- Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2023
- Time: 4:30-6:30pm
- Location: The Forum at Town Hall Seattle – 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (view map »)
- Price: Sliding scale: $0-10
How can we build a more just and resilient local food system?
Between bare grocery store shelves and skyrocketing food costs, the last few years have made it abundantly clear just how much we rely on a fragile global system that treats food as a commodity instead of a basic human right. But what if we had a local food system capable of resisting the forces of global trade, while sustaining both food producers and those who now struggle to get the healthy, culturally appropriate food they deserve?
Join us for a community conversation with a panel of food justice advocates, Solid Ground program staff, urban farmers, and other leaders. Moderated by Yamila Sterling-Baker of Solid Ground’s Food System Support, our panel will be followed by a Q&A session about what’s already being done to create a more resilient food system here in King County – and how you can support the innovative programs in place across our region.
Lisa Chen (she/her), Program Manager, City of Seattle Food Equity Fund
Lisa has spent more than a decade deeply invested in building power for low-income communities of color. She’s the former Executive Director of FEEST, an organization dedicated to fostering radical joy for youth of color through organizing for health equity in South King County schools. Prior to FEEST, she was an organizer with UNITE HERE Local 8, a union representing low-wage hospitality workers, predominantly immigrants and refugees. In 2009, Lisa was an immigrant rights advocate at the esteemed Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco where she built the nation’s first undocumented Asian youth organization, ASPIRE, and organized for both the state and federal DREAM Act. When Lisa isn’t thinking about equitable grantmaking, you can find her trying out new soup recipes, reading memoirs from BIPOC authors, and attempting to have a green thumb despite years of evidence otherwise.
Laura Emmerson (she/her), Educator & Partnerships Coordinator, Solid Ground Community Food Education
Laura has been involved in food and nutrition education in Seattle since 2019. She previously worked with youth as a cooking and garden Program Educator at Green Plate Special, spent a summer as the Food Access Assistant with Pike Market Childcare and Preschool, and has volunteered at the Ravenna PopUp Kitchen. She believes that when it comes to equitable eating, education and engagement of the community are important steps in making a difference.
Devan Rogers (they/he), Communications & Development Manager, FEEST
Devan is a local Black, Fat, Trans, and Queer self-taught artist. Dev was born and raised in Skyway and grew up going to schools in South Seattle. They are an anti-racist community organizer, starting off organizing with YUIR Seattle (Youth Undoing Institutional Racism), EPIC (Ending the Prison Industrial Complex), and the No New Youth Jail Campaign. They are deeply rooted in the truth that we will not see liberation if youth are not at the forefront of the movement, supported and protected by our elders.
Carmen Smith (she/her), Executive Director, White Center Food Bank (WCFB)
Carmen grew up in a single-parent immigrant household, like many families served at WCFB. Her mother worked multiple jobs to make ends meet and always managed to make a home cooked meal. Carmen attributes these meals to her success. She has dedicated the last 12 years paying this good fortune forward by working with international hunger relief agencies and grassroots nonprofits in food justice. As the Executive Director at WCFB, she nurtures invaluable partnerships and gets to share her mom’s cooking with volunteers and staff.
Yamila Sterling-Baker (she/her), Program Manager, Solid Ground Food System Support
Yamila staffs the Seattle Food Committee (a coalition of food banks in Seattle) by providing technical assistance and administrative support. Her program coordinates weekly food deliveries to 22 food banks and manages Emergency Feeding Assistance Program (EFAP) contractors for the 24 food banks in Seattle. During the pandemic, her team managed a budget of approximately $4 million annually of combined federal, state, and local funds to support food banks in Seattle. Yamila has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit, corporate, and higher education sectors. Formerly, she was Project Manager for Xerox Corporation, Publications Director for the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, and Assistant Program Director in the South Bronx for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation. She has a Bachelor’s in Sociology and African and Puerto Rican Latino/as Studies from Hunter College. She’s on the board of the Afrolantin@ Forum and a member of the advisory group for the South Seattle Community Food Hub.
Hannah Wilson (they/them), Yes Farm Manager, Black Farmers Collective
Hannah graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management and a minor in Geography. As a queer, disabled, deaf, Black, non-binary person, their intersectional identity informs the way they walk through the world and the work they do. They have committed their life’s work centered around food sovereignty and Black liberation, continuing to organize around community building, growing food, healing, and our relationships to the land and each other. They currently co-chair the City of Seattle’s Environmental Justice Committee.
Christina Wong (she/her), Public Policy & Advocacy Director, Northwest Harvest
Christina studied social work and policy at the University of Chicago and is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. She has over 20 years of experience as an advocate for social justice issues, including her work with survivors of interpersonal violence, disability rights, comprehensive immigration reform, and child welfare. Christina advocates for our basic right to food. This includes the protection and strengthening of basic needs resources to create more equitable access to nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, health care, and promoting economic stability. She’s also the Chair of the steering committee for the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition. She’s a mother of two spirited girls and loves to cook, knit, and go camping.
- $10 – General Admission
- FREE – Youth, Community Members, Solid Ground Staff
Can’t make it but want to help?
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.