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Meet the 2021 National Afro-Vegan Virtual Conference Presenters

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Afro-Vegan Society's 2nd annual National Afro-Vegan Virtual Conference is Saturday November 13th. This LIVE event features informative panels, keynote sessions, cooking demos, & more exploring the many ways that vegan living can transform our communities and protect the planet. We're excited to introduce you to some of the presenters for this event - more will be announced soon! Keep reading to learn more about their work and how you can connect with them.

You can register for the event for free today HERE and read more about the presenters you'll have a chance to learn from below.

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.

Connect with Tracye

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.

John Lewis is an international public speaker, serial entrepreneur, wellness advocate, activist for the wellness of all living beings, film producer and director.

At the young age of 13, John found himself at 315 pounds, but through hard work and dedication, he lost weight and excelled in football and basketball. He continued his streak of athletic excellence throughout his high school and college years with a full-ride scholarship to Harris-Stowe State College. Graduating with a Bachelors's degree in marketing, he later went on to pursue his MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

John’s education in business coupled with his love for health and fitness gave him the ability to start his venture – Bad Ass Vegan – a health and nutrition company that strives to educate individuals on plant-based nutrition. John’s love for his community brought forth the brainchild of “VeganSmart”, a plant-based protein shake company with a foundation whose mission is to prevent obesity through education, physical activity, and plant-based nutrition.

As a well-renowned fitness expert, John Lewis has spent over 2 decades in the health and fitness industry and played Division I college basketball. John is highly passionate about not only his own health and fitness but that of others as well… This is evident through his motivational messages either through his international public speaking engagements or simply through his social media outlets.

Today, John has taken his passion for health and is now directing his first feature-length documentary focused on food and social justice. John has teamed up with the maker of the award-winning “What The Health” to create their joint venture “They’re Trying to Kill Us.”

Connect with John

Yes Baby I Like It Raw was founded by a Nzingah Oniwosan, a holistic health consultant and plant-based chef, as a means to help people tap into their raw potential and “process the unprocessed life.” Nzingah who is also an interdisciplinary artist approaches cooking as an art form, she states, “The plate is my canvas which I transform into an art piece by mixing and blending different vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices.” Her Haitian Heritage and her love of different cultures influence her culinary portfolio. Her mission is to inspire people to take charge of their health through nutritional therapy.

Connect with Nzingah

Adjoa Courtney, aka Chef Joya, is an award-winning private chef, cookbook author, and owner of Cooking With Joya, who is based in Charlotte, NC. Chef Joya specializes in vegan and plant-based cuisine that incorporates Soul Food, Afro-Caribbean, French, and African cultural influences. Chef Joya is famous for her ability to "veganize" any dish that traditionally contains meat and is becoming a formidable force in the vegan culinary industry—one magical meal at a time. With several awards, successful restaurant collaborations, and cooking competition titles under her belt, one can find Chef Joya experimenting with dishes, preparing for her next exclusive dinner party, cooking for her celebrity clients, or sharing recipes on Instagram or YouTube via her channel, “Say What! It’s Vegan?” Recent accolades include being named both critics’ choice “Best Vegan Chef” and readers’ choice “Best Chef” in The Best of The Nest 2019 issue of Queen City Nerve Alt. Weekly Newspaper, being a featured chef (the only vegan chef) on BuzzFeed’s Tasty social media channels, and being selected as a 2021 Women Building the Future Honoree by Vegan Women Summit and Impossible Foods.

Connect with Chef Joya

Online Store:

IG: @cookingwithjoya

Todd Anderson, AKA Turnip Vegan is the Co-owner of Spoiled Vegans Cafe in Downtown San Diego, a videographer, and owner of the Turnip Vegan brand. He grew up in San Diego and the suburbs of Chicago and has a BS in computer science and Masters in Information Technology.

Todd went vegan on November 21, 2016, and this was the beginning of a brand new journey in his life. Shortly after starting his vegan journey, he began to build relationships in the vegan community. Todd began to film the behind the scenes content for vegan brands, and was blessed to do a lot of traveling in the process. He was able to go to Brazil and travel across the Amazon River to pick fresh Acai. (The most incredible journey of his life.) After three years of filming, Todd started to create recipes using many of the things he learned from filming the last few years.

Fast forward to 2021; Todd is currently working on an E-cookbook, a functional mushroom tincture line, and working on more ways to change the way we view food.

Connect with Turnip Vegan

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.

Connect with Brenda

Instagram: @veganfoodjustice

Twitter: @veganqueenbee

Rev. Christopher Carter, PhD is a an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. His research, teaching, and activist interests are in Black, Womanist, and Environmental ethics, with a particular focus on race, food, and nonhuman animals. He is also the co-creator of Racial Resilience, an anti-racism and anti-bias program that utilizes the combined insights of contemplative practices and critical race theories. Dr. Carter's passion for all of his work evolves out of his family's struggle to loosen the chains of systematic racism – similar to bell hooks he believes that education is the practice of freedom. At its broadest level, he believes that learning should be transformational: it should transform how the student views herself, her neighbor, and her worldview. He earned his PhD in Religion with an Ethics & Society concentration from Claremont School of Theology. His dissertation, Eating Oppression: Food, Faith, and Liberation was the foundation for his forthcoming book The Spirit of Soul Food.

He is on the board of directors of Farm Forward, an anti-factory farming non-profit and is a commissioned Elder within the United Methodist Church.

Connect with Dr. Carter

Get his book on December 21, 2021:

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.

Connect with Jessica

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!

Connect with Jamila



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