BLACK FOOD SOVEREIGNTY COALITION

TEAM

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EDWARD "EDDIE" HILL

Co-Director, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition

Edward Hill is an innovator and driver of work at the intersections of food justice, food systems improvement, and BIPOC food economies for Black and Brown People in the Pacific Northwest. Starting as an organic small-acre farmer apprentice in Olympia, WA, he continues to promote and demonstrate how community-based food systems, equity, and green workforce development intersect. He has advocated for innovative environmental and food-based programs and business development for the Black community in the Northwest, helping to launch the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Red Barn Ranch Farms for Tilth Alliance, working at Growing Power with Will Allen, and consulting internationally on urban design, equitable development, and urban farm projects as a food systems planner.

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CHARLES SMITH

Co-Director, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition

Charles Smith, MSW- is a father of 6, husband, and active community servant. He is the chief instructor of Portland Soo Bahk Do- martial arts and wellness training, and the owner/principal consultant at Charles Smith and Associates LLC- providing consultation, training, program develop, and counseling services. His current projects include coordinating Grandma’s Hands- engaging Black families and community in sharing cultural food traditions; serving as a Parent Partner at the Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center- serving families of children with special health needs; and working with the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation of Oregon.

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MIRABAI COLLINS

Co-Director, Black Futures Farm

Mirabai Collins is a program coordinator for the Lettuce Grow program at Growing Gardens and an educational coordinator for the Institute for Applied Ecology, in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches and helps to grow food in prisons. She holds an undergraduate degree in English with an emphasis in linguistics, and is concerned with African American poetics as relates to expressive constructs within oppressive and undermining frameworks. Attendant to this work is the exploration of un/natural environments and their creative possibilities, which brings her back to the land and, as a member of the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition and Co-director and farmer at Black Futures Farm, the fight for food-systems justice.

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MALCOLM SHABAZZ HOOVER

Co-Director, Black Futures Farm

Malcolm Hoover is a father, grandfather, and third generation community organizer. He is the co-director of Black Futures Farms, in SE Portland, and a member of the BFSC leadership team. His many jobs have included: assembly line worker making Doppler radar rigs, journalist, tech writer, High School and Elementary School teacher, counselor, US Navy Weatherman, video game tester, and book peddler. Malcolm’s first book, “144 Poems and Essays for God, Love, Truth, Justice, Peace and Hip Hop,” was published in 2015 by Tayen Lane Press.

BFSC Board Members

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Charles Hannah is a father, grandfather, and Co-Owner, along with his beautiful wife, Michelle Lewis, of Third Eye Books Accessories & Gifts LLC established in 2018. Charles has worked the past 25 years in community-based positions that centered on Social Justice, Early Childhood, Parenting Education and Fatherhood Involvement. Charles is very passionate about reading and interested in collecting hardcover books relating to the African American experience. Charles enjoys spending time with family and friends, having alone time in nature, reading books on ancient Kemet (Egypt) and vacationing. Charles refers to himself as an amateur “Kemetologist.” A person who study’s all things related to ancient Kemet/Egypt. Charles is the proud father to three adult sons and three wonderful grandchildren.

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Nicole Hams is a Pacific Northwest native, born and raised in Puyallup, Washington. She grew up loving the outdoors, and spent time hunting amphibians, working with her hands and getting dirty. As an adult, not much has changed. Nicole is a Fish Biologist and Outreach Specialist for the Federal government. She obtained her PhD (2017) and M.S. (2015) in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Oregon State University and a B.S. (2012) in Agricultural Biochemistry from University of Missouri-Columbia. Nicole’s experience with non-profits includes organizational and strategic planning. She has experience reviewing Federal grants and scientific literature. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities such as hunting, camping and target shooting.

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Jamese Kwele is a shaper of change, a strategic patternmaster, and a mama of two. She is the Director of Food Equity at Ecotrust, a nonprofit that works in partnership towards an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. At Ecotrust, Jamese leads the organization's institutional equity work and a new Food Equity initiative developed at the intersections of food & land justice, climate resilience, and economic development.

Jamese is on the leadership team of the Black Oregon Land Trust and the Black Food Fund and a board member for both the Black Food Sovereignty Coalition and the National Farm to School Network. Jamese believes in the power of Black people reclaiming our connection to the land and is honored to be a BFSC board member.