Lucas Benitez

Co-Director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers


Lucas Benitez is a farmworker and co-director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. He is originally from Guerrero, Mexico, and he came to the U.S. when he was 16 to help support his five brothers and sisters. By organizing fellow migrant farmworkers, Lucas helped secure the first wage increase for tomato pickers in 20 years.He also exposed and stopped two slavery rings, and launched a Labor Action Rights program that collected nearly $100,000 in back wages. In 1999, Lucas was the recipient of the prestigious Do Something BRICK Award, which recognizes and honors ten outstanding leaders under the age of 30.

Bryant Terry

Eco Chef, Food Activist


Bryant Terry is a chef and author of three books, including his latest The Inspired Vegan. He is also the host of Urban Organic, a new multi-episode web series. His interest in cooking, farming, and community health can be traced back to his childhood in Memphis, Tennessee, where his grandparents inspired him to grow, prepare, and appreciate good food.Bryant completed the chef’s training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. He holds an M.A. in American History from New York University and a B.A. with honors in English from Xavier University of Louisiana. From 2008 to 2010, Bryant was a fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program. He lives and creates in Oakland, California, with his wife and daughter.

Letitia James

District 35 Council Member, Working Families Party


Council Member Letitia “Tish” James was born in Brooklyn, and except for her law school education at Howard University in Washington, D.C., she has lived in Brooklyn all her life. She loves her community, in all its diversity, and has devoted her life to helping it thrive.Council Member James is well-known for her activity in development issues in Brooklyn. Foremost among these issues is the “Atlantic Yards” project. James has been a long-time and vocal opponent of the development, and participated in numerous organizing and community forums. She supports an alternate plan for development that is more inclusive to the true needs of the community— affordable housing, better food access, and recreational access.

Vandana Shiva

Physicist, Environmental Activist


Vandana Shiva’s work highlights the fundamental connection between human rights and the protection of the environment. Dr.Shiva offers solutions to some of the most critical problems posed by the effects of globalization and climate change on the poorest and most populous nations. She founded an international organization, Navdanya, which is a network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 16 states in India, and is leading author and voice in the anti-globalization movement.

Karen Washington

Community Gardner, Advocate


Karen Washington has lived in New York City all her life, and has been a resident of the Bronx for over 22 years. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make the Bronx a better place to live. She is a member of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, sits on the Board of Just Food, and is an advocate for community gardens and healthy food access in marginalized communities.

Tracie Mcmillan

Bestselling Author


Called a “voice the food world needs” by the New York Times, Tracie McMillan is the bestselling author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. An award-winning reporter covering food and class, McMillan’s work has been recognized by groups ranging from WHY Hunger to the James Beard Journalism Awards—and earned her the ire of Rush Limbaugh, who has called her an “overeducated…authorette.”

Nancy Romer

General Coordinator, Brooklyn Food Coalition


Nancy Romer is the General Coordinator at the Brooklyn Food Coalition and a psychology professor at City University of New York’s Brooklyn College. She was instrumental in organizing the first Brooklyn Food Conference and establishing Brooklyn Food Coalition after becoming inspired to transform the way people produce, distribute and consume food.

Lucas Benitez

Co-Director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers


Lucas Benitez is a farmworker and co-director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. He is originally from Guerrero, Mexico, and he came to the U.S. when he was 16 to help support his five brothers and sisters. By organizing fellow migrant farmworkers, Lucas helped secure the first wage increase for tomato pickers in 20 years.He also exposed and stopped two slavery rings, and launched a Labor Action Rights program that collected nearly $100,000 in back wages. In 1999, Lucas was the recipient of the prestigious Do Something BRICK Award, which recognizes and honors ten outstanding leaders under the age of 30.