The 2016 Better Selves Fellowship
Kent works in theater, education and social justice. He uses his decades-long experience with a movement practice called Authentic Movement as a somatic pathway to explore “otherness” with various groups. Kent facilitates cross-cultural conversations for organizations that wish to become more inclusive. He lives in Massachusetts.
Paula is an attorney, and the founding director of 596 Acres, New York City’s Community Land Access Advocates. The project’s goals are the activation of the commons and the healing of the scars of redlining, municipal neglect and urban renewal through local collaborative action.
John helped start The Food Project in the North Shore Region of Massachusetts in May 2005. His experience in youth advocacy spans work in education, literacy, HIV-AIDS prevention, and community service promotion. John is currently serving as the Regional Director of The Food Project North Shore.
Dr. Claudia J. Ford has had a career in international development and women’s health spanning three decades and all continents. Claudia’s research interests are in traditional ecological knowledge, agroecology, historical ethnobotany, gender, and medicinal plants. She currently teaches at Rhode Island School of Design and other universities in New England.
Scott Landis has been promoting appropriate technology, community-based sustainable forest management and innovative supply chains of artisanal wood products for more than 25 years. He founded the Woodworkers Alliance for Rainforest Protection (WARP) in 1990, which led to his creation of the U.S.-based nonprofit GreenWood, which trains artisan woodworkers and sawyers in Latin America.
VANESSA CROSSGROVE FRY
Vanessa Crossgrove Fry serves as assistant director of the Public Policy Research Center at Boise State University and the City of Boise’s Policy Innovation Fellow. Her passion for sustainability and justice focus her research on food systems, homelessness, and local economies.
Rebecca is the Director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network, a small non-profit project that focuses on bringing the human health and equity implications of climate and environmental threats into Maryland state and local policy debates.
Tomás Garduño is a Native New Mexican Chicano, born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He co-founded ‘ROOTS! Reclaiming Our Origins Through Struggle, and worked as a campaign organizer with the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice. He currently coaches organizations across the country through Groundswell Fund. He is also a traditional organic farmer and avid bicyclist.
Samir K. Doshi is a Senior Scientist at U.S. Agency for International Development’s Global Development Lab. Samir leads the Real-Time Data for Adaptive Management program, focused on how communities use digital technologies to better evaluate and adapt to emergent situations across humanitarian efforts. Samir also supports USAID’s Ebola response and recovery work in West Africa.
Tony Hillery is the Founder and Executive Director of Harlem Grown, which addresses the health and academic challenges facing public elementary school students in Harlem. Harlem Grown has continued to expand to serve over 2,500 students per year and provides over 2,000lbs of fruits and vegetables to children and families in Harlem in 2015. This year Harlem Grown expands further, opening a new farm on 127th Street.
Samantha hails from St. Louis, MO and Herndon, VA. A doctoral candidate at Indiana University–Bloomington, she is pursuing a PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs with a concentration in Race and Gender Equity in Education. Her research interests include: Race, Class, & Gender in Education, Critical Pedagogy, Critical Race Theory, The College Student Experience, and Diversity and Inclusion.
Brooklyn born Nigerian, interdisciplinary artist, cultural worker, community organizer, Black radical mama of one awesome teenage daughter, nature lover, intuitive healer, Afro-feminist future conjurer, empath, and world traveling witch. She is also an art director/set decorator for film and TV, yoga teacher and Creator/Director of The Free Black Women’s Library, a mobile interactive library.
SHARON FEUER GRUBER
Sharon Feuer Gruber co-founded Food Works Group, a consultancy focused on creating a smarter food system. She specializes in community food security, sustainable foods, and food-related economic development on both a local and national level, with a strong emphasis on a systems-based approach. She is the co-founder of the Wide Net Project and a member of the Montgomery County (MD) Food Council.
TEMISTOCLES BLESSED FERREIRA
Tem Blessed was born in West Africa and came to New Bedford when he was just a few years old. Before he even took the stage with hip-hop, the artist within him was already born. Coming up as a young artist Tem Blessed was inspired by more than just a great sound. He stands strong to ideals like intelligence and integrity. His art and music is constructive as opposed to being destructive.
Jill has worked in book publishing, in radio traffic and production at Vermont Public Radio, for non-profit entities, and most recently as Director of Communications for the Vermont-grown kombucha company, Aqua ViTea. Jill has published conservation profiles for the Vermont Land Trust and a book for The Center for Whole Communities called Entering This Land: A History of Knoll Farm.
Carrie is a spirited marine scientist committed to protecting and restoring urban watersheds through community participation. As the Director of Hudson River Park’s Environment and Education Department, she dedicates her work to the health of the Hudson River and empowering New Yorkers to be stewards of NYC’s waterways. She is also an Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow.
Two Trees (Matthew S. Haar Farris, Ph.D.) is a Crossroads practitioner whose work/Work both in and outside of the academy aspires to nurture sacred relationships. Most recently he has served as a Lecturer at California State University (Fresno), where he taught classes in philosophy and religious studies. He is currently at work on a manuscript that advocates education as a spiritual exercise.
Jennifer Casey is the Executive Director of Fondy Food Center – a non-profit that connects Milwaukee to fresh, local food through its farmers markets, farm project, and city-wide healthy food access initiative. She brings her experience as a registered dietitian, writer, gardener and professional cook to her food advocacy efforts.
Tom is Senior Director with the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oceans Program. For over 25 years, he has worked in the sustainable development and conservation field, starting out as a environmental lawyer for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (now known as EarthJustice). In 2006, he was a global fellow with MIT’s Sloan School of Management and immersed in building cross-sectoral collaboration.
By training and vocation, Marit Wilkerson is a conservation scientist, constantly seeking ways to connect people to nature. She currently serves as a Climate Change Advisor at USAID and focuses on policy and programming that will enable smallholder and subsistence farmers, pastoralists, and fisherfolk in sub-Saharan Africa to adapt to climate change.
Zakiya began her career as an educator with a personal mission of leveling the playing field for children in under-resourced communities. She has over a decade of experience as a school administrator and non-profit leader. Prior to founding KORE Consulting, Zakiya was the Director of School Partnerships at Flamboyan Foundation.
Andy Robinson provides training and consulting for nonprofits in fundraising, board development, marketing, earned income, planning, leadership development, facilitation, and train-the-trainer programs. He specializes in the needs of organizations working for human rights, social justice, artistic expression, environmental conservation, and community development.
Sarah Bursky has a passion for community building, and empowering those she works with to achieve system-level change. For close to 20 years she has worked as an educator, program manager, and facilitator at the intersection of community engagement and conservation. Sarah is currently working at the National Park Service as a community planner with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.
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