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Members

cFJC members

Héktor Calderón was born in Mexico City, and grew up in Santa Ana, California. He is the son of immigrants, a protector of food justice, food sustainability and food sovereignty issues. Héktor is also the Farmer Justice Fellow for Pesticide Action Network & CFJC where he is based out of the Agricultural Land Based Training Association (ALBA) in the Salinas Valley. Héktor is a farmer and farm organizer for Community Alliance with Family Farmers and an advocate for social justice, and racial equity in his community.

Héktor Calderón was born in Mexico City, and grew up in Santa Ana, California. He is the son of immigrants, a protector of food justice, food sustainability and food sovereignty issues. Héktor is also the Farmer Justice Fellow for Pesticide Action Network & CFJC where he is based out of the Agricultural Land Based Training Association (ALBA) in the Salinas Valley. Héktor is a farmer and farm organizer for Community Alliance with Family Farmers and an advocate for social justice, and racial equity in his community.

Patricia Carillo is the Executive Director of the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), a non-profit organization that aims to create economic opportunity for limited-resource and aspiring organic farmers through land-based education in the heart of the Salinas Valley. Patricia is a native of Salinas and comes from a farmworker family.

Patricia Carillo is the Executive Director of the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), a non-profit organization that aims to create economic opportunity for limited-resource and aspiring organic farmers through land-based education in the heart of the Salinas Valley. Patricia is a native of Salinas and comes from a farmworker family.

Mariela Cedeño is the Director of Business Development & Lending at Mandela MarketPlace, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through local food enterprises in low-income communities. She leads strategies that direct investment into neighborhoods, and supports community entrepreneurs engaged in cultivating our local economy and food system.

Mariela Cedeño is the Director of Business Development & Lending at Mandela MarketPlace, a non-profit organization that works in partnership with local residents, family farmers, and community-based businesses to improve health, create wealth, and build assets through local food enterprises in low-income communities. She leads strategies that direct investment into neighborhoods, and supports community entrepreneurs engaged in cultivating our local economy and food system.

Paola Diaz is a native New Yorker with familial and ancestral roots in the land that is Colombia. Paola is currently a Farmer Justice Fellow with Pesticide Action Network. She is happiest while cultivating connections across the food and farming system sectors by building support for healthy and agroecological communities and uplifting underrepresented voices of grassroots movements.

Paola Diaz is a native New Yorker with familial and ancestral roots in the land that is Colombia. Paola is currently a Farmer Justice Fellow with Pesticide Action Network. She is happiest while cultivating connections across the food and farming system sectors by building support for healthy and agroecological communities and uplifting underrepresented voices of grassroots movements.

 
Kassandra Hishida grew up in Fresno, CA and currently coordinates the Community Alliance for Agroecology (CAFA). CAFA is a coalition that works alongside the most impacted communities of the San Joaquin Valley to address the environmental injustices perpetuated by the food and farming system and to create solutions that foster ecological balance, public health, and economic equality in our region.

Kassandra Hishida grew up in Fresno, CA and currently coordinates the Community Alliance for Agroecology (CAFA). CAFA is a coalition that works alongside the most impacted communities of the San Joaquin Valley to address the environmental injustices perpetuated by the food and farming system and to create solutions that foster ecological balance, public health, and economic equality in our region.

Nina F. Ichikawa is the Policy Director for the Berkeley Food Institute. From 2009 to 2011 she joined the Obama administration’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative at the USDA and from 2011-2013, was a Food and Community Fellow for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, where she launched AAPIFoodAction.org, the nation’s first food policy platform for Asian Americans and Pacific Islander voters. She has published widely on food movement politics and AAPIs in the food system.

Nina F. Ichikawa is the Policy Director for the Berkeley Food Institute. From 2009 to 2011 she joined the Obama administration’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative at the USDA and from 2011-2013, was a Food and Community Fellow for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, where she launched AAPIFoodAction.org, the nation’s first food policy platform for Asian Americans and Pacific Islander voters. She has published widely on food movement politics and AAPIs in the food system.

Janaki Jagannath is a third year law student at UC Davis School of Law. She most recently coordinated the Community Alliance for Agroecology, a coalition of rural community based organizations who work to advance agricultural and environmental policy towards justice for communities bearing the burden of California’s food system.

Janaki Jagannath is a third year law student at UC Davis School of Law. She most recently coordinated the Community Alliance for Agroecology, a coalition of rural community based organizations who work to advance agricultural and environmental policy towards justice for communities bearing the burden of California’s food system.

Brandi Mack is a 3rd generation farmer and a California Native. Currently farming in Urban areas of Oakland, San Francisco CA. Brandi is the national director for The Butterfly Movement, which is an organization that mentors African American women and girls about their personal ecology and the land ecology. Brandi is a member of the COOK Alliance Board, The Black Women’s Media Project and several other collectives that are working towards advancing, social justice, and racial equity.

Brandi Mack is a 3rd generation farmer and a California Native. Currently farming in Urban areas of Oakland, San Francisco CA. Brandi is the national director for The Butterfly Movement, which is an organization that mentors African American women and girls about their personal ecology and the land ecology. Brandi is a member of the COOK Alliance Board, The Black Women’s Media Project and several other collectives that are working towards advancing, social justice, and racial equity.

 
Mai Nguyễn is an independent farm owner and operator as well as farmer political organizer. Their work is aimed at diversifying ecosytems and political representation, and fostering ownership of self-determination and the commons.

