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Founder and Creative Director
Hi everyone, my name is Amy Quichiz I am Colombian and Peruvian living in Jackson Heights, Queens NY. I have been vegetarian and then transitioned into veganism for about five years.
I believe that my role as a plant-based vegan Latina is to show our communities ways to have accessible healthier food options, talk about our rights within the food industry, just as well as animal liberation and environmental justice. As a woman of color coming from Jackson Heights, I have witnessed the environmental racism that happens within our communities due to the lack of resources that folks have and what this government will hide from us.
"The fact that we look no further than the commodity itself, the fact that we refuse to understand the relationships that underlay the commodities that we use on a daily basis, and so food is like that." - Angela Davis
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Alexis Montoya, NY Region Coordinator and Organizer
Hi everyone! My name is Alexis Montoya and I am the Puerto Rican Peruvian Bronxite behind The Bronx Vegan. I contribute to Veggie Mijas through a segment called Everybody Eats, where I aim to highlight affordable vegan resources in our hoods and beyond and the coordinator of our New York City Chapter.
My role in this big vegan revolution is one that sheds light on belonging to this culture. Through my activism, my goal is to inspire my community and others like it to take up veganism with a different lense. I like to say that my veganism is affordable, accessible, inclusive, not organic, not 100% vegan, never poor shaming, never fat shaming, and always trying its best.
Something that inspires me everyday is the proverb “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
Tammy Arias, Coordinator and Miami Organizer
Hola a todxs! My name is Tammy Arias, Nicaraguan vegan in Miami, FL. Originally I went vegetarian for the animals, and later vegan for both the animals and the health benefits. My education surrounding food + health was great, but I realized that POC were usually priced out of receiving this type of education and care, and I didn't want to contribute to that model so I'm taking it in a different direction.
As a health coach and birth justice doula, much of what I do is connect people to resources so they can make informed decisions surrounding food, animals, and the planet (as well as birth), and acknowledging the many intersections that play a role in all of it.I want to bring health back to our communities by showing folks that a plant-based lifestyle can taste good and be affordable, while also showing that comfort food can be cruelty-free! Veganism is whatever we want it to be, and I really want to spread that message of inclusivity.
My goal with Veggie Mijxs is to create events where vegans of color can come together and enjoy plant-based versions the dishes of home + spread awareness and keep growing this beautiful POC vegan collective!
Ft. Lauderdale Chapter
New Hampshire Chapter
St. Louis Chapter
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New York City Chapter
Ashlee Dume, Organizer & Food Community Educator
Hi! My name is Ashlee Dume and I’m from Harlem, NY. I identify as an African-American woman with Latino heritage. I first started getting involved with Veggie Mijas through the segment “Cocinando Con” where I shared my vegan recipes on their instastory. After going to events, potlucks, and eventually becoming an organizer, I found Veggie Mijas to be a comforting space where I could connect with vegans of color, something that I was lacking.
I became vegan at first because I wanted better health but after doing my research I realized that being vegan is also about being compassionate towards animals and protecting our environment. My goal is to change the misconceptions that people have about what vegans look like and what we eat. I want to show people, especially people of color that veganism can be attainable for them and that vegan food can be delicious!
Snapchat: @foxy_ashlee | Twitter: @foxy_ashlee
Josie Tejada, Organizer & Food Blogger
Hola! My name is Josie Tejada. I was born and raised in Harlem and I currently reside in the Bronx. I’m also a proud Dominicana. I became vegetarian in 2016 and shortly transitioned into veganism. I learned about Veggie Mijas through Instagram and soon started attending all the NYC chapter events. I eventually became an organizer and contribute to Veggie Mijas through a food segment highlighting PoC owned restaurants, Dine out with Josie.
I adopted a plant based lifestyle after learning about the health benefits of veganism. As I’ve continued to further educate myself, I have become passionate about supporting the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism. I’m particularly interested in exploring the intersections between environmental racism, racial segregation, and animal abuse in the agricultural industry. My goal as a Veggie Mija is to help other women of color learn about food activism and how veganism can be accessible in our communities.
“We must use our lives to make the world a better place to live, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on the earth for.” -Dolores Huerta
Mariah Bermeo, Food and Art Educator
Hola, my name is Mariah Bermeo I am Ecuadorian born and raised in Brooklyn/Queens NY. Currently, I am a student at Syracuse University studying Global History and Food studies. Food has always been an important role in my life. Whether it is cooking for my family and friends or teaching others on healthier practices, food has always played an important role on keeping the community close.
My role with Veggie Mijxs is simple: educate and agitate. I believe that everyone, including those living in poverty, have the right to access healthy fresh veggies. The food movement is a social movement, in which people are organizing to change our society, while maintaining our latinx culture.
