FLP Workshop 2010

Keynote Speakers

Nikki Henderson, Executive Director, People's Grocery

We are delighted to have Nikki Henderson, Executive Director for People's Grocery, as a featured speaker for this year's workshop. People's Grocery is a community-based organization in West Oakland, California, that develops creative solutions to health problems in West Oakland that stem from a lack of access to and knowledge about healthy, fresh foods. Their mission is to build a local food system that improves the health and economy of the West Oakland community. 

Nikki was named Executive Director for People's Grocery in 2009.  She has been an advocate for social justice and sustainability since 2002.  Before People's Grocery, Nikki worked with Slow Food USA in Brooklyn, NY, where she designed the executive team for Josh Viertel, Slow Food's President. Before Slow Food USA, Nikki worked very closely with Van Jones and Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins at Green for All on the executive support team. She has also worked extensively with the Southern California Foster System, state-wide sustainability organizations and education organizations.

Background Information for Nikki Henderson

  • MA Degree in African American Studies where she researched political ecology and environmental justice.
  • Over 10 years experience mentoring and directing programs in the foster system and with inner-city youth.
  • Experience in grassroots organizing, event production, strategy development and policy.
  • Worked with Green for All founder Van Jones and Executive Director Phaedra Ellis Lamkins in developing national programs for people of color in the environmental sector.
  • Spent the last year and a half developing the Real Food Alliance, a national student coalition.
  • Worked under Slow Food USA’s President gaining deep exposure to the politic and dynamics of national food and farming movements.

For More Information on People's Grocery: www.peoplesgrocery.org

Sandra Steingraber, Scholar-in-Residence, Ithaca College

Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority on the environment links to cancer and human health. Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and won praise from international media including The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times.  

Released as a second edition in 2010, Living Downstream has been adapted for film by The People’s Picture Company of Toronto. This eloquent and cinematic documentary follows Steingraber during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links. Continuing the investigation begun in Living Downstream, Steingraber’s book, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood. Both a memoir of her own pregnancy and an investigation of fetal toxicology, Having Faith reveals the extent to which environmental hazards now threaten each stage of infant development. In the eyes of an ecologist, the mother’s body is the first environment for life. The Library Journal selected Having Faith as a best book of 2001, and it was featured in a PBS documentary by Bill Moyers.

Called “a poet with a knife” by Sojourner magazine, Steingraber has received many honors for her work as a science writer. She was named a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year and later received the Jenifer Altman Foundation’s first annual Altman Award for “the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer.” The Sierra Club has heralded Steingraber as “the new Rachel Carson,” and Carson’s own alma mater, Chatham College, selected Steingraber to receive its biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award. In 2006, Steingraber received a Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund and, in 2009, the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles.

An enthusiastic and sought-after public speaker, Steingraber has keynoted conferences on human health and the environment throughout the United States and Canada and has been invited to lecture at many universities, medical schools, and hospitals— including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and the Woods Hole Research Center. She is recognized for her ability to serve as a two-way translator between scientists and activists. She has testified in the European Parliament, before the President’s Cancer Panel, and has participated in briefings to Congress and before United Nations delegates in Geneva, Switzerland. Interviews with Steingraber have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, on National Public Radio, “The Today Show,” and “Good Morning America.”  A columnist for Orion magazine, Sandra Steingraber is currently a scholar in residence in Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. She is married to the artist Jeff de Castro, and they live in a 1000-square-foot house with a push mower, a clothesline, a vegetable garden, and two beloved children.

For more information on Living Downstream, see: http://www.livingdownstream.com/