2nd Annual

People of Color: Animal Rights, Advocacy and Food Justice Conference

Saturday, October 21, 2017

9:00AM – 4:30PM

University of California, Los Angeles


Get Inspired!   Spend the day with vegan speakers of color.

vegan outreach – animal rights – vegan health and fitness – vegan food justice

vegan hip hop – environmental justice

Let’s create positive change together for both human and non-human animals!




Tracye McQuirter

Tracye McQuirter

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

Jaya Bhumitra

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.


Vanessa Espinoza

Vanessa Espinoza is a 16-year vegan professional athlete.  Professional vegan trainer, nutrition coach and author of Plant-Based Muscle.

Christine Garcia, Esq

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.

John Lewis, Badass Vegan

John Lewis, aka Badass Vegan

John Lewis has spent over a decade in the health and fitness industry and played Division I College basketball. He is an international motivational speaker, and founder of the Badass Vegan franchise, including the VeganSmart products.

florence Nishida

Florence Nishida

Florence Nishida is a Mycologist, Master Gardener, Garden Consultant, teacher and co-founder of LA Green Grounds.

Jessica Schoech

Jessica Schoech

Jessica Schoech is founder of the Vegan Street Fair and organizes events in Los Angeles and New York City.



Keith Tucker

Keith Tucker is the founder of Hip Hop is Green, the first national plant-based Hip Hop organization in the world.  He is the author of the 10th Element of Hip Hop, Health & Wellness Proclamation, and publisher of Phresh Start magazine.


Karen Yuen

Karen Yuen

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

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.


Kawani Brown

Kawani Brown is a vegan mother, author and founder of CraftyEarthMama.com, the Healthy Babies and Kids Expo, Healthy Halloween Festival and co-founder of the Long Beach Vegan & Music Festival.


Genesis Butler

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

Niloo Khodadadeh

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

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.

Nasssim Nobari

Nassim Nobari

Nassim Nobari is Co-founder and Director of Seed the Commons, an organization that seeks to build just and sustainable food systems that are independent of animal exploitation.

Katia Rodríguez

Katia Rodríguez

Katia Rodriguez is the Mexico Campaigns and Spanish Media Coordinator at Vegan Outreach. Katia helps run VO’s Español pages and does vegan outreach throughout Mexico.

Will Tucker

Will Tucker

Will Tucker is a four-time Natural Bodybuilding Champion, a certified fitness trainer and owner of Will Tucker Fitness.  He is also a motivational speaker and contributor of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine.

Meet The Organizers

Linda Alvarez, PhD

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_web_VAI

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.