Tracye McQuirter, MPH, is a public health nutritionist and lecturer. She was named a national food hero changing the way America eats for the better by Vegetarian Times and her national best-seller, By Any Greens Necessary, was the number one recommended vegan book on The Huffington Post.
Jaya Bhumitra currently serves as International Director of Corporate Outreach for Animal Equality, overseeing teams in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Spain, India, Germany, the UK, and the U.S., working to effect policy changes that reduce the suffering of animals raised and killed for food.
Christine Garcia, Esq.
Christine Garcia has been a practicing animal law attorney since 2000. She currently represents vegan businesses and non-profit rescue groups, fights for dogs on death row, and leads several other animal-related law suits in civil and criminal court.
Karen Yuen is the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) Science Data Applications Leader and Project communications Manager, as well as the NASA Applied Sciences Program Performance Leader.
Aph Ko is the founder of Black Vegans Rock, and co-author of the book Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. She is also a consultant for the film The Invisible Vegan.
Genesis Butler is a 10 year old vegan and animal rights activist who decided to go vegan when she was 5 and inspired her whole family to go vegan. She is featured in Vegan Everyday Stories and The Invisible Vegan documentary films. Genesis became the youngest TEDx speaker ever when she presented her TEDx talk on animal agriculture and its destruction of the planet.
Niloo Khodadadeh is singer/songwriter, actor and standup comedian, and the founder of A Tribe Called Love Sanctuary. She is also a longtime animal rights activist and organizer in Los Angeles and a vegan advocate.
Emmanuel Márquez was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. He is the Mexico outreach coordinator at Vegan Outreach. Emmanuel currently does vegan outreach in 12 of Mexico’s 31 states.
Meet The Organizers
Linda Alvarez, PhD, Co-founder and Director of VAI
Dr. Linda Alvarez is Co-founder and Director of Vegan Advocacy Initiative (VAI) and co-creator of the People of Color: Animal Rights, Advocacy and Food Justice Conference. Linda received her Ph.D. in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Claremont Graduate University. She also holds an Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from California State University, Los Angles. Her scholarly interests revolve around exploring the ways in which underrepresented and marginalized groups interact, challenge and resist dominant structures of power. As a political scientist, she works within the frameworks of comparative political behavior, political psychology, transnational migration, social movements, race and ethnic politics, food politics and the study of violence and trauma among underrepresented and marginalized populations.
Linda has been involved in animal rights advocacy and activism for 20 years, and she is dedicated to spreading awareness on issues of food (in)justice in communities of color. She is an active gardener. She is invested in veganic gardening and farming practices, and might be slightly obsessed with the amazing life systems beneath the ground, namely the interaction of soil, fungus and worms.
Liz Ross, Co-founder and Director of VAI
Liz Ross is Co-founder and Director of Vegan Advocacy Initiative ( VAI ) and co-creator of the People of Color: Animal Rights, Advocacy and Food Justice Conference. She has been involved in animal rights activism and vegan outreach for over 6 years.
A former police officer, Liz also raises awareness about the history and problem of mass-incarceration through presentations, and volunteering for organizations that are working to counter its negative impact. Her related presentation topic includes “The Politics of the ‘War on Drugs’ and It’s Affects on Predominantly Black & Brown Communities”.
She enjoys gardening, and is passionate about learning agro-ecological gardening and farming practices, veganic permaculture and alternative food systems, from an ethical vegan’s perspective.