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist” - Helder Camara
Dina Farina, Organizer and Food Educator
Hola mi gente! My name is Dinatalia Farina—Dina for short! My pronouns are she/her. I was born in Brooklyn and raised in South Williamsburg in a small neighborhood called Los Sures. A neighborhood that was predominantly working-class, Puerto Rican’s and Dominican’s, prior to gentrification. I am Puerto Rican and Italian, though culturally I identify with my Boricua background. I have been vegetarian for nearly three years, eating mostly vegan. My transition began in college as an Environmental Studies and Gender & Women’s Studies student, and I haven’t looked back since!
Since becoming plant based I have become more creative with my cooking which has made me enjoy cooking even more! My introduction to Veggie Mijas was through following Amy on Instagram and really wanting to expand the public image of veganism which tends to be predominantly classist, white and inaccessible. Veggia Mijas was an amazing introduction to veganism with an intersectional lens, which I as a white latinx wanted to educate myself more on and find community with other latinx vegans. Ultimately, my goal with Veggie Mijas is to be an ally and use my privileges to create space for the Black and Brown voices who have been silenced and ignored historically and presently. I hope to provide support to my fellow vegan folks by any means necessary. Gracias por la oportunidadVeggie Mijas!
A quote of many that resonates with me is: “The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolution lacking this quality.” - Che Guevara
Anna Magnuson, Organizer and Food Studies Educator
Hi! My name is Anna Magnuson and I am from a small town in Massachusetts. I identify as a black woman. I was lucky enough to live with the founder Amy in a London study abroad program in 2015. There was no way I was not going to get involved with this amazing collective, and I am so excited to get started as one of the newer organizers!
I entered Syracuse University as a Dietetics major, but found the coursework to be lacking social, political and economic analysis of what people consume. I then switched to Food Studies, which addressed all of those issues. I cut out meat from my diet in March of 2016. It was an easy decision after learning about the effect of the meat industry on resource distribution, environmental damage, labor issues, and many more. I have been pescatarian on and off for years, but my goal is to be vegan. My main interest in food is redistribution. I would love to create policies in the US that make food (specifically healthy foods) physically and economically accessible to people of color and low income populations.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” -Audre Lorde
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Los Angeles Chapter
Melina, Organizer & Photographer
Hola a todxs! My name is Melina Cruz Bautista and I have been raised in the community of Pico Union here in Los Angeles. I am one of many Oaxaqueñas in L.A and I continue practicing the lifestlye and traditions my family has taught me to love.Healthier habits came into my life about three years ago when they decided to go Vegetarian. Years later after swearing I’d never leave the “right” lifestyle I have caught on to these eating habits and have decided to take on the role of learning and modifying new recipes, helping out our communities of color share resources and spaces, and slowly but surely breaking the stigma that a healthy lifestyle only belongs to white people.
My role in Veggie Mijas is fully centered in giving PoC the physical space and support we need here in L.A. Going from vegetarian to vegan has been a fun process because thanks to Veggie Mijas I now know their are more womxn of color taking up space and having our voices heard.
“ We should pluck up the courage to win, to win back our finer and kinder and healthier selves.” -Maya Angelou
Melissa, Organizer & Cook
Hola Todos! My name is Melissa Clark and I am from Los Angeles, California. I identify as Mexican/Slovak. I spent half my childhood in San Diego, CA and the other half throughout South LA.
My journey through vegetarian/veganism initially started because at an early age, I found out I couldn't consume dairy products. Although, growing up in a mainly Latino based community there were dairy products constantly around me(galletas, pasteles,crema,queso, etc) So, at first I chose to eat it all the time, until I realized how much it was affecting my overall health. From then on, it's been a journey of finding things that fit for me and what's available. My journey has lead me to open up my eyes and see how much isn't accessible to the lower income families. How much fast food is located on the same block with very few thriving local businesses in some areas.
After finding Amy on social media and seeing some of the very first Veggie Mija posts, I felt the need to join and push myself to making living a healthier and cleaner version more open to the people around me. Especially being a White Passing POC, I wanted to hold the spaces to help my Black and Brown gente feel like they could live a Plant Based Life Style as well. My goal is to continue making spaces to share, cook, love, talk and celebrate the people we are.
“Your effort won't always be recognized but don't let that change your intention to want to do better” - Reyna Biddy
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Gabriela Cimadevilla, Environmental Activist and Organizer
Hola chicxs! Me llamo Gabriela Cimadevilla, but y'all can call me Gabs. I'm a latinx Borinquen aka Puerto Rican/Cuban mix, happily plant-based for 4(ish) years now and from the Broward/Miami-Dade area of South Florida. She/her/hers are my pronouns.
