lot of knowledge in NO-TILL FARMING. THEY ARE THE SOURCE OF MY PASSION FOR SUSTAINABLE FARMING.

Vidhya Das

Joint Director at Agragamee

Vidhya Das is the Joint Director at Agragamee, a non-profit organization based in Odisha. She works for children’s education and agricultural development amongst the poorest tribal communities in Odisha. Through Agragamee, she is working to break the vicious cycle of poverty and lack of education access by channelizing the energies of village youth for an excellent education and a livelihood that helps them and their ecosystem thrive. The success of our models for education and livelihood are recognised far and wide, and attract demands from parents and farmers to educate and train their children and them for a better quality of life with food and income security. Vidhya is a practitioner and champion of zero tillage systems in her sustainable agriculture work.

Laney Siegner

Sustainable food systems researcher and climate change educator

Masters and PhD from Berkeley
Lives in off grid tiny house in Sebastopol, CA

Our Food Our Medicine 9:45 am Aug 6

David R. Montgomery

MacArthur Fellow and Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Washington

David R. Montgomery is a MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington. He is an internationally recognized geologist who studies the effects of geological processes on ecological systems and human societies. David is the author of several popular books including Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, and most recently, Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life.

His work has been featured in documentary films, network and cable news, and on a wide variety of TV and radio programs, including NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Fox and Friends, and All Things Considered. When not writing or doing geology, David plays guitar in the band Big Dirt.

Social Media & Contact for David
web: || twitter: @Dig2Grow || facebook: Dig2Grow Books ||

Elizabeth Kaiser

Owner of Singing Frogs Farms

Elizabeth Kaiser with her husband Paul have operated Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, California since 2007. With a background in tropical agroforestry, natural resource management and public health in the Sahel of West Africa, Central America as well as Northern California, they had fresh insights into farming and as such developed Singing Frogs Farm’s innovative model. Their farm is multi-award winning for their highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system. They have increased their soil organic matter by over 300%, while drastically reducing their water use and generating over $100,000 per acre in sales. Recently, they have focused on teaching their model of successful small-scale, regenerative, no-till vegetable production.

Anne Biklé

Biologist Environmental Planner and Author

Anne Biklé is a science writer and public speaker focusing on the connections between people, plants, food, health, and the environment. A bad case of plant lust draws her to the garden where she coaxes garden plants into rambunctious growth or nurses them back from the edge of death with her regenerative gardening practices.

She co-authored The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health with her husband, geologist David Montgomery. From garden to gut, the book combines memoir, science, and history to tell the story of humanity’s tangled relationship with the microbial world through the lens of agriculture and medicine.

Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, and radio and her soil-building regenerative gardening practices have been featured in independent and documentary films.

Anne and David have a forthcoming book to be published in Spring 2022 that explores the connections between soil health and human health.

Healing the Food Systems, Healing Ourselves 10:50 am Aug 6

Isis Maria Salcines Milla

Isis Maria Salcines Milla has worked at the Basic Unit of Cooperative Production “Organopónico Vivero Alamar” in Cuba, since 1999. She is an Agronomy Engineer, although her former vocation was in telecommunications. Isis never planned to be devoted to food production, but at the time agriculture was attracting concern from all over the world and she opted to study agronomy, at the Agrarian University of Havana (UNAH).
She has functioned as a director and coordinator of development projects and collaborations carried out at the farm through the FAO, ACTAF, ACPA. The farm also collaborates with the Institutes of Investigations, other universities across the country, and has received mentions in Municipal, Provincial Fórum, I Reward MINAG 2012 and publications in international magazines of these studies.

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach

Founder Berry Good Food Foundation

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and activist. In 2008, she received the Consumer Attorneys of California WLC Outstanding Consumer Advocate Award before taking a sabbatical from her full-time practice to further commit herself to social activism. An “agvocate” for sustainable food, she founded both the Cali-Baja Berry Good Night and Berry Good Food Foundation to advance a healthy, integrated food system by educating, connecting and supporting local food producers and consumers. She hosts the BGF-sponsored award-winning Future Thought Leaders program on, with 1.5 million viewers. She is an advisor to Kiss the Ground and an Executive Producer of the documentary of the same name. An outspoken critic of current GMO labeling policy, she served on the steering committee of Californians for GE Labeling and helped launch She in the incoming Chair of the Board of the University of California Press Foundation, focused on progressive scholarship, particularly in the areas of food, farming, social and environmental issues, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Women Peacemakers Program at the Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at USD. She previously served as a consultant to the Liberian Ministry of Gender & Development.

Michelle Perro, MD.

Michelle Perro, MD, is a veteran pediatrician with nearly four decades of experience in
acute and integrative medicine. More than fifteen years ago, Dr. Perro transformed her
clinical practice to include pesticide and health advocacy. She has both directed and
worked as attending physician from New York’s Metropolitan Hospital to UCSF Benioff
Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Perro has managed her own business, Down to Earth
Pediatrics, creating a new field of integrative urgent care medicine. Dr. Perro has co-
authored the highly acclaimed book, “What’s Making our Children Sick?”
( and is
Executive Director of a non-profit scientific-based website,
She has authored many publications and has a column, ‘Pediatric Pearls’, with the
journal, The Townsend Letter. She has recently launched her
website, which is an interactive Zoom program on integrative
pediatrics for parents.

