The core team does all the back-end work to keep the campaign progressing: fundraising, training and recruiting organizers, maintaining relationships with partner organizations, and strategic planning.
The regional coordinators do on the ground organizing work, coordinate student campaigns in different regions and act as liaisons between the core team and student leaders.
Estefania graduated in December 2010 from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, which she mobilized to become one of the first Fair Trade Universities in the country. Being born and raised in Ecuador nurtured her lifelong concern for justice. She is an organizer and activist passionate about making real changes to build sustainable food systems, alleviate poverty and hunger, and to let our world breathe some clean air. After a long time of shifting from one home to another, she is now settled in Seattle supporting student food justice initiatives in the West. When she is not organizing she is dancing salsa, eating Ecuadorean food and riding her bike in the sun. Email Stefy.
Tlaloc hails from the endless sunshine and palm trees of southern California. Many of Tlaloc's formative life experiences are related to growing up as part of a large Mexican-American family in and around the neighborhoods of Long Beach, CA. He brings a wealth of organizing experience from his tenure at the University of California Los Angeles, where he received his B.A.'s in International Development Studies and Chicana/o Studies. While in school, Tlaloc involved himself as an active advocate of student/labor solidarity, Chicana/o Studies, Latina/o students in higher education, environmental justice, Raza Studies for K-12, transfer students, undocumented immigrants, and food justice. Partly as a product of how and where he was raised, Tlaloc feels passionately that access to real food is a necessity, not a privilege. When he's not busy coordinating the Northeast region of RFC, Tlaloc enjoys Dodgers baseball, jamming out to good music, hiking, and getting to know the local food and bar scene. Email Tlaloc!
Born in Boston, raised in JerZ, Amanda is happy to be back in Massachusetts organizing with RFC. She grew up in a multicultural family where both sides mainly munch on olives and eggplant and sweets. Amanda has been an environmental and social justice activist from an early age. She studied politics and environmental studies at Oberlin College, where she spent her spare time keeping things out of landfills by hauling refrigerators, clothes, and all sorts of knick-knacks into a Free Store (where she'd blast early 90s music for whoever was browsing.) She coordinated solidarity and divestment campaigns and took turns cooking and cleaning for peers in Third World Co-op. In her spare time she travels to give presentations on environmental justice issues, especially water issues in the Middle East. She also enjoys dancing silly and playing outside. Email Amanda!
Growing up along the muddy river banks of the Ohio River in rural Kentucky, Katie worked on her family's farm; skinning catfish and rabbits, growing food to put away for the long winters and raising cattle to sell on the local auction block. Watching the river grow dark with runaway soil, taking jobs downstream as well, it sparked her curiosity to learn about soil conservation and regional economies. After earning her B.S. in Agronomy and Soil Science from Murray State University in 2012, Katie went on to complete her M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana in 2015 where she focused on the cultural, economic, environmental, and political impacts of beef market concentration on Montana's hardworking ranchers and farmers. Now working for the Real Food Challenge, Katie is Regional Coordinator for the Midwest and Southeast. You can find still find Katie working on farms and putting up food for those long winters. Email Katie!
Emma serves as the University Programs Coordinator with the NC 10% Campaign and the NC Coordinator for Real Food Challenge. Her other current projects include working with the Asheville Grown Business Alliance and community radio station, Asheville FM. She leads workshops in nonviolent action, playful activism, organizing strategy and more. Emma toured with the Sustainable Living Roadshow from 2010 – 2012 as the Staffing and Outreach Coordinator. She studied non-violence and facilitation in Huehuecoyol, Mexico and graduated with a self-designed degree from UNC Asheville in Social Change, Environmental Policy and Community Health. She loves riding her bicycle and gardening with her chickens. She currently lives in Asheville, NC (her very favorite city), spending her days trying not to be a vagabond. Email Emma
The Steering Committee sits at the center of the organization to address organizational priorities on a national level. They offer guidance on campaigns, programs and operations of the organization. The Steering Committee has student, alumni, staff, and regional field organizer members.
