Staff and Board

Staff

Tracy Lerman

Executive Director

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As Executive Director, Tracy provides vision, strategy and support for NESAWG's organizational direction and programs. She also oversees the planning of the It Takes a Region Conference. Previously, Tracy was NESAWG's Communications and Conference Manager. She has worked in the sustainable agriculture movement since 2003, as an organizer, policy advocate, and researcher. She previously worked at the Organic Farming Research Foundation as the National Organizer, mobilizing organic farmers on federal policy issues, and as a project consultant for Hudson Valley-based food and farming organizations. Tracy has a master's degree in Community Development from the University of California, Davis and a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University at Albany. She lives in Kingston, NY.

Nicole Sugerman

Policy Manager

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As Policy Manager, Nicole supports the NESAWG network to engage in effective advocacy for federal agriculture policies impacting our region. Before joining NESAWG, Nicole worked as a small-scale vegetable farmer for 12 years, founding and managing farms including a 1.5-acre CSA at an urban agricultural high school and a network of vacant lot gardens serving dozens of gardeners in North Philadelphia. She is passionate about using sustainable agriculture to advance racial and economic justice and land sovereignty both globally and locally. She lives in Philadelphia, PA

Malaika Gilpin

Conference Coordinator

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Malaika Hart Gilpin has been community and education focused for most of her life. She got her Masters in Multicultural Education and is also a Certified Yoga Instructor. She has taught for over 16 years most recently as Director of Arts at Sankofa Freedom Academy, of which she was a part of the founding staff. She is excited to have recently joined NESAWG as the 2018 Conference Manager. Malaika is also the co-founder and co-director of the One Art Community Center, a non-profit that focuses on healing and teaching communities through the arts. One Art has created an urban eco arts village space that many come to for creative expression, peace of mind, growth and upliftment. Malaika is a part of several community groups as well as a part of the leadership of Soil Generation and she finds great joy working, growing and blossoming with other urban farmers. She loves her jobs and the people she has the honor of serving.

Hoshea Rogovin

Program Assistant

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Hoshea Rogovin joined the NESAWG family in 2018 as a program assistant. This year she is dedicating more time to the youth track, as well as continuing her role with registration and program assistance. She grew up watching her family attend protests for peaces, rallies for environmental justice, lead campaigns for equality and workers rights, stand against racism and advocate for those who could not. This has greatly influenced her to join the fight for justice in her own community. She works with her family at an urban eco-arts village in West Philly called One Art Community Center. One Art is an inclusive space meant to foster creativity in the community, encourage and teach urban sustainability, and provide a platform for artists, healers, and youth to educate, learn and grow. From her love of graphic design and art, she become One Art's social media and marketing manager. She has studied at Hampshire College in Massachusetts where she developed her passion for theater production, urban sustainability, and design. She plans to go back to school soon. Hoshea lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Board

Anna Gilbert-Muhammad

Sis. Anna Muhammad is a backyard gardener that began gardening based on a request from her husband. After realizing that gardening assisted with lowering their food costs and provided some additional income, Sis. Anna began studying gardening more intensely. As a past Board Member of Gardening the Community in Springfield, MA, she began learning more about organic growing while serving her neighborhood at the same time. Sis. Anna is also a member of the Massachusetts Northeast Organic Association for 5 years and she currently works for NOFA/Mass as the Food Access Coordinator and Webinar Coordinator. She also graduated from their Beginning Farmers Program. Sister Anna wants to see all residents of the Mason Square Area and all communities in Massachusetts have the access they deserve to fresh, wholesome food and to assist all that wish to grow food in their homes.

Diana Robinson

Diana Robinson lives in New York City. She is the Union Semester Coordinator at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at the City University of New York. Formerly she was the Leadership Development Coordinator at Food Chain Workers Alliance, a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain. She is the daughter of immigrants from Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Diana graduated from Queens College with a BA in Political Science and is pursuing a Masters in Labor Studies.

Gary Bloss

Gary Bloss lives in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He has over 30 years experience in the field of community planning and landscape architecture, including watershed conservation, greenways, open space, and trails. He has co-managed an organic vegetable farm and CSA since 2006.

Heber Brown

Rev. Dr. Heber M. Brown, III lives in Baltimore, MD. He is Senior Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. For nearly two decades, Dr. Brown has demonstrated his commitment to advocacy for social justice on every level. As the Founding Director for Cross Freedom School, and through the establishment of the Black Church Food Security Network, he has deservedly been recognized as a leading change-maker of this time.

Karen Spiller

Karen Spiller lives in Eastern Massachusetts. She is principal of KAS Consulting, providing mission-based consulting with a focus on resource matching and strategic planning for health and equity-focused initiatives. She has worked with diverse stakeholders, including community residents and businesses, state and local agencies, policy makers, corporations, foundations, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers.

