How do our food choices impact humans, animals and the environment around the globe? What does a just food system look like and how do we make it possible? Lauren Ornelas, of Food Empowerment Project, will talk about interlocking oppressions in the food system as she shares her life-long work to end exploitative food production practices. Ornelas will speak about her advocacy for workers' rights in the Central Valley of California and Food Empowerment Project's efforts to improve access to healthy foods for low income communities and communities of color in the United States, her recent campaign to end child slavery in chocolate production in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, and her ongoing commitment to ending the exploitation of animals in the food system locally and around the globe.
Lauren Ornelas is the founder of Food Empowerment Project and serves as the group's executive director. She is also the former executive director of Viva!USA, a national nonprofit vegan advocacy organization. lauren has been active in the animal rights movement for more than 20 years. After spending four years as national campaign coordinator for In Defense of Animals, lauren was asked by Viva!UK to start and run VivaUSA in 1999. In cooperation with activists across the country, she worked and achieved corporate changes within Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, and Pier 1 Imports, among others. She served as campaign director with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition for six years.