Eduardo Erazo Acosta

Sociólogo. Se desempeña como docente universitario, además de investigador del grupo “Currículo y Universidad” por la Universidad de Nariño en la ciudad Pasto Colombia. Reconocido conferencista en congresos internacionales desarrollados en América Latina y Europa en los temas de política medioambiental, derecho económico, derecho administrativo, economía política. Cuenta con experiencia de más de 12 años en proyectos de Investigación: Política en la región andina, Escuela de Frankfurt, movimientos sociales. Ha publicado diversos artículos académicos resultados de investigación y docencia. Recibe en el año 2013 la Distinción como joven escritor - Nobel de Paz Laureados otorgado en conjunto por el Ministerio de Ciencia y Alta Educación, el Instituto de Ciencias Sociales Aplicadas por la Universidad de Varsovia.

Rebuilding a Solidarity Economy in Colorado’s Acequia Communities 12:30pm Aug 6

Devon G. Peña, Ph.D

Professor ~ University of Washington, Departments of American Ethnic Studies & Anthropology

Devon G. Peña, Ph.D.: Since 1999, Dr. Peña has served as Full Professor at the University of Washington in the Departments of American Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and the Program on the Environment where he teaches courses in agroecology, environmental anthropology, environmental justice, Chicana/o Studies, and new social movements. He is widely recognized for his action-oriented research and played a key role in the drafting and passage of the 2009 Colorado Acequia Recognition law (HB 09-1233).

Peña is the Founder and President of The Acequia Institute and manages the organization’s 181-acre farm in Viejo San Acacio, Colorado on Nuche-Dinè-Tiwa-Genizarx territory. The Institute’s farm has water rights on the oldest adjudicated rights in Colorado, the San Luis Peoples Acequia (April 1852). The entire parcel and water rights are held in a conservation easement emphasizing the preservation of open space, wildlife habitat, ecological restoration, and acequia farming methods, practices, and traditions. Peña also serves on the Board of Directors of Alianza Milpa. He served on the Board of Food First for eight years (2012-2020).

Dr. Peña is the author or editor of numerous award-winning books, encyclopedias, and other publications. His most recent book, Mexican-Origin Foods, Foodways, and Social Movements: Decolonial Perspectives (U. Arkansas 2017) received the “Best Edited Volume-2018” Prize from the Association for the Study of Food and Society and was deemed “Essential Reading” by Choice, American Library Association. He is currently completing work on a two volume book on acequias to be published by the University of Arizona Press.

Addelina Lucero

Program Director

Addelina Lucero, Program Director: Addelina (Taos Pueblo/Yaqui/Chicana) is a mother, grandmother, traditional pueblo farmer, a seed keeper, educator and a food activist. She has been working with Indigenous community food systems and food sovereignty for over 10 years now on the local and national levels. She has written curricula and created education programs for regenerative farming/agriculture, greenhouse technologies and social studies programs from an Indigenous perspective for 10 years. Addelina is also a small business owner and creator of natural and organic products that focus on her Pueblo roots, utilizing ingredients from her home and from other Indigenous sources. In 2020 she joined the Board of Directors of The Acequia Institute.

Shirley Romero Otero

Director of the Move Mountains Youth Project

Shirley Romero Otero traces her ancestry to Mexican arrivants and Apaches and has spent her life as a public educator and as a leader for the land rights struggle in southern Colorado by taking on wealthy absentee landowners who blocked communal access to common land on a mountain range called La Sierra. She led a drawn out court case that culminated with a Colorado Supreme Court decision in 2002. The court ultimately restored hunting, fishing and gathering rights to the original land-grant families, a victory for Romero Otero and others in the valley. Ms. Romero continues as President of the Land Rights Council, serves as Director of the Move Mountains youth project, and is a newly appointed member of the Board of Directors of The Acequia Institute.

More than just a Garden: How green spaces facilitate healing in environmental sacrifice zones 1:35 pm Aug 6

Aaron De La Cerda

Acta Non Verba Farm & BeetBox CSA Manager

Aaron grew up in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley where at a young age he discovered his passion for horticulture and growing his own food. He used his green thumb to educate himself and his friends and family on how to grow and harvest their own food right at home. While attending UC Merced Aaron got involved with community outreach and initiatives addressing resource allocation. He also worked to increase access to fresh fruits by mapping and harvesting from local fruit trees and edible landscapes, then sharing with the individuals that needed food as well as the local food pantries. He relocated to East Oakland in 2013 to employ his knowledge of addressing social issues through assisting youth around personal & professional development, sustainability, and horticulture. After completing Americorp service he continued to work with young people in Oakland; leading youth leadership training, piloting a credit recovery program for high school juniors, and managing a youth workforce development program in the form of landscape maintenance. He was also a member of the first East Oakland Innovators: a group of community members using an asset based approach and design thinking to address the challenges of the East Oakland community. He continues to help organize community outreach, research, and events.

