St. Louis, Missouri
Food Justice Organizer, Missouri Coalition for the Environment
Tosha Phonix is a Food Justice Organizer in St. Louis, MO under the Food and Farm Team at Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), Missouri's independent, citizens’ environmental organization for clean water, clean air, and clean energy.
As the Food Justice Organizer, Tosha organizes and oversees the Food Equity Advisory Board (FEAB), an engaged group of individuals from communities most impacted by food insecurity. FEAB works in partnership with the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition to ensure that the coalition's goals and projects are aligned with the true needs of the communities they serve and that these community voices are heard by businesses and organizations throughout the city.
Currently, Tosha is working in communities that are impacted by the Delmar divide in St. Louis. The Delmar divide is a street named "Delmar" that divides the city by race, with the northern part of Delmar being 95% African American residents. MCE conducted a study on food access and its intersectionality with built environment, race, income and a multitude of other factors. Based on the findings, Tosha is working with communities north of Delmar with the mission to improve food access and community ownership and representation in local food systems.
Federal Policy Director, National Young Farmers Coalition
Erin Foster West is the Western Campaigns Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition, a group that represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success. Based in Colorado, Erin delivers on the National Young Farmers Coalition’s mission by leading state-level policy work across the Western U.S. to ensure that young farmers have the support they need to mitigate and adapt to climate change on their farms.
Erin has strong technical knowledge of agriculture and agricultural policy. She has worked on conservation programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has also studied agricultural science and policy, which has greatly aided her work with farmers and policy-makers.
Currently, Erin is managing a coalition to work on soil health legislation in Colorado to provide incentives for farmers and ranchers improve their soil health and draw down carbon. To achieve this goal, Erin is designing and implementing policy campaigns and building alliances throughout the West.
Founder & Director, Voyaging Foods
Brynn Foster is the Founder of Voyaging Foods, a miller and baker of Hawaii-grown canoe-plant flour-based food products. The mission of Voyaging Foods is to reclaim and support a regenerative food system based on the principals of Aloha 'Aina.
Raised in California and a graduate of Pepperdine University, Brynn grows canoe-plants on their family's 7-acre homestead with her husband and children, combining her kuleana (responsibility) for indigenous knowledge and food sovereignty. Brynn is President of the Hawaii Farmers Union United-North Shore Chapter, leading the first all-woman Executive Board. She was a recent Delegate for the National Farmers Union United conference in Washington, is President of the Poamoho Agricultural Estates, and a co-awardee with the Hawaii 'Ulu Cooperative of an Atherton Family Foundation grant to scale the commercial production of breadfruit flour in Hawaii. Brynn was awarded "Island Innovator of the Year" by Hawaii Venture Capital Association.
Brynn is currently developing a clean energy drying mechanism as a model for a regional, farm-partnered, value-added food system in Hawaii. This will help to revive Hawaiian-grown crops like Kalo (Taro) and 'Ulu (Breadfruit) in order to reclaim Hawaiian food sovereignty and build a thriving canoe-plant flour industry based in Hawaii in collaboration with farm partners.
New York, New York
Founder & Executive Director, Beyond Organic Design
Monica Ibacache is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Organic Design, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainability and permaculture education for children in order to prepare them to inherit the earth in the face of climate disruption.
Based in New York, New York, Monica operates with a strong intersectional lens that puts the programming of her organization into a relatable context for the communities with whom she works. Having worked extensively as a teacher of youth, she is skilled in breaking down complex subjects into simple concepts for children.
Monica is currently working to build Beyond Organic Design to better integrate food justice and systems approach into her permaculture education and to grow the number of programs she offers to city school children. She also aims to develop and strategic and financial plan to eventually grow her organization beyond New York City in the coming years .
Palm Bay, Florida
Program Director, Little Growers Inc.
Camille Hadley, is the Program Director at Little Growers, an organization that is preparing youth and her larger community to be more resilient in the face of climate change. Little Growers is building sustainable food production systems, creating local jobs, and providing STEM programming to encourage more low-income minority youth to enter STEM careers in Palm Bay, Florida.
Camille believes that the right tools and resources can empower youth to save the planet and reduce the inequities that occur in economically disadvantaged communities of color, ranging from food insecurity to environmental sustainability.
Camille is working to build green and organic infrastructure in the form of an Aquaponics STEM Center to reduce food insecurity and increase interest in STEM careers among low-income minority youth in her community. She plans to propel Little Growers to formally become a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and to expand the visibility and engagement of the organization in her community.