After graduating from Florida International University with a Bachelors in Sustainability & the Environment, I learned that as a white passing POC, I had to use my privilege to better represent the marginalized communities most affected by environmental injustice, ultimately serving as the impetus to my activism, role in Veggie Mijxs and venture with my intersectional eco-living business, Don't Be Trash.
Just like it is our responsibility to stand alongside and empower people that have equally suffered, it is our responsibility to exemplify better efforts in caring for animals and the environment, for they have also suffered and just like us, are still awaiting full liberation.
Jessica Piñeros, Organizer, Photographer & Cook
Hi! My name is Jess and I am a first-generation daughter of Colombian parents. I grew up in South Florida (Broward/Miami Dade counties) and still currently live in the area. I am a freelance photographer here to be a resource for individuals and businesses in my community. Additionally, Dulces De Coco is the name of my small business, where I aim to provide homemade, vegan treats that are traditional to my Latinx culture and experience living in South Florida. I attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in Event Management. Working in the corporate world was not for me, but I am excited to be using my experience to organize events for my community through Veggie Mijxs.
I became vegan towards the end of 2016 and it has changed my whole world since then. It has opened my eyes to so many injustices like factory farming, animal cruelty, environmental racism, food deserts, and so on. I strive to be a part of the vegan movement in an intersectional way, never shaming others, staying true to my culture and hopefully leading by example. Veggie Mijxs has been a blessing, giving me a family to grow and learn with. My goal as an organizer is to use this platform to inspire and teach my community ways to raise our voices, and take action.
IG: @jessavegan & @dulces_decoco
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Priscilla Sandoval, Organizer
Hey everyone! My name is Priscilla and I'm a first generation Xicana from the Bay Area. I come from a single parent household where financial struggle is the norm. Because of this, I have a difficult relationship with food, and becoming vegetarian/vegan was part of the healing process I am continually on.
I was drawn to Veggie Mijas because not only do we provide a space for veggie POC to gather, but the founders have a very clear mission centered on food justice and access for the poor and marginalized. The poor are not a part of the glamorous vegan world presented on social media, the lifestyle seems unattainable and I'm not here for it. Veggie Mijas is the first collective I became aware of that is doing this work with all of these important issues in mind and I wanted to help in any way. I have helped organize two events in Oakland, and am looking forward to doing whatever possible to see Veggie Mijas and this vision spread and continue to grow!
Ingrid De Santiago, Organizer & Medicine Maker
Hey all, Ingrid here. I am a non-binary, plant-based, Bay Area, mixed white xicanx. Based in Oakland, I am a medicine maker, educator, and community gardener.
I organize with Veggie Mijxs to share what this space offers me: the collective medicine and magic of cooking and eating with WOC & QTPOC. I grew up with a single mom who was working a lot outside the home, so I didn't learn to cook much, and being vegan had me feeling disconnected from my mexicandid. Through my practices I've connected to my ancestors and my intersectional politics in a world that tries to deny me both. I strive to nourish my body in ways that honor the ancestors and plancestors who give me life, and to make this a possibility for & with others in my communities.
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Washington D.C. Chapter
Hi Folx! My name is Nam, and my pronouns are she/them. I am a queer Indian-American activist and organizer, and recent transplant to the DMV area. I am passionate about the connection between all forms of oppression, and about liberation for both human and nonhuman animals, and Earth.
As a life long animal advocate, I have always felt connected to nonhuman animals. My journey in animals advocacy began when I fell in love with some local animal sanctuary residents, and became heavily involved in grassroots animal advocacy and community outreach. From working in these areas, it became clear to me that the mainstream animal rights movement was not doing enough to make veganism accessible to non-privileged, non-white communities. Through this realization, I began to get more involved with the groundbreaking work of vegans of color, as well as learning more about the history of human oppression in the US.
Although my activism began with nonhuman animals, it now also involves food justice, environmental justice, and justice for all humans, including indigenous rights, dalit rights, rights for black folx, prison abolition, and queer and trans rights. The intricate connections between all of these varied forms of oppression has and continues to propel my passion for going above and beyond single issue activism.
Brandie Alexander, Organizer
Brandie is a domestic worker and community organizer living and growing her practice as a budding witch and herbalism apprentice in Boston, Massachusetts. Upholding and cherishing her vegan identity for 8 years has developed her commitment to end the whitewashing of veganism. Brandie is honored to be part of the vegan community uplifting the marginalized and empowering LGBTQIA folks. She has addressed environmental racism from an indigenous perspective at a talk at the Congressional Hunger Center in Washington DC, facilitated a workshop at Color of Violence 4 in Chicago, Transforming the Dominant Diet: Ending Industrialization and won The 2015 Sistah Vegan Project’s Anti-Racist Vegan award for her work.
