Youth Organizer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizing Director, email@example.com
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 passion to organize with communities of color for systemic change, particularly around gentrification and food justice.
Living with multiple invisible disabilities, Arista is passionate about organizing sustainably from a disability justice framework, and strives to bring a strong ethic of social generosity and community care to organizing spaces. She deeply believes in youth power because the magic & creativity & joy young people bring to organizing is essential for creating communities we want to thrive in.
Outside of her work with FEEST, you can find Arista fighting displacement with the Chinatown International District Coalition (#HumbowsNotHotels), hanging out with elders on the CID Block Walk, and dreaming up recipes for whatever fruits and veggies are in season at Lee’s. Arista is weirdly obsessed with the Harry Potter books, happens to share the same birthday as Voldemort, and may or may not have won Harry Potter trivia dressed as Dumbledore.
She graduated from the University of Washington, where she triple-majored in Communications, English, and Political Science with a focus in Critical Race Theory.
Youth Organizer, firstname.lastname@example.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.
Youth Organizer, email@example.com
Interim Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.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.
Dinner Coordinator, email@example.com
Zumi is a trans/queer martian Yonsei, originally from the deserts of LA. He used to aspire to be a fashion designer but by way of life, he’s taken his rocket through the worlds of political theater, sci-fi filmmaking, sexual health education, queer youth organizing, worker organizing, and kitchens.
For over a decade, Zumi has been navigating being a restaurant worker while being queer, femme, trans, androgynous, and masculine (all of these expressions simultaneously). As a worker in many hierarchical kitchens, he has aimed to evolve kitchen culture to be zero percent racist, misogynistic and patriarchal, and in return two hundred percent about connection and creativity. Although this has always been a steep challenge, it has been a survival practice. In a previous Los Angeles restaurant, Zumi was able to build worker solidarity with his co-workers and eventually launched a worker organizing campaign that successfully pushed back against wage theft and disrespect in the industry. He learned that there is infinite power in the people, that worker justice is food justice, and that we have a lot more transforming to do.
Zumi is forever dreaming of making food with people he loves, for people he loves, and is stoked that he gets to do this in the FEEST kitchen. He sees that young people of color are bursting at the seams with brave and radical creativity, and is so honored to be in the realm of this magic. With lots to learn, and lots to explore, Zumi is a hungry creature with wide eyes and a grandpa spirit, SO ready to revolt in love with ya’ll.
Communications and Development Manager, firstname.lastname@example.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 joins the FEEST staff with ten years of experience as a communications professional, helping nonprofits to 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 postsFind out the latest news from FEEST participants and staff.
Last night was so beautiful, y'all! Over 100 people got together to celebrate the FEEST family. Friends and neighbors from ages 7 to 70 meeting and sharing a meal together. There was so much laughter in the room and the smell of good food in the air. This is what...
Priority Deadline: Friday, May 31, 2019 Title: FEEST Dinner Coordinator (40 hours week // 1 FTE) Starting date: July 2019 Supervisor: Organizing Director FEEST (Food Empowerment Education & Sustainability Team) is an organization led by youth of color in South...
We’re the real deal 💯 FEEST is led by and for youth of color who are making real changes to improve food and health in their schools. We’re growing 🍎 This year we expanded our reach, adding two new high schools to the FEEST family and a total of over 1,100 young...
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Youth are in the lead at FEEST because we know that change is not effective unless those most impacted by health inequities are the decision makers. Support youth leadership by donating today, OR sign up for our newsletter to get the latest from FEEST!