FEEST Staff

Alisha Agard

Youth Organizer, alisha@feestseattle.org

Alisha is the daughter of two West-Indian immigrants and was born and raised in South Seattle. While attending Whitman College as a working class, first-generation student, Alisha found her passion for organizing when she realized a lack of support for students of color attending the predominately white institution. After receiving her B.A., Alisha moved back home to organize with other young people around progressive local politics with a focus on social justice and anti-oppression.

Alisha’s love for sharing knowledge has led her to FEEST with hopes of one day becoming an educator working to create a society where academic success is prioritized for all students, regardless of identity. She is excited to explore how her work in food justice can also support her passion for equity in education and is excited to work with the young people of FEEST.

Alisha loves the water and frequents the nearest lake when she needs grounding. When she is not working, you can find her watching Youtube videos, spending time with family/friends, writing, and spending time with her first love — sleep.

Arista Burwell-Chen

Organizing Director, arista@feestseattle.org

Arista Burwell-Chen is the mixed-race daughter of a Chinese refugee, born and raised in Seattle’s Central District. Her experiences growing up in the Central District drive her desire to organize with communities of color for systemic change, particularly around food justice and gentrification.

Arista is passionate about organizing sustainably, and strives to bring a strong ethic of social generosity and community care to organizing spaces. She deeply believes in youth power and decision making, and feels lucky to get to support FEEST fellows’ creative brilliance and joyful movement building.

Outside of her work with FEEST, you can find Arista learning new songs on the ukulele, listening to adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown’s podcast, How to Survive the End of the World, and dreaming up recipes for whatever fruits and veggies are in season at Lee’s.

Soy Dara

Dinner Coordinator, soy@feestseattle.org

Soy is the daughter of a strong Lao woman. Her and her mother immigrated to the United States from Na Pho refugee camp in Northeast Thailand, where Soy was born. 

They eventually settled in the Pacific Northwest. Planting their roots alongside other Lao diaspora and forming a tight knit community helping to keep Lao culture and traditions alive.

Soy comes to FEEST from a care giving background having been a professional caregiver for over 14 years. As a caregiver Soy honed her skills for cooking healthy and delicious meals. Soy is passionate about food and food justice. Her beliefs are that everyone should learn how to grow and harvest their own fruits, vegetables and herbs in turn having access to organic locally sourced foods. Soy is a firm believer in when people have the necessary tools and knowledge of how to sustain themselves it gives them the power to take on anything the world may throw at them.

In her free time Soy enjoys tending to her garden both inside and out. Soy’s house is filled with many plants and resembles a beautifully curated jungle. In addition to her love of plants she also loves keeping fish and frogs as pets. Soy has 10 community fish tanks and each tank has a beta fish who lives harmoniously with all the other lovely creatures and live plants. Her thumbs are definitely green.

Sierra Flanagan

Youth Organizer, sierra@feestseattle.org

Sierra is a mixed Black Cherokee and White South Seattle local bringing three years of campus organizing experience at Western Washington University to FEEST. Originally starting college in Pennsylvania at Allegheny College, Sierra’s experience transitioning from a low-income community of color to a rich, white, elite institution sparked their journey toward radically reimagining wholeness in a school context. Sierra’s journey towards self-understanding and reclamation was greatly informed by their exposure to living a life of duality; being both Black and White, growing up both working class and with privilege, and exploring indigeneity while living under colonialism. Living life within two opposing worlds has fueled Sierra’s passion to collectively imagine alternative spaces where queer, differently abled, and low income youth of color are joyfully whole.  

Sierra is inspired by the radical understanding of self that today’s youth embody. They are constantly blown away by the work of youth of color, particularly Black youth, who are making their experiences known and demanding power.

In their free time Sierra likes to ride their bike around Seattle, bake pies (strawberry rhubarb is their favorite), and make art on their porch with their friends. One day Sierra hopes to become an avid kickboxer, a licensed tattoo artist, and learn how to successfully keep their plants alive.

