Join us for this FIRST EVER event in Southern California!

2016 People of Color: Animal Rights, Advocacy and Food Justice Conference

Saturday, October 15, 2016


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

Learn from activists and leaders who engage in vegan outreach, animal rights, vegan health and fitness, vegan food justice, urban farming, migrant worker rights in the U.S. food system, vegan hip hop community projects, and much more!

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




Linda Alvarez-COVAC

Linda Alvarez, PhD

Assistant Professor, Central American Studies Department at California State University, Northridge. Co-organizer of People of Color:Animal Rights, Advocacy and Food Justice Conference

Eugene Cooke3_WEB

Eugene Cooke

Founder of Grow Were You Are and internationally recognized veganic urban farmer, food justice activist

Chema Hernandez Gil_WEB

Chema Hernandez Gil

Co-founder and board member of Seed the Commons


Brenda Sanders

Co-creator of Vegan SoulFest, and founder of Pep Foods Inc

Torre Washington_WEB

Torre Washington

Professional Bodybuilder, NASM Certified Coach, Sprinter and Animal Lover

Liz Ross-COVAC

Liz Ross

Founder of Coalition of Vegan Activists of Color (COVAC),  Co-organizer of People of Color: Animal Rights, Advocacy and Food Justice Conference

David Carter_WEB

David Carter

Co-founder of The 300 Pound Vegan and NFL Player

AshEl Seasunz Eldridge1_WEB

AshEl Seasunz Eldridge

Founder of The Urban Farmacy and coordinator at Hip Hop Green Dinners – the 10th Element of Hip Hop in Oakland, CA.  Adjunct professor of Climate Justice, Race, and Activism at San Francisco State University.

lauren Ornelas

lauren Ornelas

Founder of the Food Empowerment Project

Dominick Thompson

Dominick Thompson

Vegan athlete, animal rights activist and founder of Crazies and Weirdos


Sarah Woodcock

Founder of The Advocacy of Veganism Society

Short Film Premiere

The 30-minute documentary film, entitled, Vegan Noir: Black Vegans in Los Angeles, will premier at this conference.  This film is currently in production at the University of Southern California, Center for Visual Anthropology Department.  It focuses on different perspectives on veganism of several Black vegans who live in Southern California.  Vegan Noir will also premier at independent film events, beginning Winter of 2016.

Director/Documentary Film Maker: Toni Bell

Toni Bell

Meet The Organizers

Linda Alvarez-COVAC

Linda Alvarez, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Central American Studies Department at California State University, Northridge.  Linda completed an M.A. in Latin American Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, as well as an M.A. in International Studies, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University. Linda has varied scholarly interests including the Politics of Food. A section of her current research deals with Central American workers in the food industry. 

Linda has been involved in animal rights activism and animal rescue from a very young age. Over the past 20 years, she has been formally involved in domestic and farm animal rescue in Southern California, as well as in Mexico and Central America.  She currently partners with several rescue organizations in Los Angeles to rescue and foster animals until they are adopted into suitable homes.

Linda is dedicated to a vegan lifestyle and spreading awareness on issues of food (in)justice among communities of color. 

Liz Ross-COVAC

Elizabeth (Liz) Ross is the founder of Coalition of Vegan Activists of Color (COVAC), which partners with individuals, non-profit and other community organizations to mobilize vegan and animal rights activists of color and provide information and motivation by conducting workshops, conferences, social networking events, volunteer events, and producing and exchanging outreach materials and methods. 

As a former police officer in Oakland, CA, Liz 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 topics include The Origins of the Criminalization of Blackness in the Post Emancipation Period, and How it Helped Shape Policing Policies” and “The Politics of the ‘War on Drugs’ and It’s Affects on Predominantly Black & Brown Communities”. Liz also facilitates discussion groups on Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow:Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Liz provides a space for vegans of color to post and organize social and volunteer events through her Facebook Group, Cali Vegans of Color. Liz has been involved in animal rights activism and vegan outreach for 6 years and is passionate about learning agro-ecology.