Aaron is excited to be working with Acta Non Verba as the Farm & CSA Manager to educate K-8 youth and their families on methods and benefits of local and sustainable horticulture. It is his hope that every young person has an opportunity to participate in an outdoor classroom, to interact with the land, and contribute to the building of a just and localized food system.

Bobby House

Planting Justice

Bobby House always longed for a way to make a positive difference in others lives as a way to make amends for the ignorances and wrongs he committed in his youth. Insight Garden Program (IGP) helped him find that avenue. He was incarcerated for 23 years and recently returned to the community. He participated in IGP while inside and was introduced to gardening, landscape design, meditation, mindfulness and permaculture. Upon his release, IGP introduced him to Planting Justice where he now works as a permaculture designer, following the dream that IGP helped him envision.
Bobby has a passion for drawing and arts, sentencing reform, restorative justice, urban landscape renewal and applying permaculture principles to his own life. He is a husband, father and grandfather. He believes that without organizations like Planting Justice and IGP, who are willing to genuinely invest in the future stability and community of all system impacted people, our communities would never be able to heal themselves and reach the full yields of their potential.

Nayasia Coleman

Insight Garden Program - Programs and Community Outreach Coordinator

Nayasia Coleman is a Black, Queer, creative that holds a BS in Writing and Gender & Women Studies. Born in NYC but raised in the Deep South, her life’s work lies in uncovering what her ancestors believed prior to colonization. Growing up with an incarcerated parent, Nayasia is passionate about abolition and supporting those that have been ensnared by the U.S. justice system. She’s heavily influenced by her Yoruban belief system, her background in Queer theory, and Afrofuturism. In her free time she loves to convene with bees, sing her heart out, and imagine new worlds.

Margot Reisner

Program and Operations Associate Insight Garden Program

Margot Reisner is an ecological educator, permaculture designer, natural chef and potter who has spent her life on Pomo and Ohlone land in Northern California. She received her BA in Environmental Studies at Skidmore College, where she focused on sustainable food systems and was certified as a Nutritional Chef at Bauman College in Berkeley, CA. She currently works as a program associate at Insight Garden Program and facilitates the class at San Quentin State Prison. Margot is passionate about intersectional environmental justice and anti-oppression work and her life mission is to act as a keystone species who improves ecological and community health with every action and every meal.

The Role of Social Movements in Effecting Radical Change 3:15 pm Aug 6

Nassim Nobari

Writer and Co-founder, Seed the Commons

Nassim Nobari is a long-time human and animal rights activist who views the transformation of our food systems as foundational to redressing injustice, inequality and environmental degradation. After years involved in food-related activism and other progressive causes, she became alarmed at the increased legitimization of animal exploitation by the food movement. In response, she co-founded Seed the Commons, a grassroots organization dedicated to wresting food systems from corporate control and building just and sustainable alternatives that are independent of animal exploitation. Seed the Commons was also created to remedy the lack of vision of the animal rights movement for what agriculture would look like post-animal liberation. Seed the Commons has been instrumental in popularizing veganic agriculture, bringing new perspectives to the environmental movement and building a movement for a transition to plant-based agriculture. On the heel of these successes, Nassim saw that her work was being absorbed by a pro-neoliberal animal rights industry that simultaneously excludes and exploits grassroots organizers and radical thinkers, so she decided to put Seed the Commons on hiatus and spend some time writing and enjoying nature and her dog’s company. She recently wrote a chapter titled Social movements in the transformation of food and agriculture systems for the groundbreaking book Rethinking Food and Agriculture: New Ways Forward.

Helena Norberg-Hodge

Founder & Director of Local Futures and The International Alliance for Localisation

HELENA NORBERG-HODGE is a pioneer of the new economy movement and recipient of the Alternative Nobel prize, the Arthur Morgan Award and the Goi Peace Prize for contributing to “the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide.” She is author of the inspirational classic Ancient Futures, and Local is Our Future (2019), and producer of the award-winning documentary The Economics of Happiness. The impact of the global market on food and farming has been a focus of Helena’s work for almost 40 years, including two books (From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture and Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness, as well as a Local Food Toolkit, which won a prestigious UK award for investigative journalism.

Helena is the founder and director of Local Futures and The International Alliance for Localisation, and a founding member of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture, the International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.

Carlos Marentes

Director Border Agricultural Workers Project Coordinator La Vía Campesina North America Region

Carlos Marentes has been a labor organizer and farm worker advocate since 1977. In 1983, he founded Sin Fronteras Organizing Project to support efforts to improve the working and living conditions of the migrant and seasonal farm workers of Southern New Mexico and Far West Texas.

Marentes is also the founder and director of the Border Agricultural Workers Project, an effort to organize the farm workers of the US-Mexico border, especially the chile pickers, in the fields and in their communities in both sides of the border.

Under the BAWP, Marentes initiated a campaign in the border region for food sovereignty to address the issues of oppression of farm workers and the climate crisis, as a way of promoting a new model of food production and food consumption.

Another effort initiated by Marentes under the BAWP, is the Bracero Project, which is an attempt to rebuild the history of the “braceros”, to bring justice to the Mexican peasants who worked in US during the Bracero Program, from 1942 to 1964, and to use the experience of the Bracero Program to push for new more humane and dignified immigration policies.

