This event is designed for content creators, health professionals & solo entrepreneurs who want to get serious about being a change agent for equity & anti-racism in the food and wellness industry.
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- 1:00 pm Intro + Grounding with Nzingah Oniwosan @yesbabyilikeitraw
- 1:20 pm Panel 1: Committing to Equity + Avoiding Appropriation
- 2:00 Q&A
- 2:10 5 Min Break
- 2:15 Panel 2: Ways to Advocate for Your Business as a POC
- 2:55 Q&A
- 3:05-3:15 Networking Session (2) 5 minutes
- 3:15 10 Min Break
- 3:30 Panel 3: Ways to Cultivate Mental Health as an Entrepreneur
- 4:10 Q&A
- 4:20 5 minute break
- 4:25-4:45 Breakout rooms
- 4:45-5:00 Closing
We’re thrilled to have an incredible lineup of professionals to help us break down the following topics:
Panel 1: Committing to Equity + Avoiding Cultural Appropriation
Nicole Charles is the founder of Heal Me Delicious, a professor of Women and Gender Studies, a yoga teacher and reiki healer, autoimmune warrior, and a major foodie. If food was a love language, it’d be hers. At Heal Me Delicious, Nicole combines her expertise and lived experiences in these areas with her passions for equity, authenticity, care and delicious food. She believes deeply that anti-oppression, food, lifestyle and mindset are central to holistic healing. Her dual mission is to share recipes and wellness tips for those like herself who are navigating the autoimmune paleo protocol while living with autoimmunity, and to work with health and wellness entrepreneurs and brands toward equity, diversity and anti-racism within the food and wellness industry at large.
Geneva built a global career as an award-winning journalist and digital executive. A contributor to Vogue Italia and Teen Vogue, Geneva offers her take on culture and issues that matter for a range of media powerhouses including NBC News, AOL, and The Huffington Post. But it’s Geneva‘s business strategy behind the scenes shaping some of the world’s most venerable luxury brands like Topshop, Macy’s Digital, BBC America, InStyle, Food & Wine, W Magazine, and Architectural Digest that keeps her at the tipping point of what’s hot, now and next. As she continues to elevate international Fortune 500 brands, in summer 2020, Geneva premiered podcast series ‘Inside the Culture’, where she takes listeners to the frontlines of news, pop culture, and race and gender in America. Geneva studied throughout Paris, London, Scotland, and South Africa, ultimately earning a Master’s in journalism from NYU. Active in New York Metro community, Geneva dedicates herself to causes related to women’s empowerment and education. Follow Geneva everywhere @genevasthomas.
Pia Schiavo-Campo has been featured on Good Morning America, People magazine, and Yoga International Magazine. She is proud to have been recently named one of the top 100 Responsible Health & Wellness Influencers of 2020 by New Hope Network. For the last decade, she has been authoring a blog called Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick that empowers women to take up as much space as they damn well please. As a self-identified fat woman of color, Pia uses an intersectional approach to explore a myriad of subjects including race, equity, mental health, motherhood, and conventional notions of beauty and health. She is also a partner and brand strategist with the social impact firm, Momentum Solutions Team, which develops stories and strategies that spark change. Her strong suit is connecting people to a common language and to skills they can use to better communicate with each other and the world. Pia is African-American and Sicilian and speaks Italian fluently. She lives in South Los Angeles and enjoys cooking for friends and family, performing karaoke, and spending quality time with her dope husband and precocious 3-year old son.
Amanda Saab was born and raised in Dearborn, MI where her love for baking began in her mother’s kitchen. Amanda earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University, before pursuing her passion for baking and becoming the first Muslim Woman in Hijab to appear on MasterChef Us. In December 2017, Amanda launched her bakery, butter bear shop. Amanda was named a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow and received the Arab American Professional Network Rising Star Award. She founded Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor in 2016, after Amanda experiencing hate speech online and saw the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential campaign. Amanda has since moved to a new role with the City of Detroit in the Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity department. And enjoys baking with her daughter, Hannah.
Laura Wright is the creator of The First Mess, a vegan cooking blog and cookbook. Her training includes time in culinary school, farm-to-table restaurants, community centres, food banks, and at home in both the kitchen and garden with her mother and grandmothers. With a focus on seasonality and living simply, she shares plant-based recipes from her Southern Ontario home.
Panel 2: Advocating for Your Business as a POC
Aaron Hutcherson—a.k.a. “Hutch”—grew up in the Midwest, but has called New York City home for over a decade. He left the world of finance to pursue a career in food after graduating from The French Culinary Institute in 2012. Since then he has worked in recipe testing and development, food styling, writing, editing, food photography, and more. Other interests include beer, wine, spirits, travel, and lifestyle content. When he isn’t in the kitchen developing a new creation or working on his blog, most of his free time is spent watching trashy reality television with a glass of whiskey or wine.