Mai Nguyễn is an independent farm owner and operator as well as farmer political organizer. Their work is aimed at diversifying ecosytems and political representation, and fostering ownership of self-determination and the commons.

Ciara Segura is the Director of Programs and Policy at Mandela Partners. She is responsible for developing the strategy and vision for Mandela's food access community programs, which bring sustainable, locally-grown produce into a network of corner stores and produce stands in food insecure communities throughout Oakland. Ciara brings with her a strong capacity to think across disciplinary borders and a commitment to thoughtful, place-based advocacy that is driven by the needs and perspectives of local residents.

Ciara Segura is the Director of Programs and Policy at Mandela Partners. She is responsible for developing the strategy and vision for Mandela's food access community programs, which bring sustainable, locally-grown produce into a network of corner stores and produce stands in food insecure communities throughout Oakland. Ciara brings with her a strong capacity to think across disciplinary borders and a commitment to thoughtful, place-based advocacy that is driven by the needs and perspectives of local residents.

Margaret Reeves joined Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in 1996 after several years of teaching and research in agricultural ecology, primarily in Central America. As senior scientist at PAN, Margaret works on state and federal policy promoting sustainable agriculture. She also continues her decades of advocacy for farmworker rights to a safe and dignified workplace free from exposure to hazardous pesticides. Margaret serves as PAN’s representative on the Board of Directors for the Equitable Food Initiative

Margaret Reeves joined Pesticide Action Network (PAN) in 1996 after several years of teaching and research in agricultural ecology, primarily in Central America. As senior scientist at PAN, Margaret works on state and federal policy promoting sustainable agriculture. She also continues her decades of advocacy for farmworker rights to a safe and dignified workplace free from exposure to hazardous pesticides. Margaret serves as PAN’s representative on the Board of Directors for the Equitable Food Initiative

Daniella Sawaya is the Community Engagement Manager for Kitchen Table Advisors and a founding member of Nourish | Resist. Growing up in a multiethnic and multicultural household, she learned at an early age the power of food to traverse barriers and bring people together and continues to bring that lens to her work within the food system

Daniella Sawaya is the Community Engagement Manager for Kitchen Table Advisors and a founding member of Nourish | Resist. Growing up in a multiethnic and multicultural household, she learned at an early age the power of food to traverse barriers and bring people together and continues to bring that lens to her work within the food system

 
Beth Smoker is a food and agriculture policy consultant focusing on creating and improving policies that promote a healthy, fair, and equitable food and farming system. Equipped with a Master’s degree in Food Systems and Society and a B.S. in Environmental Science, Beth has held contracts with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and currently supports the Sacramento Food Policy Council, Pesticide Action Network, and the California Food & Farming Network.

Beth Smoker is a food and agriculture policy consultant focusing on creating and improving policies that promote a healthy, fair, and equitable food and farming system. Equipped with a Master’s degree in Food Systems and Society and a B.S. in Environmental Science, Beth has held contracts with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and currently supports the Sacramento Food Policy Council, Pesticide Action Network, and the California Food & Farming Network.

Beth Spitler has worked for the last decade as an organic farmer, garden and cooking teacher, farmer outreach coordinator and policy consultant. She works on projects related to the California Food and Farming Network’s engagement with legislators and local food policy councils for Pesticide Action Network and authored the report, “Growing Inclusion at the California Department of Food & Agriculture: Implementation of the Farmer Equity Act” for CFJC.

Beth Spitler has worked for the last decade as an organic farmer, garden and cooking teacher, farmer outreach coordinator and policy consultant. She works on projects related to the California Food and Farming Network’s engagement with legislators and local food policy councils for Pesticide Action Network and authored the report, “Growing Inclusion at the California Department of Food & Agriculture: Implementation of the Farmer Equity Act” for CFJC.

Neil Thapar is Director of the Food & Farm Program at Sustainable Economies Law Center where he works to develop a racially just food and farm system that de-centers the individual and re-centers the collective. He is also an attorney and holds a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

Neil Thapar is Director of the Food & Farm Program at Sustainable Economies Law Center where he works to develop a racially just food and farm system that de-centers the individual and re-centers the collective. He is also an attorney and holds a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

Paul Towers is Executive Director at Community Alliance with Family Farmers, a leader of the Sacramento Food Policy Council and of the California Food & Farmer Network, and is an aspiring urban farmer. His roots are in Southern Arizona and considers Sacramento home.

Paul Towers is Executive Director at Community Alliance with Family Farmers, a leader of the Sacramento Food Policy Council and of the California Food & Farmer Network, and is an aspiring urban farmer. His roots are in Southern Arizona and considers Sacramento home.

 
Chanowk Yisrael is an urban farmer, community activist and husband. Born and raised in Sacramento, he worked & traveled across the country for 10 years on the dime of corporate America before deciding to trade in his frequent flyer miles for seeds and soil. When his hands are not deep in the Earth you can find him working in his community with youth demonstrating the benefits of land ownership and food sovereignty.

Chanowk Yisrael is an urban farmer, community activist and husband. Born and raised in Sacramento, he worked & traveled across the country for 10 years on the dime of corporate America before deciding to trade in his frequent flyer miles for seeds and soil. When his hands are not deep in the Earth you can find him working in his community with youth demonstrating the benefits of land ownership and food sovereignty.

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