He participates in many local, state and national organizations that deal with issues of poverty and economic inequality, and coordinates the International Committee on Migration and Rural Workers of La Vía Campesina and has attended many conferences and workshops in U.S. as well as in Mexico, Europe, India, South Africa and South East Asia, to advocate for migrant workers rights.

Marentes has received extensive recognition and many awards, including the prestigious Letelier-Moffitt National Human Rights Award.

Ashlesha Kadshe

Independent food and farm activist

Ashlesha is an independent food and farm activist from India and also works in social justice philanthropy. She has a background in learning from and supporting national and global farmers’ movements like La Via Campesina since 2009, especially in the area of agroecology. She has a Masters of Science from El Colegio de la Frontera Sur in Chiapas, Mexico.

African Biodiversity Climate Change and Agroecology 8:45 am Aug 7

Annet Dianah Nannono

Project manager at NISI Orgarnic Farm Community Initiative - Uganda

A skilled agronomist, irrigation Engineer and Agricultural extension worker. A youth advocating for Sustainable Development Goals; Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well Being; Clean water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean energy, Decent work and Economic growth, Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure and Climate Action. Having 5-years experience in forming partnerships to achieve the goals through working with Non-government organisations, private and public service sectors in Uganda.

Eugene Twagirimana


I am a young community development practitioner born in 1990 in Eastern part of Rwanda, Kayonza District. I grew up in family of farmers who only applied organic farming. The practical experience from my family legacy on the use of organic farming has left me with a package for the next generation (healthy environment, healthy food and healthy people). Regarding my education background, I have got Diploma in religious studies from Emaus bible college, Diploma in languages (English-French-Kinyarwanda), Bachelors Degree of Law from University of Rwanda, and Master of Transformational development from Eastern college Australia.
I am a founder &Director of wellborn child initiative whose passion is to educate children/youth to invest in agribusiness projects using organic farming. We motivate community members to embrace organic farming as an environmentally friendly agricultural method. Wellborn has got community demonstration farms including- pigs farm, chicken farm and vegetable kitchen garden. I am currently serving as church and community development mobiliser at Rabagirana ministries.

Emmanuel Ochola Matsaba

Research Scientist at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Mr. Emmanuel Ochola Matsaba (JKUAT) is a climate change Research Scientist at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) - Centre of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Indigenous Bioresources and Climate Change Adaptation (CERIIBioCCA). He holds a degree in Environmental Horticulture and Landscaping Technology (2012-2015, JKUAT - Kenya), and Master of Science in Landscape planning and conservation (2016-2019, JKUAT - Kenya) degrees, and an undertaking a Ph.D. in Climate Science. As a Research scientist, Provided support in the area of profiling agroecology and agrobiodiversity actors and practices in Kenya (2020 -2021). Prepared Climate Change Information for Irish Potato Growing Areas in Nyandarua County (2020 –date). Involved in preparation and validation climate atlas for the Horticulture Sector in Kenyan Counties (2018- 2020); designed local climate change adaptation strategies in Cairo, Nairobi, and Istanbul cities (2016 -2018).

Abdoul Nazirou Mama Sanni

I’m Nazirou MAMA SANNI, born on July, 17th, 1992. I’m from Benin a country located in West Africa. I have got a Master’s degree in agriculture. I did my graduation from University of Parakou. In 2016, I made my first professional experiences at the Association for Research and Promotion in Integrated fish farming. Indeed, we made the association between fish farming and market gardening in this company. Since 2017, I was a consultant at the Chamber of Agriculture within the framework of Agriculture Program of Promotion. With this program, I have trained the cooperatives of soybean and cashew producers in North Benin. On November 2019, I created a company '' Tomorrow Start Today '' in which we do the organic production of vegetables (such as tomato, pimento, carrot, cucumber, cabbage, green bean, lettuce) for climate change. I then became an agricultural entrepreneur. In addition, in 2020, I also trained the groups of women market gardeners in North Benin with Care International project. However, I am a member of the Youth Parliament for Food and Nutrition for the achievement of SDG 2. I am a laureate of Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneur’s program 2020. I am also a laureate of Savvy fellowship program 2020 for aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs. From June 2021, I’m gonna work as a coach in entrepreneurship in the framework of Youth Project of Netherland’s Embassy for Improving Food Security in North Benin.

Stella Nyambura M., PhD.

Scientist and Researcher, Climate Resilience Advocate

Stella Nyambura Mbau PhD. A 32-year-old Kenyan. Founder and CEO of LOABOWA. The opportunity to reduce disruptions brought about by climate risks, using adaptation, has led to our interest in climate resilience (that is, climate risk management/reduction through microgrids) and awareness; for those who’d like to join the ‘climate change’ conversation, we have an ‘easy to access’ and free class that can help start them off (now on LOABOWA’s YouTube channel; I also curate a blog ( that’s committed to climate resilience in Kenya, and in Africa.
LOABOWA seeks climate friendships for better collaboration and advocacy on regional climate governance. These enabled the submission of an open letter with climate demands (done alongside youth activists) to the AU in June 2020; it got over 1500 supporters. We’ve also been honoured to extend these friendships to organisations such as the Global Communities Project, Generations for Health and Puerta de Africa. As a climate expressionist and scientist, my contribution to these friendships is a ‘sub-Saharan’ context, the focus being adaptation/resilience over decarbonization for the region.
I coordinate projects for the Abundant Earth Foundation. I also volunteer with the Mother Earth Project (helping them distribute Parachutes for Earth to 15 African countries), COP Non-Official, Polluters Out, among others.