Serial entrepreneur and author, Christen Rochon engages audiences around the world with her genuine approach to leveraging the power of a well-balanced digital lifestyle. Recognized by Black Enterprise, honored by Verizon as Digital Trailblazer, represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics as a Samsung Global Blogger, and has been honored by WBLS/Hot 97 ‘Circle of Sisters’ and TheMichigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 award.
Throughout her 20+ marketing career in TV and radio, she’s contributed to Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, and TV One. As a businesswoman and Creative Accountability Coach, she inspires
entrepreneurs and aspiring creatives to maximize their productivity and develop disciplines to achieve their goals. Her inaugural book, ‘The Creative Discipline Project’ is a testament to her years of research, discovery and will embolden audiences to carve out best practices and disciplines for success.
A proud graduate of Michigan State University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising/Public Relations and Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications – Digital Media Strategies, Christen’s passions also include mentoring young creatives of color and prides herself as a keynote speaker, inspiring others through conferences and workshops across the country.
Nanda is a business management consultant and coach. She began her career in Financial Services managing all aspects of the business under the Technology COO umbrella before launching a consultancy to service companies that did not have the resources to scale, or simply did not know where to start with planning for growth or transformation. Much of her work has been identifying the goals of an individual or organization, from startups to fortune 500’s, and collaborating with the client to achieve their objectives.
Transforming the way Americans eat and live with her expertise in health, wellness, and child nutrition. As the founder of Yummy Spoonfuls, a line of fresh-frozen organic food for kids, she is devoted to making healthy food convenient and accessible for busy parents and families. A Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach and yoga instructor, she furthers her mission by building a brand that amplifies her message of whole living for modern times.
A voice of authority in her field, Agatha has appeared in notable media outlets such as the Today Show, CNN, CBS, Forbes, Fortune, Parent and People Magazine. A sought after speaker, she is known for delivering passionate talks on a variety of topics, including organic food and farming, children’s health and nutrition, business development, women’s empowerment, and more. As a married mom of three, her wellness empire represents what it means to live a whole, full, and vibrant life that nourishes the mind, body, and soul.
Panel 3: The Entrepreneurial Life and Cultivate Mental Health
Mathew Jean, a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, is committed to the banner of mental health awareness and fighting stigma through his entrepreneurial efforts. He has developed three separate organizations in order to best serve the needs of the African American & Carribean communities of South Florida.
He is the owner and principal therapist of Beachstone Counseling in Pompano Beach, FL. He purports that “Beach Stone Counseling is a place where people can find peace. “We want each client to be seen, heard and valued.” His vision is to provide quality therapeutic services for individuals, couples, families, group therapy, and mentorship for up-and-coming mental health practitioners.
He developed the non-profit organization The Go-To Therapist because he realized that he wanted to be the therapist he needed 15-20 years ago. In this organization, his special area of interest was Black Male issues. He created an Instagram page called HipHop and Therapy which outlines lyrics from various artists and provides insightful blogs to show how music has been a medium for Black males. He hopes to start a conversation so that this population can feel more open to discussing various issues such as masculinity, depression, suicide, etc. In 2017, he received a micro-grant honoring and promoting the work he has done with his nonprofit.
To bring the fight of mental health into a tangible form, he created an apparel company called Sober Words. He states “Our vision is simple. Sending love and shedding light. “We are here to change the perspective on substance abuse and mental health.” He has launched several campaigns to incite a conversation on how stigma kills our community. He addresses the issues of shame and provides excellent talks and seminars to educate the African American and Caribbean communities on the signs and symptoms as well as ways to support and help throughs who are suffering from this opioid crisis.
Chantel Rodriguez is a Latina wellness entrepreneur, artist and the creative mind behind Choose Love Blog. Her business is centered on helping others thrive in health, wealth and mindset. Chantel currently offers educational resources to her audience as well as content creation partnerships to health and wellness brands.
In addition to her blog, Chantel is also the host of The Wellness Beast podcast and is the owner of the color therapy eye wear company Zen30.
Some of her past and current partnerships include Nissan, Chamberlins, Nutiva, City Furniture, Clean Juice and many more. Chantel has also been featured in write ups from publications such as Refinery29 and New Hope Network.
Robyn Conley Downs is a speaker, educator, entrepreneur, podcaster, and author of The Feel Good Effect: Reclaim Your Wellness By Creating Small Shifts That Create Big Change. Holding a Master’s degree in education with an emphasis in behavior change, and 4 years of public policy & health change at the doctoral level, her work taps into cutting edge science around psychology, neuroscience, mindfulness, and habits. Recently named one of the Most Influential Women in Wellness, she believes that small shifts in thinking and action create big change in life. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Andrew, and their daughter Elle.