Virtual Panel Series

FOOD SYSTEMS, FOOD JUSTICE & FOOD WAYS

Thursday, April 29  |  4pm EST

Food Systems, Food Justice & Food Ways
What Did We Learn In 2020?

presented by Mill City Grows
moderated by Jamie Klufts, MPH

If you eat / cook / buy / grow / love food, this event is for YOU! As we reflect on a most extraordinary year, what did 2020 teach us? What are the fundamental ways we’ve changed and grown within our communities? What are our new visions for the future of food and food access? Our guest panelists are joining us from Boston and Northeast MA, Connecticut, New York, and the Merrimack Valley — come hear their experiences and share their wisdom at this special virtual event!

View & share the official Press Release >>

Registration – $10

Solidarity Registration – $20

Includes your own registration PLUS a sponsored registration for a community member. *

Donations gratefully accepted 

Support Mill City Grows and our Food Access & Education Programs. Your gift of $20 or above is tax-deductible and includes registration to the event.

* If you would like to attend this event and would like to inquire about a sponsored ticket, please contact Kerri Keeler at Kerri[at]millcitygrows[dot]org.

Meet Our Guest Panelists

[Listed in alphabetical order by first name]

Charlotte Border has a background in sustainable agriculture, food systems and management of surplus crops, non-profits, and food hubs.  Her role of Operations Director at Boston Area Gleaners allows her to work closely with local farmers, distributors, processors, food banks, and pantries.  She is a part of the leadership team at Boston Area Gleaners that is working to drive change within the food system through scaling their regional food hub aimed at reducing upstream food loss by providing fair and transparent sales outlets to farmers and improving access to local produce in the hunger relief stream through gleaning. In 2020, Charlotte managed Boston Area Gleaner’s contract with the USDA as a part of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, delivering more than 100,000 produce boxes to non-profits across the region.

Grace Sliwoski is the Director of Programs for the Regional Environmental Council, a grassroots food justice organization located in Worcester, MA. Raised in Main South (Worcester), Grace is committed to her community’s youth and increasing its accessibility to healthy, local food. She served as the program coordinator for the YouthGROW program from 2012-2017, which employs 40 low-income teens to work on urban farms, producing more than 4,000 pounds of food. Her commitment to youth empowerment led her to co-found the Central Mass Youth Jobs Coalition, a network of organizations educating and advocating for quality youth employment. She has served on the board of Worcester nonprofit Stone Soup, the Community Center for Nonviolent Solutions, the Youth Jobs Task Force, and the Youth Worker’s Alliance. Currently, Grace is on the board for Central Mass Grown, the Worcester Food Policy Council, and a member of the Community Health Improvement Plan Leadership Cohort. She oversees all three of the Regional Environmental Council’s programs including the UGROW Community Garden network, which supports 60+ school and community gardens, the Community and Mobile Farmers Market program, and YouthGROW.

Jessica Moore-Wilson is the Executive Director of Mill City Grows (MCG), a food justice organization in Lowell, MA, that creates spaces for food growing, access, and education throughout the City. Jessica has been part of the team since its inception, first serving as a founding member and President of the Mill City Grows Board and then joining the development staff in 2016. Jessica took the helm as Executive Director in January 2020, and has worked collaboratively with the staff and leadership team of MCG through the pandemic, expanding food access programming to meet the community’s needs. She has over 15 years of non-profit leadership and fundraising experience in both Lowell, MA, and New York City.  Jessica holds a BA in Communication from UMass Amherst, an MA in Media Studies from the New School, and a graduate certificate from the Institute of Non-Profit Management and Leadership at Boston University.

John Wang joined The Food Project in May 2005 and helped start The Food Project’s North Shore site—based in Lynn and Wenham—as the Youth Programs Manager. Currently, he serves as The Food Project’s North Shore Regional Director, where he oversees operations including their youth leadership development experiences, community engagement and partnership practices, local food system development, and the growing and distributing of thousands of pounds of produce throughout Lynn and the North Shore.

Kelly Proulx is the Development & Communications Coordinator at the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, which serves up to 80,000 people each month throughout the greater Merrimack Valley region. Kelly joined MVFB in 2016 after spending six years as a Data Manager at Arizona State University’s REACH Institute. Kelly earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and her Master of Nonprofit Studies from Arizona State. She has served on grant review committees for the Greater Lowell Community Foundation and the United Way, and is a 2019 graduate of the Mill Cities Leadership Institute.

Latha Swamy joined the City of New Haven as Director of Food System Policy in September 2018. In this role, Latha works to support and help manifest community-led efforts that envision and create an environmentally sustainable and socially just food system. To create this enabling environment for New Haven residents, Latha works on policy on the institutional, local, state, and federal levels. She is also an active leader in international processes that relate to urban food policy.

Outside of this role, Latha also serves as the Senior Advisor to the Chair of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health, Dr. Ernesto Zedillo (former President of Mexico), at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Her work broadly examines the relationship between environmental degradation and human health. Internationally, she has worked in Haiti, India, Nepal, and Indonesia to address the impacts of global environmental change at the intersection of health and agricultural systems.

She currently serves as the United Nations Ambassador for Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), chairs the Junior Board of EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), and sits on both the Working Lands Alliance (WLA) Steering Committee and Senator Chris Murphy’s Land Conservation Council. She also trained in urban farming and food justice practices at Just Food NYC’s Farm School. Latha holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from Yale University, prior to which she pursued an M.D. and a Ph.D. in systems neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Nahommy Agosto is from Boston, MA, and has been at The Food Project since 2017.  She is a former Youth Board member and is currently a member of The Food Project’s new Fellowship Program — Bloom Crew — for graduating high school students that have been working on food distribution and garden builds this past year in Greater Boston.  Nahommy is 19 and is a first year at Suffolk University. Her major is currently undecided, but she has an interest in majoring in Public Relations. In her spare time, she likes to play with her dog Zoey and cook.

 

 

 

Sheryll Durrant is an urban farmer, educator, and food justice advocate. She has been the Resident Garden Manager at Kelly Street Garden since 2016, and is also the Food and Nutrition Coordinator for New Roots Community Farm, managed by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Her work has included developing community-based urban agriculture projects and providing expertise and technical assistance for gardens within supportive housing developments. Sheryll has led workshops and spoken on issues related to urban agriculture and food justice for many key organizations, and was part of the 2019-2020 HEAL School of Political Leadership cohort. As a former Design Trust fellow for the Farming Concrete project, she is now responsible for communications and outreach for the data collection platform that helps urban farmers and gardeners measure their impact. Prior to her work in urban agriculture, Sheryll spent over 20 years in corporate and institutional marketing. She currently serves as Board President for Just Food.

 

About Our Moderator

Jamie Klufts is a public health practitioner working to advance social justice and health equity. Since 2017, Jamie has worked at the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-MA) where she leads the organization’s communications, public health legislative advocacy, political organizing, strategic planning, and racial justice work as the Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives. In addition to her work at NASW-MA, Jamie also teaches wellness at Middlesex Community College in Lowell and undergraduate public health courses at UMass Lowell. Jamie received her masters in public health from the Boston University School of Public Health in 2015. 

 

Thank you to our event sponsors:

Cummings Foundation
Plenus Group
Microdesk, Inc.

Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union

Align Credit Union

Eastern Bank

Enterprise Bank

Mahoney Oil Company
Wegmans Burlington
Lowell Five Bank
Nobis Corporation
Golden Girl Granola

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