Growing Community Food with Forests 9:45 am Aug 7

Marie-Pierre Bilodeau

Head Refarmers at Refarmers and the Director of Operations of VUFFF

Marie-Pierre Bilodeau (she/her) originates from the territory of the
Innu in Saguenay and is of French Quebecois heritage. After twelve
successful years co-managing and creating an “Organically Grown,
Ethically Sewn” eco-clothing brand called Rabbit & Empee, Marie-Pierre
realized that her efforts to find regeneration and fulfillment fell
short of the life she aspired to live. She studied permaculture at Seven
Ravens Permaculture Academy on Salt Spring Island in Canada and her
hands-on training was done in East Africa where she continues to work
today. She is the founder of, a grassroots organization
that creates and supports small-scale community-based food growing
initiatives as well as provides land-based learning opportunities that
enable people to be the drivers of their own change. She helped light
the spark that is now Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation (
and is passionate about immersing her local work and life in Indigenous
ways of knowing and growing. She is currently the Head Refarmers at
Refarmers and the Director of Operations of VUFFF. She lives and works
on the unceded, traditional and ancestral land of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh
(Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)

Patrick Paul Kidega

Patrick Paul Kidega born and raised in kitgum, Northern Uganda, coordinator Kitgum Municipality Deaf and Interpreters association, that works basically with deaf people, currently am the East African project manager for Refarmers, a nonprofit organization that does regenerative agriculture using the permaculture principles to improve our environment, am majorly passionate about the community and All my activities are community centred, I derived my activities from community needs, other than imposing things on them and it has work so effectively. Am also the people's representative at Kitgum municipal council and holding the docket of Education, Health and Community services.

Bane Saleh

Founder and Director of Mothers of the Amazon / Environmental strategist - plant and health researcher

Bane Saleh holds a Master in Architecture in Metropolitan Research and Design from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles and a Master in architecture from Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris. After finishing her thesis « Re-cycling Los Angeles », at the start of her career, she was determined to build sustainable and socially responsible solutions which were selected for the Venice Biennale of in 2001 as part of the Odile Decq studio and showcase at Archilab for future talents that same year.

From 2004 to 2010, Bane worked at Laceco International in Beirut as both a designer and a strategist on large-scale urban developments across the Middle East. She was part of the design team for Aaman’s (Jordan) Abdali New Downtown urban development and co-led the design of the extension of the Qatar Foundation headquarters; a gold LEED certified building winning first prize for both its design and Sustainability achievements.

After experiencing a major health crisis in 2010, due to years of exposure to chemical waste and weapons in Lebanon, Bane embarked on a long healing journey to heal herself from pre-cancer and later on autoimmune disorders. She spent the next 10 years researching the field of public health and the global epidemic of chronic illnesses such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and allergies as well as natural and alternative treatments to fight those diseases.

In 2016, Lebanon underwent an unprecedented waste management crisis as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis, causing what many have called an ecocide that contaminated and continues to contaminate Lebanon (rated as the second most polluted place on earth and recording one of the highest and most exponential rate of cancer on the planet). In response to this crisis, Bane designed an online holistic public health protocol designed to protect the Lebanese population from chronic exposure to high levels of environmental contamination that was followed by thousands of Lebanese.

Yube Huni Kuin

Agroforestry agent - Board member Mothers of the Amazon

Yube Huni Kuin is often referred to as the Buddha of the rainforest. Yube is a spiritual and indigenous leader who radiates joy, gratitude, forgiveness, and his love for the forest and nature. Coming from a long tradition of Huni Kuin, he is one of the main carriers of the traditional Huni Kuin songs and ancestral stories his elders have passed on to him. He is an agro-forestry specialist and serves as the vice president of the Huni Kuin Federation (Fepach) for 116 Huni Kuin villages. He was Secretary of AMAAIAC (Association Movement of Indigenous Agroforestry Agents of Acre) from 2002 to 2008 and the advisor for Indigenous Affairs with the Government of the State of Acre from 2011 until 2019.

Michelle Gilman

Michelle has recently joined the Abundant Earth Foundation team as an Environmental Nutritionist. Her passion for food as medicine was sparked in 2016 when she began as a community nutrition program coordinator in her home state of Massachusetts. She has since received a Master’s degree in Global Public Health Nutrition which led her to study community participation in school garden programs in Northwest Nicaragua and collaborate with farmers, local communities and nonprofits working to regenerate the Central American Dry Corridor. This included serving as a board member to FNE International and representing their agroecological farm. After volunteering and visiting with permaculturists in Puerto Rico and Colombia over the past year, she is now completing a Permaculture Design Certificate and is eager to continue promoting regenerative growing and eating practices near and far.

