Following Malik Yakini's Keynote, we are excited to present a panel discussion featuring:
Alberto Flores serves as the Community Relations Division Director for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. He has designed and developed several special project initiatives including the Multi-cultural Liaisons Initiative which is meant to enhance the department’s service delivery and communication to communities and specific cultural groups, (African American, American Indian, Arab American, Asian American, and Latino American,) and the disability population. Alberto has worked more than 30 years in the social services and civil rights arena to better the quality of life for those in need. He is the son of Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker parents and he also worked as a farmworker until his senior year in high school. He is a graduate of Saginaw Valley State University and has completed graduate work at the University of Michigan – Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies in the area of public administration.
Oran B. Hesterman, PhD, is president and CEO of Fair Food Network, a national nonprofit organization working at the intersection of food systems, sustainability and social equity to guarantee access to healthy, fresh, and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities. His book, Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All, published in June 2011, has been recognized by leaders in the field and the national media as a “must read.” During his 30-year career, Hesterman has become a national leader in sustainable agriculture and food systems and has made a significant contribution to the funding of healthy food and farming nationwide. A native of Berkeley, California, he started his career as an organic farmer and then established one of the first sprout businesses in America in 1973. He sold the business to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his doctorate in agronomy, plant genetics and businesses administration. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Saru Jayaraman is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC in New York, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants. ROC now has 10,000 members in 19 cities nationwide. The story of Saru and her co-founder's work founding ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times "Public Lives" section in 2005, and was named one of Crain's "40 Under 40" in 2008, 1010 WINS's "Newsmaker of the Year," and one of New York Magazine's "Influentials" of New York City. Saru co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce, (ME Sharpe, 2005) and authored Behind the Kitchen Door, forthcoming from Cornell University Press.