Milo Jackson

Youth Organizer, milo@feestseattle.org

Milo Jackson is from Phoenix but currently resides in Seattle, where he has been living for the last 6 years. As a transplant from the desert, Milo is very eager to soak up the Pacific Northwest’s drizzly beauty while learning about the deep roots and history of the people of Seattle. His experience moving to the Central District as a young person to attend Seattle University and study film led to him unpacking his privilege and decision to live in a neighborhood that is rapidly changing. Conversations were spun off of meeting his next-door neighbors, who became featured in his music documentary Here I Go Again about the legacy and importance of the band Septimus to the funk and soul scene in Seattle. Through community building and filmmaking, he discovered the impact that gentrification has had on his neighborhood, which has been both quick and devastating.

With the encouragement of his teachers and mentors, Milo learned to channel his energy into a passion for teaching and working with young people. The goal is to foster authentic and safe healing spaces for people of color, especially those who are queer and trans like him, to strengthen and grow through creativity and reflection. He loves to witness young people come into their full selves through art and hopes to encourage others to continually be exploring themselves and the world around them.

Outside of working with young people at FEEST’s magical dinners, you can find Milo exploring new neighborhoods with his black lab named Honey, checking out food spots all around Seattle, and working on rewatching every single movie on his “favorites” list.

Jaimée Marsh

Executive Director, jaimee@feestseattle.org

Jaimée found their happy place at FEEST — the place where joy, community, justice, and cheese intersect! They first tasted FEEST’s irresistible “Special Sauce” at Make Food Make Fam in 2017.  Since then, they transformed from volunteer to Board Member to Executive Director. Jaimée is a Seattle transplant from Spokane, WA, who specializes in community organizing, organizational leadership and development, and participatory evaluation methods. For over 15 years, they have applied this skillset to build community and shift power, particularly with trans and queer people of color. Jaimée is passionate about cultivating creative spaces that center radical joy and healing, and fostering sustained partnerships between schools and the community at large. Jaimée describes their most salient identities as black, multiracial, adopted, queer, and gender fluid. They are also a first-generation graduate of the University of Michigan (MSW) and University of Washington (BASW) Schools of Social Work. In their personal life, Jaimée is a curious home cook, a travel enthusiast, a decent iPhone photographer, and a former athlete turned fierce recreational sports competitor.

Becca Meredith

Development and Operations Director, becca@feestseattle.org

Becca comes to FEEST with six years of non-profit and organizing experience in the Seattle area. Previously she was Community Engagement Program Manager at Forterra where she worked throughout South King County on food access and policy change. Becca is passionate about the intersections of health and justice and is thrilled to be joining the FEEST team as Development Manager to support youth empowerment and food justice systems change.

As an organizer, Becca educates and organizes white folks for racial justice. Locally she is on the leadership team of the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and nationally she works with Showing Up for Racial Justice.

Becca grew up in the PNW and is blessed to have a big family and strong community around her. In her free time you can find her making sauerkraut, spending time outside or learning to play the piano.

Leigh Thomas

Communications and Development Manager, leigh@feestseattle.org

Leigh Thomas is a Black, queer artist who first encountered FEEST as a teenager participating in weekly dinners at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Since then, they have continued to develop as an artist, community organizer, and storyteller. Leigh has worked for over a decade as a nonprofit communications professional, helping organizations better tell their stories and deepen connections within their communities.

Outside of work, Leigh is a musician, poet, cat parent, and Star Trek fan. They enjoy laughing with friends, eating blueberry pancakes, and trying out new fashion and makeup trends. Over the years, Leigh has spent time organizing around LGBTQ youth rights and racial justice through both grassroots and “mainstream” channels. They believe strongly in the arts as a tool for transformation and are committed to fostering community liberation and radical joy.

Recent blog posts

Find out the latest news from FEEST participants and staff.
Wow. We did it.

Wow. We did it.

Wow.   FEEST family, THANK YOU for helping to make Fresh Flavor a success. You showed us your love, and our hearts are overflowing with gratitude. And as always, it was a really, really fun party (check out the photos here and here).  Together we raised $53,945 at...

Healthy Snacks are Increasing Student Participation

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We know that young people in White Center experience barriers to accessing fresh and nutritious food, and that’s one of the reasons why FEEST chose Evergreen High School as a site for our programs. Last school year we assembled the White Center Healthy Food Round...

Announcing FEEST’s New Executive Director!

Announcing FEEST’s New Executive Director!

Dear FEEST community, After much anticipation, the Board of Directors and I are excited to announce FEEST’s next Executive Director, Jaimée Marsh.  Jaimée joins the FEEST team with an extensive background working in organizations that center queer and trans voices of...

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