Kelsey Watson

Kelsey (she/her) holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Sustainability & Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems from Michigan State University and has spent more than a decade doing work rooted in food and agriculture. Her work with NSAC has relocated her to D.C. but she was born and raised in Michigan where she was most recently working with the Center for Regional Food Systems on developing An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the US Food System. She comes to policy work by way of wanting to understand how the policy decisions that immediately impact communities of color are made. Kelsey’s work is rooted in principles of racial justice, black food sovereignty, and exploring individual relationships with food and land.

Lindsay Gilmour

Lindsay Gilmour lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the owner of Organic Planet LLC. She plays two roles professionally, as a chef and culinary educator specializing in healing foods, and as a consultant and educator in regional food systems and GAP Food Safety. Lindsay works with regional and national organizations such as Fair Food Philadelphia, Common Market Philadelphia, the PA Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and The Wallace Center at Winrock International, to provide technical assistance and resources to family farmers and assist them in serving new markets, developing new products, and meeting the needs of diverse wholesale customers.

Noelle Warford

Noelle Warford is the Executive Director of Urban Tree Connection, a grassroots organization in West Philadelphia that uses land-based strategies and urban agriculture as tools for fostering community leadership and power. Noelle was raised in Youngstown, Ohio in a predominately Black and working class community. As the first member of her family to attend a four-year university, she received her B.A. in Women’s and Black Studies from Denison University. Through her studies and travels abroad, Noelle developed an analysis of structural inequities that drives her professional work and life. In 2007, Noelle moved to Philadelphia to obtain her MSW from UPenn. Over the last decade, Noelle has worked in the non-profit sector – with a focus on program development, data and evaluation, fundraising, teaching and curriculum development, strategic planning and organizational governance. Noelle has been a part of various city and state-wide coalitions to advance racial and economic justice in agriculture and food systems; and is a member of the Philanthropy Network of Greater Philadelphia’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Raqueeb Bey

Raqueeb Bey (Queeba) is an urban agriculturalist, community activist and mother of six phenomenal children. She is the Garden Resource Coordinator for Grow Pittsburgh Garden Resource Center, a tool lending library in Pittsburgh's East End. In 2011, Raqueeb founded Mama Africa's Green Scouts, a youth program that teaches community gardening, green sustainability, African-centered culture and community leadership skills. She also founded the Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-Op (BUGS FPC) in June of 2015, where she is the Executive Director. Raqueeb is also a board member for Landslide Community Farms. A steering committee member for PaWagn and a steering committee member for the MLK Community Garden. To address food justice issues in the Homewood community of Pittsburgh, she started the Homewood Food Access Working Group. In addition, Raqueeb has also initiated the Hill District Food Access Working Group. Additionally she helped coordinate the newly formed The Black Land & Food Access Task Force under The Black Environmental Collective to address food sovereignty in the black community.

Rebekah Williams

Rebekah Williams is a community organizer and trainer from Western New York, and is founder of Food for the Spirit, an organization committed to racial healing towards ecological justice and equitable food systems. Rebekah is also employed by the Massachusetts Avenue Project as a Community Organizer working to bring the Good Food Purchasing Program to Buffalo. With over twenty years working in non-profits in Buffalo, Rebekah has experience encouraging youth leadership, social and racial justice, environmentalism, and the arts. In 2018, she joined a cohort of 10 individuals in the HEAL Food Alliance School of Political Leadership (SoPL), a national alliance working to create inclusive, democratic food and farm systems. As part of HEAL, Rebekah strengthened her capacity to bring the Good Food Purchasing Program to Buffalo and developed a greater understanding of relationships between racial and socio-economic disparities, food and farm policy, and ecological justice. Prior to her work on Good Food Purchasing, Rebekah served as the Youth Education Director at MAP for five years. Rebekah has a degree in Social Structure, Theory and Change from SUNY Empire State College; and has completed training with Training for Change in Philadelphia PA, Movement Generation in Oakland CA, the Buffalo Montessori Teacher Education Program, and North American Students of Cooperation in Chicago IL.

Ulum Pixan Athohil Suk’il (Bird Spirit)

Ulum Pixan Athohil Suk’il (Bird Spirit) AKA Dania Alejandra Flores-Heagney (colonizer Name) – is an indigenous mixed Woman (Maya, Xinca, Garifuna, Russian Jew and ladino), a mother and Grand mother, born in Guatemala, mesoamerica, after moving to the US in 1999, She has always organized in her country around aboriginal, women’s, language issues and the environment, she continue her work here in the U.S. as a volunteer, staff and consultant. She is a board member of the Environmental Justice league of Rhode Island, now the Farming Director at Global Village Farms and Access Co-op member owner. Ulum is a critical thinker, advocate and activist – Co-founder of Indigenous Peoples Network of RI and MA a collaboration with local indigenous peoples and people all over the state recognizing our ancestral struggles and forming unity by sharing resources, technologies and ancestral knowledge.