Tracye Lynn McQuirter is a nutritionist who leads worldwide seminars on vegan nutrition, has been featured in dozens of media, including Essence, the Washington Post, and Black Press USA. A 20-year vegan and a former contributing writer for Heart and Soul, the largest health-and-fitness magazine for African American women, McQuirter founded the Black Vegetarian Society of New York, directed the nation's first federally funded vegan nutrition program, and worked on legislation to improve federal nutrition guidelines. She currently promotes school-based initiatives to reverse childhood obesity and has served as a nutrition consultant for the Black Women's Health Imperative, the largest health advocacy organization for black women and girls. A graduate of Amherst College and New York University, where she received her master's of public health nutrition, McQuirter lives in Washington, D.C.
Naijha Wright is the co-owner and Director of Marketing for The Land of Kush, a vegan soul food restaurant located in the Mount Vernon area of Baltimore. She is the co-founder and co-organizer of Vegan Soulfest, an annual cultural and vegan festival in Baltimore. She is the Executive Director of the Black Vegetarian Society of Maryland. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She develops relationships and collaborates with local businesses, non-profit organizations, schools and churches that share in the mission of promoting dietary, ethical, or environmental veganism. Ms. Wright has spoken and made several appearances at radio stations, schools and community events throughout Maryland and Washington, DC.
Brenda Sanders is a vegan food justice activist who Co-Founded Thrive Baltimore, a community resource center that offers free classes, workshops, cooking demos and other programming that supports people in living a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. She’s also Executive Director of Afro-Vegan Society, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to people in marginalized communities to assist them in transitioning to veganism, Co-Creator of Vegan SoulFest, an annual festival that celebrates culture and all aspects of vegan living and Co-Owner of The Greener Kitchen, a vegan deli and food distributor that produces plant-based foods that are both affordable and accessible.
Haile Thomas is 19 years old, an international speaker, wellness &
compassion activist, vegan food & lifestyle content creator, the youngest to graduate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and the founder/ CEO of the non-profit HAPPY (Healthy, Active, Positive, Purposeful Youth). Haile founded HAPPY when she was 12 years old to redefine youth empowerment through holistic education and address the need for peer to peer free/ affordable plant-based nutrition and wellness education in underserved/ at risk communities.
Haile believes that to productively work toward our best selves, we must first fuel the vessel that supports us, our bodies. By incorporating healthy, plant-based dishes into our daily routine, we can boost qualities such as confidence, happiness, energy, and positivity. In LIVING LIVELY, Haile combines her uplifting message with tasty, wholesome food, providing dozens of nutrition-packed vegan recipes– all gluten, dairy, and egg-free– that pack a punch with bold and bright flavors, many inspired by her culinary adventures around the world.
Jasmine Duke is from Prince George’s County, MD and has been vegan for 3 years. With a passion for veganizing her favorite foods, Jasmine incorporates her Guyanese culture and African-American culture into her vegan cooking by creating what she calls “Carib-Soul fusion vegan meals. She started Diary of A Mad Black Vegan 2 years ago as a way to educate the black community on ways in which to adopt a more plant based diet and transition to a healthy vegan lifestyle. As a food activist, Jasmine is passionate about educating others on animal rights, environmental impact and the systemic/systematic racism and oppression in the food industry. She can always be seen dancing with a good plate of vegan food or a fresh fruit smoothie on her social media. It’s important to her that the world sees how amazing fun and bomb a vegan lifestyle is!
Jessica Carter is a vegan recipe developer and wellness educator on a mission to make plant-based eating more accessible for everyone. She is Director of Programming at Afro-Vegan Society, where she creates, curates, and coordinates digital workshops and resources that highlight how plant-based living can improve the health, environment and communities of people of African descent. She created her plant-powered brand, Love Vegan Soul, to explore global flavors, ingredients, and plant-based traditions. Jessica creates simple and delicious vegan dishes, recipe videos, and conducts cooking demos and wellness workshops across the country, virtually and in-person, to help people make more sustainable and nourishing food and lifestyle choices. Her recipes have been featured on FOX45 Baltimore, Let’s Talk Live, and Good Morning Washington.
