Food Empowerment Project is guided by a capable and experienced team of volunteers with a wide range of skills and interests in social justice.
Our Board Members
Brooke Taylor Adkins has been involved in social justice activism since her teens. She has a degree in Economics and Political Science as well as Culinary Arts. She recently worked in South India for a vegan ecological regeneration and sustainable living nonprofit. Later, as project director, she helped establish its sister project, a UN funded vegan indigenous food forest, a food security mission in northern Kenya. She enjoys gifting vegan cooking workshops, which she has run in three continents and counting.
Sharon Daraphonhdeth holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University. She is the Coordinator of The Green Initiative Fund & Sustainability Initiatives at the University of California, Berkeley and is the current Co-Chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability. Prior to UC Berkeley, she worked as the Sustainability Strategist for SF State’s Associated Students where she focused on implementing sustainability and social justice programs and initiatives. In 2012, Sharon served as F.E.P’s very first intern and is a recipient of the Richard Oaks Multicultural Center’s “What’s Your Cause” Social Justice award.
Rick Kelley works for an Oakland workers’ rights nonprofit. He helped start a community group with other local activists called Neighbors Opposed to Backyard Slaughter, which advocates for an approach to urban agriculture that doesn’t include animal exploitation. Rick has previously worked in drug policy reform, helped form a Minneapolis legal collective focused on empowering and supporting communities likely to be targeted for their political activism, and is active in supporting the organizing efforts of California prisoners’ locked in indefinite solitary confinement. His current interests lie at the intersections between food justice, animal and workers’ rights, and collective efforts for social change.
lauren Ornelas is F.E.P.’s founder and serves as the group’s executive director. She is also the former executive director of Viva!USA, a national nonprofit vegan advocacy organization. lauren has been active in the animal rights movement for more than 20 years. After spending four years as national campaign coordinator for In Defense of Animals, lauren was asked by Viva!UK to start and run Viva!USA in 1999. In cooperation with activists across the country, she worked and achieved corporate changes within Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and Pier 1 Imports, among others. She served as campaign director with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition for six years. Watch lauren’s TEDx talk, The Power of Our Food Choices.
lauren Ornelas Photo credit: inherimagephoto.com
Anika Lehde As the Washington Chapter Volunteer Coordinator, Anika Lehde helps organize volunteers for outreach, fundraising, education, and other Food Empowerment Project work in Washington State. When not volunteering with F.E.P., Anika is the President of a marketing consulting firm and lead writer for Seattle Vegan Score, a local blog profiling vegan people, events, companies, and animal advocacy. She is active in the Seattle feminist community and is currently on the advisory board of the Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN)