This forum looks at ways in which Local Food can be a strong force to building our local economy. Through experts brought together by Food Solutions New England, explore a bold vision that calls for our region to build the capacity to produce at least 50% of our food by 2060 while supporting healthy food for all, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities.
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A New England Food Vision imagines a new future that is possible if society were to commit to supporting a sustainable food production in New England. Let's begin creating new conversations, new collaborations and new, actionable plans. We seek to engage diverse voices and create new inspiration that will lead to healthy food and thriving communities.
Brian Donahue is Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies on the Jack Meyerhoff Fund at Brandeis University, and Environmental Historian at Harvard Forest. He teaches courses on environmental history and sustainable farming and forestry, and chairs the Environmental Studies Program.
Donahue holds a BA, MA, and PhD from the Brandeis program in the History of American Civilization. He co-founded and for 12 years directed Land’s Sake, a non-profit community farm in Weston, Massachusetts. For three years he was Director of Education at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, and now sits on the board of the Thoreau Farm Trust and The Land Institute.
Donahue is author of Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town (Yale University Press, 1999), which was awarded the book prize from Historical New England; and The Great Meadow: Farmers and the Land in Colonial Concord (Yale Press, 2004), which won book prizes from the New England Historical Association, the Agricultural History Society, and the American Society for Environmental History. He also published American Georgics: Writings on Farming, Culture and the Land (Yale Press, 2011), an anthology co-edited with Edwin Hagenstein and Sara Gregg.
Donahue is co-author of Wildlands and Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape (Harvard Forest, 2010) and A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities (Food Solutions New England, 2014).
Kerry Bowie has spent more than twenty years exercising his passion in the areas of environmental research, operations, and policy within academia, industry, and government (with a focus on food, water, and energy in recent years). While he continues to work in the environmental and energy space, especially as it relates to climate change and social equity, he has formally expanded to the areas of entrepreneurship and innovation, especially as it relates to entrepreneurs from underserved groups and/or ventures targeting their products/services at underserved communities. As Managing Partner of Msaada Partners, he helps organizations tackle social, economic, and environmental problems with a focus on strategy, management, operations, and design. He and his partners facilitate access to “capital plus” (i.e., human capital, intellectual capital, and financial capital). Before launching this consulting firm, he served for more than eight and a half years in various roles with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Prior to his service with the state, he gained extensive experience as an environmental engineer and manager at Texas Instruments in Dallas.
Kerry Bowie has a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from MIT and the University of Michigan, respectively, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Raheem Baraka is Founder and Executive Director of Baraka Community Wellness (BCW), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community based organization with a mission to close the gap on health disparities and reduce healthcare costs for at-risk populations. The BCW model bridges the gap between traditional healthcare and community prevention programs by collaborating with nonprofits, insurers, community health centers and their primary care providers, as well as municipalities and their housing developments to provide programmatic content and expertise in delivering comprehensive wellness solutions directly to at-risk population on the ground.
In transition to the founding of Baraka Community Wellness, he served as the Director of Fitness for the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Community Health Centers which prepared me for this role to address the complex needs of at-risk populations through evidence-based practices on a community level. Throughout his tenure he was primarily responsible for developing and implementing health promotion and intervention programs within the hospital as well as heavily involved in direct community engagement. These programs ranged from employee health risk assessments and worksite wellness models, to holistic behavioral programming for vulnerable patient populations spanning the life cycle in which these interventions produced measurable impact in the sustainable quality of health for those involved. In addition, through his appointment to several interdisciplinary teams to address the health needs of at-risk populations, he trained clinicians and medical providers on exercise adherence and behaviors, health coaching and techniques on how to effectively develop and implement these non-clinical prevention approaches to patients specific to their individual need through tailored wellness models.
Raheem Baraka is an alumni of Northeastern University and a certificate holder for the Leadership Institute of Food Solutions New England at the University of New Hampshire.
Niaz Dorry is Coordinating Director of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. Niaz moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts - the oldest settled fishing port in the U.S. - in 1994 when she decided to work on fisheries issues. At the time, she was an ocean and fisheries campaigner for Greenpeace. She took on fisheries issues following her work on environmental justice issues as a Greenpeace toxics campaigner, and has been hooked ever since. She has been working with small-scale, traditional, and indigenous fishing communities in the U.S. and from around the globe ever since, advancing the rights and ecological benefits of the small-scale fishing communities as a means of protecting global marine biodiversity.
Time Magazine named Niaz as a Hero For The Planet for this work. Niaz' work and approach have been noted in a number of books including Against the Tide; Deeper Shade of Green; The Spirit's Terrain; Vanishing Species; The Great Gulf; Swimming in Circles; A Troublemaker's Teaparty; Zugunruhe: The Inner Migration To Profound Environmental Change; Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business; Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections Between Cities and Oceans; and, The Doryman's Reflection.
She is a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Institute's Leading From Inside Out and the Institute for Nonprofit Practice's Core Certificate Program.
Karen A. Spiller is Principal of KAS Consulting, which provides mission-based consulting with a focus on resource matching and strategic planning for health and equity-focused initiatives. She works with diverse stakeholders, including community residents and businesses, state and local agencies, policy makers, corporations, foundations, community-based organizations, and healthcare providers. Karen serves on the Food Solutions New England (FSNE) Process and Network Teams, and is FSNE’s Massachusetts Ambassador. She also serves organizations in various roles that include The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group.