Roland van Reenen

Born in 1964 in the Netherlands Roland always had a curiosity for nature and cultural diversity. He is a certified teacher for primary education but did spend 17 years of his life in the music business.

In 1998 he started a career in the organic food industry as the manager of what became in 2000 the very first organic supermarket in the Netherlands. Beside this work he studied the science of ayurveda and different other natural healing techniques.

In 2013 he did discover permaculture and from that moment he was at the beginning of his genesis. In 2015 he moved to Curacao in the Caribbean with a solid mission in his mind: to research how permaculture could make a difference in a drought stricken deforested area. With zero budget he established a food forest around his house and started to give workshops. In the same time he started a weekly organic food subscription for about 80 subscribers bringing organic food direct from the farmer to the consumer.

In 2018 he was personally asked by the minister of agriculture Sra Suzy Carmelia Romer to build up a few permaculture plots for educational purposes. In 2019 he organised for the ministry of Health Environment and Nature a intensive course syntropic agroforestry with teachers from Brazil. He is still leading a project with the aim of implementing this farming technique in Curacao. In 2019 also he has been asked by the government to become a mentor for the Regenerative Organic Agricuture Program provided by the Maharishi University in Iowa. In june he started a function as a mentor for courses hydroponics presented by the University of the West Indies in Trinidad.

He is totally convinced that food forestry as developed as syntropic agroforestry will solve most of our fundamental crisis.

Hannah Eckberg Apricot

Abundant Earth Foundation

Money as Medicine 10:50 am Aug 7

Dawn Sherman

CEO of Native American Natural Foods’ Tanka Bar

Dawn Sherman brings over 25 years of business expertise and entrepreneurial skills to her role as CEO of Native American Natural Foods’ Tanka bar. A member of the Lakota, Shawnee and Delaware tribes, Dawn is keenly aware of the fundamental needs facing individuals at the community level on the reservation. Her South Dakota roots inform her decision making and she is dedicated to seeking improvements in the food systems that benefit the health and
wellness of her indigenous community as well as the community at large. Dawn believes teamwork and meaningful collaboration are essential to success and looks to the operational Niman Ranch partnership as key to continuing the Tanka vision. Previously, Dawn worked in key financial leadership roles in the automotive industry, increasing dealership portfolios as well as assisting in developing policies and procedures to streamline sales and financial efficiency.
She is a founding member of Tanka Resilient Agriculture Coop a South Dakota collective dedicated to returning bison to lands, and improving the lives and economies of Native Communities. She is also a founding board member of The Regenerative Agriculture Alliance, an ecosystem of people and organizations committed to making sustainable ranching and farming a collective norm. She is also a board member of the Tanka Fund, a not-for-profit that supports tribal bison caretakers with direct grants for ranch planning, finance and operations.
As the second generation of Native Leadership and as a Native woman, Dawn’s unique vision combined with her deep experience in the food industry, allows her the opportunity to give back to her own community and further her vision of food sovereignty for all.

Joseph Cureton

Chief Coordinating Officer at the Obran Cooperative

Joseph Cureton is the Chief Coordinating Officer at the Obran Cooperative, (the first worker-owned conglomerate) where his work focuses on bringing new worker directed enterprises to life. He is a serial entrepreneur and founding member of Core Staffing, Bmore Black Techies, and Tribe Works all projects that fight to overcome the challenges faced by modern workers. He is also a software engineer (Drexel University) and classically trained chef (Johnson and Wales) by trade.

Debbie Notkin

Board of Directors - Friends of the Public Bank East Bay

Debbie is an economic justice advocate, who believes passionately that economic reform is a cornerstone of racial justice and social progress. She has been active in the Occupy Oakland Foreclosure Defense Group and Strike Debt Bay Area. Between 1972 and 2011, most of her social activism was concentrated on body image and gender issues.

Leslie Lindo

Managing Director, Olamina Fund

Leslie Lindo has dedicated over a decade of her career working to change the systems that have been most extractive on social and natural ecosystems. Over the last 7 years she has focused on identifying and advancing solutions to address the wealth disparities in economically marginalized communities. As the Managing Director of the Olamina Fund at Candide Group, Leslie works on shifting the power dynamics of traditional finance and increasing access to capital in communities across the U.S. that have experienced historic and intentional exclusion from our economy. In her last role as VP of Strategic Partnerships at Common Future (formerly BALLE), she brought together diverse stakeholders around racial equity and impact investing, equitable financing tools, democratic governance and financial structures, integrated entrepreneurial ecosystems, and shared ownership of land, housing, and business.

Leslie has training in sustainable building, strategic planning, and facilitative leadership for social change. She has proudly served on executive committees for multiple boards, including The Green Chamber of Greater Phoenix, USGBC Arizona Chapter, and Oakland Grown, and currently serves as board co-chair for the New Economy Coalition.