California State University Monterey Bay
Stephanie is a student at California State University Monterey Bay pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. As a San Francisco native and the daughter of foodies, she grew up appreciating the different ethnic cuisines and celebrating food. She dived in head first with RFC by starting a calculator account on her campus and working other Cal State students and RFC to form the Real Food for CSUs campaign. Real Food for CSUs is a campaign for the system of CA state universities to sign a real food commitment. She is really excited to take on the role as a student representative for RFC on a national scale. When she is not working on campaigns, you can find Stephanie cooking in the kitchen with her housemates or hanging out at the farmers market. Email Stephanie
University of Utah
Sawson is a lover of mathematics, music, animals, and people. He was born to an Iranian family in Salt Lake City, Utah, and had originally planned to pursue neurosurgery. After discovering his goals were to improve the conditions of animals used in the food system, Sawson found Real Food Challenge. Since then, he has had the opportunity of serving as the University of Utah's RFC co-chair and is currently working with his school's administrators to improve their dining contract. Outside his work with RFC, Sawson loves to sing with the Utah Opera Chorus, geek out on popular-physics videos, go on morning runs, and make smoothies. Email Sawson
Johns Hopkins University
Sunny was born in Seoul, South Korea and spent her childhood in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a farmer at heart, rooted in the fields of New England, where she won the first real food campus commitment on a high school campus. Now at Johns Hopkins University, she has led multiple product shift in the school's implementation process and finds the narrative of the producers and the regional community the most rewarding part of her campus work. In her free time, she likes to learn how to cook things from scratch or develop recipes for her restaurant in Korea which she runs with her mother. Email Sunny
Abby is a Washington D.C. native and a junior at Indiana University studying Human Geography with a concentration in Food and Agriculture. Growing up in a food-obsessed family, cooking and eating quickly became Abby’s favorite pastimes. She got hooked on food justice work during her freshman year at IU, which eventually led her to find Real Food Challenge—she hasn’t looked back since! When she’s not bugging her administration to sign the Campus Commitment and otherwise agitating for food justice on her own campus, she enjoys watching bad movies, going to the park, anything that involves chocolate, and dancing around the apartment with her roommates. Email Abby
Ohio State University
Emily grew up roaming the wild forests and sandstone cliffs of southeastern Ohio, where she enjoyed taking long walks with her mom, reading and writing fantasy stories, and going on adventures with her cat Sage. Raised a vegetarian from birth, Emily was always encouraged to think about her relationship with food and the world around her—but it wasn’t until high school that she truly began to consider the impact that food had on the health of the people and planet she loved. Although she will always return to her home in the hills, she now explores the urban jungle of Columbus Ohio, where she is studying sustainable community development and food systems at the Ohio State University. She has been an organizer of OSU’s RFC campaign for two years now and is excited to finally be escalating toward a commitment! Emily’s work with the Real Food Challenge has given her the best friends she could ask for, and has inspired her to pursue a career in organizing for food justice. She can’t wait to give back as a member of the 2016-17 steering committee! Email Emily
University of Georgia
Growing up in Atlanta, with relatives in North Carolina, Elizabeth always loved the southern summer harvest: heirloom tomato sandwiches, cucumber salad, peaches... now at the University of Georgia, she is working toward majors in Geography and Ecology to think about the food system and how to make it more just and sustainable. Real Food Challenge hooked her since she set foot on campus, and she’s looking forward to getting the South on the map! As a lifelong composting enthusiast, she’s researched food waste reduction policy and helps run campus composting. You might also find her researching anti-fracking activism, teaching young folks about food and gardening, or at church. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys biking down hills, reading, and talking with friends and strangers alike about random and exciting topics (which somehow always end up relating to food). Email Elizabeth
Directors Anim Steel, David Schwartz, Nina Mukherji, and regional coordinator Tlaloc Vasquez also serve on the steering committee.
The regional field organizer fellows do on the ground organizing, extending the network and providing support to students running campaigns on campus. They also act as liaisons between the core team, field staff and student leaders. To learn more about our past RFO's follow the links below:
Tim Galarneau, Program Coordinator at Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, Statewide Advisor at the California Student Sustainability Coalition and member of UC Santa Cruz's campus Food Systems Working Group.
Karla Van Praag, Executive Director of Jewish Organizing Institute and Network (JOIN for Justice) where she oversees grassroots training programs for aspiring community organizers, rabbinical students and Jewish organizations.
Amara Foster, consultant, former Senior Program Associate at Surdna Foundation.
Yoojin Janice Lee, Senior Trainer and Manager, Health Resources in Action
Anim Steel, Executive Director, Real Food Challenge