This October, Afro-Vegan Society welcomed a cohort of 12 enthusiastic participants from communities across North America from a wide variety of disciplines and walks of life. We administered our 5 week training program featuring live lessons, weekly assignments, a robust resource library, and activist initiative pitches from our participants. We look forward to supporting them as they continue to do meaningful vegan outreach in their communities. Get to know them below!
Newport News, VA
" I am a vegan, registered yoga instructor, and self taught herbalist. I practice what I preach daily. I enjoy helping others discover natural healing by using items they may have already in their pantry. I also teach people that there diet’s don’t work, but lifestyle changes work. I am currently publishing a book about my journey from reckless dieting to living a healthy happy lifestyle. I have taught cooking classes and herbal healing classes. I’ve also started a natural body care business called She’s Steamy."
I want to ... [let] people know that being a vegan is not all about the food choices. It is a lifelong lifestyle that could potentially help with weight maintenance and reduce health ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure. I want to educate African American people about healthier food choices and to show them that they can obtain good quality food purchases that are affordable.
" I’m a Texan who loves to collect passport stamps and go hiking. An introvert by choice, you can find me exploring a library, playing with my 3 dogs or experimenting in the kitchen."
"My purpose is to equip Black people with knowledge and applications to incorporate a vegan lifestyle into their everyday lives in order to live longer healthier lives."
"Anthony is fueled by his passion for reinvention and transformation. He was introduced to the Vegan way of life via his mom and sister. After a health scare, Anthony transformed his relationship with food and created a documentary film (Ask the Old Guy) to document his journey. In addition to being a filmmaker, Anthony is a writer, author of seven books and hosts a podcast, Visionaries and Truthtellers."
"My purpose is creating space for black middle aged men who are interested in being a part of the community and dying of old age (150) and not preventable diseases."
St. Louis, MO
"Antonia Roach is a 5-year vegan and first-year sociology PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis. Originally from Charleston, IL, Antonia grew up in Easton, PA where she nourished a love of the outdoors and nature. She completed her B.S. in Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. After Purdue, she attended Syracuse University and earned a M.S. in Higher Postsecondary Education. While at Syracuse, student protests and an increasing interest in veganism led her to desire pursuing research in the areas of social movements and race. Ultimately, she hopes to increase representation of Black individuals within the vegan movement while also researching the unique Black vegan perspective through the field of sociology."
" My purpose is to create access to information that will better the Black community in the United States. I will disseminate and make accessible information that is kept away from my people; specifically information about the connection between diet and the disparate health outcomes present in the black community. I will expose my community to the advantages of and philosophy behind veganism for black people. My purpose in doing this work is to reach others who will also reach others; those who care about black people and care about their community; those who care about the condition of black people and our advancement. How our people have always done, we will seek out our own justice and overcome obstacles placed in our way to harm us and exploit us. I believe in the power of people and the power of knowledge. We can create change through providing our communities with knowledge and tools to take action and make change happen. Everyone deserves access to healthy lifestyles, support, and safety. Through sharing knowledge, I hope to encourage black communities to pursue what we deserve. By amplifying the stories and voices of Black vegans, other black people will be able to see themselves in the movement, and hopefully will join us. "
"I'm a health researcher, consultant and fitness instructor with over a decade of experience. Through years of research, it's apparent that many of the ailments we face in the black community are food related illnesses. My passion is educating others on the health benefits of veganism as a way to reduce chronic health conditions and improve the quality of their life."
"My purpose is to help others life their best lives and become the happiest, healthiest most positive version of themselves."
"I love plant based eating and living. I’ve never felt better in life! My goal and mission is spread my knowledge and wealth throughout my community of living longer and being healthier. One plate at a time. Advocacy, is key. Each One, Teach One, Reach One."
"My purpose is to serve my community in hole. Parents, adults, children, elderly, the sick….everybody! My goal is to accomplish serving anyone and everyone that will listen about how important or eating habits are an understanding that we can change our lives one plane at a time. We can live longer and be a better people together. Education and knowledge is key. I will make the lives of my community members better by going in and doing “heart work” Sharing my gift and my knowledge and my passion for better health and wellness in our community well hopefully help someone in the future and present."