She received her Bachelor's Degree in African American Studies from Ohio University in 2009 and her Plant-Based Nutrition certificate in March 2019 through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
Chef Ayindé Howell is a restaurant trained chef of nearly 20 years and a life long vegan. iEatGrass, LLC. began as his solution to the lack of food diversity in the plant-based sector. The mission has also evolved into a vehicle for helping the environment. With the beef and dairy industry being the leading contributors to climate change, Chef Ayindé is passionate about bringing more ethically produced food to the market. By the simple act of enjoying a great tasting, plant-based meal, you can do your part to help preserve the planet for future generations and #EatLikeASuperHero.
Websites: ieatgrass.com macandyease.com
Socials: @ayinde @macandyease
Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
Dr. Milton Mills
Dr. Milton Mills is a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine and a practicing critical care physician in the Washington, DC metro area. Dr. Mills’ compassionate and encompassing worldview has led him to apply his knowledge about preventative healthcare toward the unique challenges of those who are under-served by the mainstream medical model: minority and less affluent populations. As Associate Director of Preventative Medicine for the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), he co-authored articles on the RacialBias in Federal Nutrition Policy published in the Journal of the National Medical Association. A powerful public speaker and most important, an empathetic healthcare ally, Dr. Mills is a foremost advocate for a whole food, plant-based diet.
Dr. Palmer is a board certified pediatrician who has taken a particular interest in nutrition as a means of healing and maintaining overall health. She welcomes the challenges of common recurrent childhood illnesses and is often approached to help families by conventional and unconventional treatment modalities. She offers a nutrition based doctrine to her families and supports families in targeted lifestyle modifications. She has also been active in community outreach and teaching. The scope of Dr. Palmer’s clinical practice has extended beyond the borders of her pediatric practice based on need and she has had the opportunity to make contributions in healthcare by serving stateside and abroad.
As her journey in plant based medicine evolves, Dr. Palmer continues to cultivate and share the knowledge of reclaiming and maintaining wellness. Dr. Palmer is a graduate of Howard University (B.S.) and the George Washington University School of Medicine (MD) in Washington , DC. She has also earned Plant Based Nutrition Certification from the e-Cornell Center for Nutrition Studies.
Dr. Baxter Montgomery
Dr. Baxter D. Montgomery is a Board Certified Cardiologist with years of experience in the latest medical practices and nutritional health. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Texas in Houston, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and the founder and president of the Houston Cardiac Association (HCA). Having seen many patients suffer the consequences of chronic heart disease, Dr. Montgomery founded the Montgomery Heart & Wellness Center in 2006 with the mission to reverse and prevent life-threatening illnesses. Located in Houston, Texas, The Montgomery Heart & Wellness Center is a state-of-the-art wellness facility complete with all the technology and resources to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care.
Combining his medical practice with a food-driven lifestyle intervention, Dr. Montgomery introduces patients to a novel food classification system that helps reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes without medications or surgeries. He has refined this process over the past 10 years with profound positive results in severely ill patients. In addition to running Montgomery Heart & Wellness, Dr. Montgomery manages arrhythmias and coronary disease, performs angiographies, defibrillator implants and other hospital procedures, and teaches young physicians.
Dr. Montgomery earned his undergraduate degree from Rice University in Houston and his Medical Degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He is also the author of The Food Prescription for Better Health, a comprehensive guide for reversing chronic illnesses.
JoVonna Johnson-Cooke is owner and co-founder of MaituFoods, LLC, a vegan meal delivery service and vegan nutrition education hub. Through MaituFoods, she is working to develop culturally appropriate and accessible educational materials that highlight the benefit of healthy nutrition through a vegan diet. The MaituFoods’ Mother’s Meal Program works to provide women, especially those in modest means households, with the knowledge and guidance to achieve a healthy pregnancy and optimal postpartum recovery through a vegan meal and nutrition program.
The overall mission of MaituFoods is to honor the art of food rituals, and to serve humanity in a way that promotes the least harm and the most good for people, animals, and the environment. As co-founder of Grow Where You Are, she works with a dynamic team of people committed to local food sovereignty by assisting individuals and communities in creating sustainable plant-based local food systems.
Grow Where You Are has transformed numerous urban spaces in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Atlanta by establishing community food gardens & vegetable farms.
Born in what might be considered the typical African American household in Baltimore. Gregory grew up eating typical American diet. Filled with fried highly processed foods, very little concentration on vegetables and nutrition. Gregory decided to one day challenge this pattern of living by changing his way of living. After listening to a KRS song he began researching a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new way of eating.