Leslie Lindo
Managing Director, Olamina Fund
Candide Group

Medicine for the Resistance 12:30 pm Aug 7

Sara Calvosa Olson


Sara Calvosa Olson is a Karuk home cook working with Indigenous Californian foods and is the author of a forthcoming cookbook on that same topic. With an interest in using both culturally sound & faithfully updated techniques using traditional Indigenous plants and animals, her cooking inspires a new look at the oldest foods in California.

Ben Krawec

Ben Krawec is an Anishinaabeg tree nerd and former wildland firefighter currently apprenticing to be a Lorax in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough). He enjoys ecologically grounded gardening and dislikes landscaping traditions that are rooted in aristocratic nonsense. Misajidamookazo gaye minwenim mitigoog.

Dr. Jonathan Ferrier

Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Department of Biology

Dr. Jonathan Ferrier, Mississaugas of the Credit community member and Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Department of Biology. His Nishinaabe (Anishinaabe/Ojibway) Michi Saagiig (Mississauga) heritage informs his work in Indigenous food, medicine, material culture and ethnolinguistics. He studies Indigenous ecological knowledge and native medicine for preeclampsia, diabetes, and cancer, among other community needs. Ferrier continues with research and development contributions since 2008, collaborating in 16 countries.

Mayam Garris

Black Queer Farmer - Seeding Sovereignty

they have been farming consistently for the past 5 years, but they originally started farming with my grandmother in Monroe, NC. they owe it all to her, she is the one that brought them into this blossoming practice and responsibility.

they consider themselves a land steward, in deep loving relationship with the land, people, water, and animals. their love for life has brought them into farming. they are proud to pursue their first ever farming adventure as Ancestral Acres Farm and Garden in loving relationship with Seeding Sovereignty.

they hope to be growing food with Queer/Trans Community that is centered around QTIBIPOC joy, liberation, curiosity, and play!

Patty Krawec

Co-Host - Medicine for the Resistance

Patty Krawec is an Anishnaabe Ukranian activist, co-host of the podcast Medicine for the Resistance, and host of the online book club Ambe: A year of Indigenous reading. Patty is a writer and speaker and for 16 years was an active union member and social worker. Her work now centers on examining and disrupting social and political narratives of power. Her first book, which deals with the untangling of Christian colonialism, will be published by Broadleaf Books in 2022 and other writings have been published by Rampant Magazine and Sojourners. You can find her on twitter @gindaanis and her website

Filmakers and Environmental Movements 1:35 pm Aug 7

Camilla & Jim Becket

Directors - The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

Camilla grew up in apartheid South Africa and was an activist in the anti-
apartheid movement. She managed outreach for independent publishers
who originated works by anti-apartheid thinkers and artists, including Nelson
Mandela and Desmond Tutu. She launched Becket Films with Jim in 2005
with a mission to focus on international environmental issues, social justice,
and health. Camilla has co-produced several Becket Films projects, including
films for the Religion, Science, and Environment series about besieged water
bodies around the world and what can be done to restore them.
Jim brings a varied career to his filmmaking: Human rights lawyer,
journalist, and author. As Director of Public Information for the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Jim made several films
about refugee problems around the world. Moving to Los Angeles, he worked
as a screenwriter, producer and director of TV and narrative movies. Since
then he has co-produced several documentaries on contemporary
environmental issues, including The Green Patriarch, The Amazon: The End
of Infinity, The Arctic: The Consequences of Human Folly and El Misterio del
Capital de los Indigenas Amazonicos. Jim’s awards include festival Best Film
awards, two Humanitas awards, and a George Foster Peabody award.

Skyler Thomas


From sharks to cows to plants - Skyler left a teaching career in California to film, edit, and direct multiple award-winning shark documentaries before turning his attention to terrestrial issues. The process of learning the far-reaching effects of animal agriculture on the planet has prompted Skyler to pursue a fourth degree focusing on ecology in order to support and enhance his new environmental films and to battle the new wave of misinformation being fed to the public. The parallels between industries waging war on the ocean and on the land are multifaceted. How can we hope to save sharks if humans don’t care about the animals living right next to them?

Community Regeneration in California 2:40 pm Aug 7

Erica Fernandez Zamora

Senior Organizer with Fuerzas Unidas

Erica Fernandez Zamora, M.A., emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10 from Michoacán, Mexico where she worked in the fields alongside her parents and siblings while attending school in the afternoon. After being separated from her family for a year, she was reunited with them in Oxnard, California at the age of 10. As a migrant student, she took advantage of all the opportunities offered to her, from Saturday school to summer school migrant programs, and constantly sought to give back to both her school and community. As a teen, she discovered her passion for the environment, and for the pursuit of social justice and equity. She became a local community activist, leading the fight against a corporate effort that threatened an environmental concern for her low-socioeconomic community. Her community involvement and academic achievement opened many doors. Erica has spoken to thousands of people domestically and internationally on issues she cares deeply about, such as environmental justice and education. She graduated from Stanford University where she double-majored in Urban Studies and Iberian and Latin American Cultures. She also completed a Master’s degree in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies at Stanford. She has worked at the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights; the Agricultural Labor Relations Board; SEIU Local 2007; Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability; and Community Water Center. Erica is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Brower Youth Award, the Gates Millennium Scholarship, and Glamour 2011 Top 10 College Women. She continues to fight for issues she cares deeply about including environmental justice, immigration, and equity in education and society. She is currently the Senior Organizer with Fuerzas Unidas, a Gamaliel of California Affiliate.