"Caitlin Mercier is an Assistant Professor in Psychology/WGSS at Illinois State University. Her research explores the impact of veg*n stigma on veg*ns and anti-Black racism/colorism on Black Americans/women through qualitative and mixed methodologies. Passionate about social justice and believing human and nonhuman animals oppressions as linked, she aims to use her work to inform vegan advocacy efforts that provide access to Black communities."
"My purpose is to use my creativity, curiosity, and authenticity to uplift the voices of and stories Black (vegan) people and empower people to coalesce for social change. "
"I am Michelle Stafford, from Baltimore, MD. I am a wife and mother of 3 grown sons. I have been vegan for 5 years. I am a Reiki practitioner and I teach Yoga Therapy and the Feldenkrais Method."
"My purpose is to use my life and knowledge of plant-based food and mindful movement to uplift and empower black women and their families, so that they may live an empowered life full of health and abundance. When we take care of ourselves, we are able to take care of others. Self-care is healthcare and food is medicine."
"Originally from the United States, I immigrated to Canada more than 9 years ago. I'm currently transitioning from a career in Social Services to a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. My interest in vegan activism is rooted in observations of both US and Canadian society. The health of the people of the African diaspora is being harmed by the Western diet and its adjacent forms of profiteering. My goal within the framework of Afro-veganism is to empower the community to demand better health outcomes through understanding nutrition, food justice and the cultural impacts on Black communities of systemic exploitation. My immediate goal in this training program is gaining a broader community outreach lexicon and the tools necessary to present veganism as an essential part of reducing health disparities in Black communities and increasing self-efficacy."
"My purpose is to empower my community to demand justice in healthcare through direct service and education."
"Shay Mosley is a wellness enthusiast and health advocate who works to inspire others to adopt a plant based lifestyle. Vegan for 9 years and a fierce advocate for healthy and sound living, she passionately dedicates her focus and energy to supporting individuals and communities on their path to wellness."
"My purpose is to help women of color lead healthier lifestyles by empowering them with information that is practical, inspiring and motivates them to make lifestyle/dietary changes that improve health and provide a foundation for future generations to have fewer health concerns and less disease. "
Martha's Vineyard, MA
"Regional Chair Commissioner of Bristol County Commission on the Status of Women (BCCSW) under the Massachusetts CSW; Executive Administrator for Martha's Vineyard Vegan Society; 2022 Tufts University Institute for Non Profits Management and Leadership Certificate; Board of Directors President, T.R.U.E Diversity; Marion Institute Southcoast Food Policy Council Advisory Board Member; Commonwealth of MA registered Cannabis medical and recreational agent; Leadership Southcoast AlumnI; 4 decades of social and community advocacy, direct care and administrative work; Single mother of 3 adult children(36. 25.19) and 1 very special GrandSUN and daughter of Yemoya, I am a Black Mermaid."
"My purpose is to reach, teach empower and uplift the village through education of the health and nutrition and economics of our ancestral roots. My goal is to teach the importance of controlling our food intakes by owning and growing our own food from the source to our tables and shelves . All of us are born natural vegans. Owning the land and growing our own fruits and veggies reduces the inequalities of the economics, nutritional and health of our communities. All ages can participate and benefit. The benefits of controlling and growing our own food is therapeutic for our mental, physical and spiritual health."
Martha's Vineyard, MA
"Hello my name is Tina Lee, I reside in the Tucker, GA for 10 years now. Being vegan opened up my mind and tongue to various vegetarian options. I became more conscious learning that not only was this path good to my health, but also reduces the amount of animal suffering and the negative impact to the environment. I continue to educate myself and share with others the benefits of veganism. I like to extend my knowledge and be involved to educate and provide resources in those neglected communities that will benefit considerably, if they choose this lifestyle."
"My purpose as a Vegan activist is to make use of my knowledge and experiences as an influence to individuals in marginalized communities. To help individuals become capable of improving their own health and for individuals to take effective actions to answer the needs in their community. I am committed to provide vital resources, to fight for inequity, to construct and support community food share programs, as well as other areas of assistance, as I see applicable."
Afro-Vegan Society's efforts to provide resources and support to help people in marginalized communities transition to vegan living are made possible by your generosity Please donate today!