This panel discussion will explore the topic of veganism in POC communities linked to health disparities in food deserts across Los Angeles. Many of our ancestors traditionally ate plant-based or plant-heavy diets, and colonization spurred many of the unhealthful cultural foods of today. The panel will discuss how communities are navigating the intersection of these worlds. Snacks by a local vegan vendor will be available for a fee.
Gwenna Hunter, VegansOfLA
Founder of urban pop culture blog, "Vegans Of LA" and Community Events Coordinator for Vegan Outreach in Greater Los Angeles. Vegan for love, the animals, and the planet.
Angela Means, Jackfruit Cafe
After a long career in entertainment, most commonly known for her role as Felisha from Friday, Angela is bringing vegan soul food to the South LA community and beyond. Jackfruit Cafe's menu offers a variety of dishes centered around jackfruit, a popular vegan staple.
Sherene Chou, Sustainable Nutritionist
Sherene works as a consultant focused on building sustainable nutrition initiatives with plant-based brands, co-developed the first Certificate of Training on Sustainable Food Systems
for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, teaches at California State University, Los Angeles and USC Keck School of Medicine. Sherene serves as the Chair Elect for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vegetarian Practice Group and as the Nutrition Advisor for the Plant Based Foods Association. She has a M.S. in Nutrition from California State University, Los
Angeles, B.S. in Public Policy and Business Law from USC, and Chef’s Training from the Natural Gourmet Institute.
Claudia Serrato, Native Based Food Educator
Anthropologist, professor and chef Claudia Serrato is the co-owner and co-founder of Cocina Manakurhini, a Native based food catering company that serves the Los Angeles and local regional community. She currently sits on multiple advisory boards to multiple food centered projects. Serrato’s string of academic degrees, a BA in Gender, Ethnicity and Multicultural Studies, a MA in Mexican American Studies, a MA in Anthropology, and a PhD to be completed summer 2018, inform her work on Indigenous cooking, cuisine and kitchen spaces across the United States. As a public scholar, Serrato speaks throughout various university campuses, cultural gatherings and community autonomous spaces on the importance on returning to one’s cultural heritage cuisines. She has also been invited to speak on radio shows such as Feminist Magazine on KPFK and Animal Voices at CFRO. Serrato also teaches knife skills, cooking and plating techniques and facilitates food demonstrations in intimate spaces. On her free time, Claudia enjoys learning about local regional wild plant foods, seed saving, growing food, writing about food, and cooking for her family.
Jocelyn Ramirez, Todo Verde
Todo Verde founder, Jocelyn Ramirez, is a vegan chef, college professor, yoga instructor, and advocate for healthy food access in her community. After Jocelyn’s father was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, she created a plant based superfood smoothie diet that made him dramatically stronger and helped with a quick recovery. In this process, she noticed the disproportion of healthy food options in the LA area after years of driving across town in search of healthier food for her and her family.
This inspired Jocelyn to create a healthy food option for the Eastside community. She founded Todo Verde in 2015 with a mission to create delicious and healthy plant based food inspired by her Mexican and South American roots. She left her career in higher education to pursue a new path in foodways related to culture and tradition. She has referenced traditional recipes passed down for generations within her family, and has explored new techniques using native ingredients. As she continues to learn about the health benefits of nutrient dense food and healthy ecosystems, she offers knowledge on healthy living with the community through workshops, dialogues, food demonstrations, and speaking engagements.