Nikki Silvestri was previously Executive Director of People’s Grocery in Oakland, CA, a non-profit organization working to improve the health and economy of the West Oakland community through a local food system. While at People’s Grocery, Nikki raised the profile of an already successful organization, developing an innovative leadership development program for food entrepreneurs, strengthening a body of racial justice programming, and developing new partnerships that doubled the financial impact of People’s Grocery’s initiatives. An experienced public speaker, Nikki also provides thought leadership on the history and future of the food movement in venues such as Bioneers, the Environmental Grantmakers Association Annual Conference, Slow Food International’s Terra Madre and the United Nations.Nikki began her work in social justice through the foster care system in Southern California, developing her passion for youth leadership development through mentoring, tutoring, and directing Foster Youth Empowerment Workshops. She later shifted into sustainability, developing course curriculum for the University of California system and working closely with Van Jones and Phaedra Ellis Lamkins at Green for All. In 2010, Nikki was featured in ELLE Magazine as one of five Gold Awardees. She has a Master’s Degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles, CA.