Rob Bennaton

University of California Cooperative Extension Bay Area Urban Agriculture Advisor

Rob Bennaton is the University of California Cooperative Extension Bay Area Urban Agriculture Advisor, supporting small scale food growers, extending knowledge on urban soil quality/resource management and urban ag policy. Rob teaches on urban soil management and heavy metals exposure prevention, is working with local groups on mapping urban food growing sites in the East San Francisco Bay Area, and specializes in providing technical assistance on urban ag/community garden-site governance.
Based in Alameda County, he addresses urban ag related questions and can be found on the UC ANR Urban Ag Website, with many presentations and short fact sheets available via 2017-18 Urban Ag Workshop materials online.

Rey Leon

LEAP Institute

El alcalde REY LEÓN nació en Fresno y se crió en el área de Huron. El Sr. León se graduó de la Universidad de California en Berkeley, donde obtuvo una licenciatura en Estudios Chicanos con énfasis en salud pública. Es el fundador y director ejecutivo del Proyecto de Política y Avance Ambiental Latino del Valle de San Joaquín (Valley LEAP), una organización ambiental sin fines de lucro con sede en el Valle Latino. El Sr. León tiene su base en Fresno for the Valley y se enfoca en la justicia ambiental y del transporte, la calidad del aire, el cambio climático, la energía, los empleos verdes y el desarrollo comunitario. El Sr. Leon ha estado trabajando para asegurar que los principios de justicia ambiental avancen en las instituciones y la cultura de la región. Rey es el fundador de la Coalición Regional de Empleos Verdes del Valle de San Joaquín que cuenta con más de 300 miembros y cofundador de la Coalición de Calidad del Aire del Valle Central. Como Copresidente de CVAQ, León ayudó a avanzar en algunas de las mayores victorias para la calidad del aire en el Valle, incluido el fin de la exención de la industria agrícola de la ley de aire limpio y la colocación de dos miembros públicos, un médico y un científico, en la región. distrito de control de la contaminación del aire.

Julio Garcia

Organizer at Regeneracion Comunitaria California

JULIO GARCIA, Community Advocate Julio is among a handful of leaders building the environmental justice movement for the Disenfranchised low-income Latino community in San Mateo County. San Mateo County has a large Latino, Spanish-speaking population that bears a heavy environmental hazard burden compared to surrounding high wealthy individuals With over 25 years in community grassroots organizing, he is well-tuned to the community's needs, particularly regarding immigrant issues and community education. Julio combines his advocacy with the education and social service needs of families in our diverse community. Community grassroots organizing is in Julio's DNA. “I’ve been working with communities all my life. What better job than to work in the community?” Our role is to create and motivate a genuine regional dialogue between frontline communities & Government/Academic entities and inspire our communities to take their most significant actions utilizing all their forms of capital across asset classes to support our frontline partners and movements toward Environmental & Social Justice issues

Miguel Robles

Founder and Core Organizer of Soil Not Oil International Conference

Miguel Robles is the founder and core organizer of the annual Soil Not Oil International Conference; previously he organized 4 editions of the “Justice Begins with Seeds Conference”. Artisan, poet, farmer, permaculture designer and activist, he has founded several organizations in Mexico and the US and launched countless campaigns of great social impact, during his continuous involvement in various social struggles related to globalization, democracy, human/immigrant rights and in recent years focused in environment and food justice.

He is a very well know activist throughout the Latino/social justice networks in California and other states where he has been invited to present in conferences & community events about his work on immigrant rights, on which he was the main advocate of the implementation of City ID Cards in cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and that were the model adopted by the city of New York. In 2007 he created the Latin American Alliance for Immigrant Rights that launched the first Response Alert Network in case of ICE raids, which received over 100 calls a day at the time. In 2009 he launched a campaign to stop the car impoundment against unlicensed immigrant drivers in Northern California that in six months forced most major cities in Northern California to change their policies about car impoundment.

In 2011 he became increasingly involved in environment/Non-GMO advocacy co organizing the conference Justice Begins with Seeds. He was the field organizer for Spanish speakers in 2012 during the historic Prop. 37 campaign in California, in which Latino vote in support of GMO Labeling reached 61%, the highest in the vote preferences by ethnicities.

He is the Co-founder of the Bay Area Latin American Solidarity Coalition (BALASC), and one of the founding members of the Californians for GE Food Labeling Coalition. He is a strong supporter of a ban to prevent planting Genetically Engineered Corn in Mexico and worked closely with the leaders behind it, until the new president AMLO make a public statement saying that Mexico does not need GMO corn and that is out of question.

For years he hosted educational radio programs in Spanish at a commercial radio station in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area in which he educated about urban farming, sustainability, environmental & food issues. After many years living in the Mission District of San Francisco and Portland Oregon, he moved back to Mexico where he currently works on his agro-ecological project in San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas, called Yok Jinix where he lives with her dog Sombra.