Speakers

  • Lucas Benitez
    Co-Director of the Coalition of Immokalee WorkersLucas 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.

    > Website @CIW

  • Bryant Terry
    Eco Chef, Food ActivistBryant 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.

    > Website @bryantterry

  • Letitia James
    District 35 - Council Member - Working FamiliesCouncil 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.

    > Website @TishJames