2018 Conference Agenda:

Wednesday, June 27th:

1:00 – 2:00  Registration

2:00 – 3:00   Welcome and Keynote by pattrice jones

3:00 – 4:30   Workshop opening: Inclusion and Agreements facilitated by Nirali Shah and Neysa Colizzi

4:30 – 7:30   Sharing, Connecting, Resourcing

7:30 – 9:00  Dinner and Keynote by Dr. A. Breeze Harper

Thursday, June 28th:

7:30 – 8:00  Breakfast

8:00 – 8:45   Welcome Back and Keynote by Tracye McQuirter

8:45 – 10:00  Foundations for Visioning facilitated by Nirali Shah and Neysa Colizzi

10:00 – 11:30 Future Visioning: Opportunity/Challenge and Intersectionality

11:30 – 12:30 Working on Actions and Next Steps

12:30 – 1:00  Community Harvesting and Closing

1:00 – 2:00        Lunch

Please note that all participants agree to adhere to to the CODE OF CONDUCT for the event.

Keynote Bios:

pattrice jones

pattrice jones is an ecofeminist writer, scholar, and activist who, along with Miriam Jones, cofounded VINE Sanctuary, an LGBTQ-run farmed animal sanctuary that operates within an understanding of the intersection of oppressions. She is the author of Aftershock: Confronting Trauma in a Violent World: A Guide for Activists and Their Allies (Lantern, 2007), and has contributed chapters to Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth(Bloomsbury, 2014); Confronting Animal Exploitation: Grassroots Essays on Liberation and Veganism (McFarland, 2013); Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice (University of Illinois Press, 2011); Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society (Lantern, 2010); Contemporary Anarchist Studies (Routledge, 2009); Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth (AK Press, 2006); and Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (Lantern, 2004).

Breeze Harper

Dr. Breeze Harper is a critical race feminist, diversity strategist, and author of several books and studies on veganism and racism. Her Sistah Vegan anthology features a collection of writings by black female vegans. Dr. Harper attributes her initial interest in practicing veganism to the influence of the work of Dick Gregory in connecting diet to the liberation struggle of marginalized groups, and to Afrocentric, raw foodist, Queen Afua. In 2007, Harper’s master’s thesis at Harvard Extension Schoo, Cyberterritories of Whiteness: Language, ‘Colorblind’ Utopias, and ‘Sistah Vegan’ Consciousness, won the Dean’s Prize for Outstanding A.L.M. Thesis in Educational Technologies. In 2013, Harper’s PhD dissertation for the University of California, Davis contrasted the framing of ethical veganism by neoliberal white, Afrocentric, and decolonial organizations. In 2015, Harper organized a conference, The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matters, to discuss intersectional issues concerning veganism and the  Black Lives Matter movement. Harper was the Human Party’s vice-presidential nominee for the  2016 U.S. presidential election. 

Tracye Lynn McQuirter

Tracye Lynn McQuirter, MPH, was named a national food hero changing the way America eats for the better by Vegetarian Times. She’s the author of the new book Ageless Vegan and the national best-seller By Any Greens Necessary, which established her as one of the most influential vegans in the country. As a writer, speaker, public health nutritionist, and 30-year vegan, Tracye has been teaching people how and why to live a healthy vegan lifestyle for the past 25 years. She directed the nation’s first federally funded vegan nutrition program and was a nutrition advisor for the Black Women’s Health Imperative. Tracye recently created the first-of-its-kind, free African American Vegan Starter Guide in partnership with Farm Sanctuary. She also co-created one of the earliest vegan websites 20 years ago and simultaneously co-founded an animal rights organization with three other women of color. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Essence, Bon Appetit, Ebony, VegNews, The Huffington Post, and many more. Tracye is a graduate of Sidwell Friends School, Amherst College, and New York University, where she received a master’s degree in public health nutrition.


Workshop Facilitator  Bios:

Nirali Shah

Nirali Shah teaches Mindfulness Meditation retreats with an emphasis on mind-body awareness and self-inquiry. She has spent thousands of hours meditating in silent retreats in monasteries, meditation centers and cells in Asia and the United States. She is a certified mindfulness facilitator from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.  She regularly teaches at Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, Spirit Rock, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education and EBMC.  n the past, she served in one of the largest slum communities of Asia for more than four years, part of it, working out of the Gandhi Ashram. She is the founder of Shvaas, a non-profit platform that has helped streamline efforts of hundreds of volunteers to work on meaningful social change projects on ecology and social justice. She has spent a year in rural and forest areas with native communities often living in mud huts, without electricity or running water learning natural farming and local art.  She has received training from world-renowned Jungian Analyst and post-trauma recovery specialist, Dr. Clarissa Estes. She is also trained by the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute (Dr. Peter A. Levine).  She lives in the Bay Area, California and has taught at technology companies such as Google, academic institutions such as the Stanford, non-profits and spiritual communities around the world.


Neysa Colizzi

Neysa Colizzi is a 20-year vegan veteran (vegetarian before that, after making a choice to not eat meat at 10-years-old), and very passionate about animal welfare and all the positives of a fully plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle.  Professionally, Neysa is a leader in Bain & Company’s Results Delivery® practice – which focuses on strategy execution and corporate transformations – and is an experienced trainer and facilitator in organizational change management and behavioral science. Neysa has worked with organizations across the globe, including all continents, and spanning many industries such as consumer products, retail, pharma/biotech, financial services, mining, automotive, technology, and nonprofit. Neysa has a bachelor’s of science degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and master’s degrees in Business Administration from Kellogg Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering from McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.  Neysa recently moved back to Michigan with her (vegan) daughter to be close to family and is enjoying exploring the revitalizing (and vegan-friendly) Detroit-area.


A huge thank you to our sponsors & supporters who helped make all of this happen!!




Photography at the event by Natalie Ford Photography

Logo design for event by Becca Gurney at Design Choice Studio