He began a journey of spiritual expression which eventually led him to becoming a vegan; then years later creating the idea for opening the revolutionary vegan soul food restaurant called The Land of Kush.
Since then Gregory has pushed himself to influence others of his family community, and broader environment to change their way looking at life through food. Along with his wife Naijha, he’s not only successfully grown The Land of Kush, but has done numerous outreach in the African American community, speaking to young and old about the benefits of changing their diet and concepts of health and nutrition.
He has been speaker, teacher, mentor, and leader to many and continues the fight for better ways of living by teaching the plant based lifestyle.
As Chief Executive Vegan in her family of 6, Rhashida Bess has become well versed in the art of living the vegan life in a fun and diverse way. Feeding 4 children from school age to teens can be challenging but with creativity and a commitment to compassionate eating the job gets done in the Bess household. As active members of their community, the Bess family can be seen keeping their city beautiful from litter clean ups and beautification projects to supporting the growth and connection of the Vegan community.
The support of family extends into her small business, where all hands on deck makes the workflow and fun. Creating is another opportunity to focus inward and nurture a compassionate and connected life. Rhashida’s creative, community and vegan choice are truly an extension of her personal commitment to helping to make the planet a more beautiful and healthier place for all living things.
You may see more of her work atwww.alodeuri.comand follow her on social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram under Alodeuri.
Tianna began her yoga journey in 2009 with a desire to add more to her workouts and stumbled upon a yoga class at the gym. Since then, she has been practicing ever since. It started for her as a great way to incorporate stretching. The practice has evolved to use it as a tool for stress and meditation.
Eager to pursue a deeper understanding and practice of yoga, Tianna completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2018. Tianna loves helping students further their journey into Yoga.
She is a Yoga Alliance registered 200-hour yoga teacher and holds a certificate in Children’s Yoga.
She enjoys working with clients of all ages, especially those new to yoga. Yoga is not about the poses (Asana) it is about the connection to mind, body, and your breath, and the linking them all together.
Tianna currently teaches private clients individually, at corporate offices, and in residential communities. She also leads yoga and meditation at workshops and retreats. You can view upcoming events and live chat with her atwww.tiannachristine.com
Jamila Anahata is a passionate activist, healer, and wellness content creator in the DC/Baltimore area. She is the proud Multi-Media Marketing Director for Afro-Vegan Society where she engages with her community about plant-based living and social justice. Her favorite topics to touch on are Shadow Work, social justice, and spirituality, and how it all affects her life as a Black femme. She provides insight and motivation for Black queer folks to decolonize through subconscious mind programming tactics, which includes meditation, affirmations, positive self-talk, and more. In her free time, she likes to read tarot cards, cook vegan comfort food, practice Self-Mastery, rock out to metal, and lift heavy at the gym!
Patreon: The Soulful Veganista
Black Perspectives on Vegan Activism
Seba Johnson made history at the tender age of 14 as the youngest Alpine Ski Racer in Olympic History and the first Black female to ever ski in the Olympics. As an animal rights activist, and a vegan since birth, Seba protested what would have been her third Olympic Games because the host country lifted their moratorium and resumed practice of commercial hunting for minke whale. Always compelled to speak out against various forms of oppression, Seba's unique perspective on life solidifies her unwavering commitment to help create a more hospitable place in which to live, for all earth’s inhabitants. Seba’s history-making Olympic skis are currently on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.
Christopher Eubanks is a human and animal rights activist that was raised in Atlanta, Ga and has dedicated himself to doing advocacy work that combats all forms of oppression. After close to a decade of working in corporate America Christopher decided to leave his job and pursue a path of personal growth and self-discovery. During this time he began using his creativity to create film, photography and art as ways to bring awareness to social issues. After learning the horrors of animal exploitation Christopher became vegan, began doing community organizing and has helped co-organize Atlanta’s first ever animal rights march in 2019. Christopher plans to use education, public speaking and creativity as tools to advocate for a vegan diet and lifestyle.
Jessica Schoech is the founder & CEO of Vegan Street Fair & Vegan Exchange, two wildly popular vegan events based out of North Hollywood, California. Throughout Vegan Street Fair's history, Jessica has strived to make veganism accessible to as many people as possible while encouraging veteran and new vendors to push the envelope of vegan cuisine & the vegan lifestyle. it is Jessica's goal to continue to push veganism to the mainstream while advocating on behalf of those who need it most through a consistent anti-oppression framework.