Photo Credit: Ana Maria De La Rosa
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Alicia Frausto, Organizer
Saludos a todxs! Mi nombre es Alicia (and it’s also my mama’s and my grandmama’s name). I’m queer, and I use the pronouns she/they. I am from Anaheim, California, and my parents are from Zacatecas, Mexico. I spent my whole life living in Southern California until I was 20 and decided to move around the world. I have lived in France, Ecuador, Colombia, and India in various amounts of time. Today I call Philly home!
I study sex education and documentary filmmaking at UPenn where I am pursuing my Masters degree in Education. I became vegetarian while living in Ecuador, but my knowledge of vegetarianism really picked up when I moved to India. It was only 5 months ago that I decided to go vegan for health reasons. Through my journey, I have learned a lot about veganism, and I have slowly built a community here in Philly. Veganism has introduced me to amazing people, and it has strengthened my relationship with the earth and all species that exist on it.
As an organizer with Veggie Mijas, I hope to continue developing my relationships with folks here in Philly as well as providing spaces for vegans of color to come together and share great food. While I acknowledge that there are some restraints for folks, related to health, income, and access, I truly believe that the more knowledge and awareness we share within our communities, the more approachable a vegan lifestyle will be. The more we challenge white veganism and other dominant narratives about veganism, the more our communities will know that they, too, can be part of decolonizing our diets.
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Luisa Ibarra, Organizer
Hello, my name is Luisa Ibarra and I’m from Chicago, IL. I was born and raised in the neighborhood of Little Village, a predominately working class Mexican immigrant community. I identify as Mexican American and my pronouns are she/hers.
My vegan/plant based journey began about a year ago when I was inspired by one of my best friends. At the time I was facing serious health problems and was struggling to find a balance with my diet and did not have a positive relationship with food. When my friend told me about his vegan journey I did a lot of online research about the benefits of a plant based diet and decided that for one year I was going to be vegan. I started by being vegetarian for about a month and once January 2018 hit I changed my diet completely. It was a struggle the first few months but I have decided to stick with this lifestyle for as long as I can. I have been able to heal myself from various illnesses and feel better mentally and spiritually.
While on my journey I struggled to find vegan people of color in my community. When I ran into Veggie Mijas on IG i immediately knew I wanted to be involved to connect with vegan people in Chicago. After the first Chicago Chapter Potluck I felt so much joy to have met other vegans and have a POC vegan community.
With Veggie Mijas I hope to inspire and work with the youth of my community to teach them about plant based lifestyles, social and environmental justice. I also want to teach my community that they have autonomy over their own bodies and they have the resources and support to do so. I am very grateful for of all the work that Veggie Mijas does and I’m excited to put in more work!
Araceli Rodriguez, Organizer
My name is Araceli Rodriguez, and I’m a Xicana activist and blogger working to create a world where humans, earth and animals are free from violence.
I’m currently a graduate student at The University of Illinois at Chicago working on my Masters in Social Work. My activist journey started when I was 14 where I participated in my first protest in opposition to the war in Afghanistan. Then, at 16, I organized my first protest against a local KFC to raise awareness about the violence against animals. As I grew older, I continued to help animals with their quest for liberation by openly rescuing them from places of violence, by building an activist community, and by doing advocacy to amplify their voices. In addition to animal liberation work, I have participated in various activist events pertaining to prison abolition, police brutality, undocumented rights, gentrification, and women’s rights. All of this activism has led me to a career path in social work where I plan to work at a macro level. My goal is to be able to create and implement policies that will improve the lives of the most marginalized in our society.
What drew my attention to Veggie Mijas is their core values of intersectionality and that it is run by women of color for all people of color that were veg curious, vegan and vegetarian.
Facebook: Woke Vegana
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Destiny is a CubaRican’ from The Bronx, NY and is currently living the plant-based life in Dallas, Texas. She loves finding deals and shopping on a budget! This time, she went to Fiesta, a Latin supermarket in Dallas, to buy her produce. Check out this video of her grocery haul, tips on grabbing the best deal and some recipe ideas! You can follow Destiny on Instagram and YouTube @eatyodestiny and enjoy her cheap recipes, social justice rants and shopping videos
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Crystal Carrillo, Organizer
Hello! My name is Crystal Carrillo and I'm a Latina--Mexicana from Los Angeles but currently reside in Phoenix, Arizona. Since coming to Phoenix over 7 years ago, I have progressed in my involvement in community issues and their intersection with local policy.
My journey started over 10 years ago when I became a vegetarian in my junior year of high school. Since then, I've challenged myself to look through a wide lens on many different issues and am an active member in both political and grassroots organizations. I believe that through policy change and education, we can increase food access and affordability while holding the food industry accountable for providing unhealthy, processed, and lower quality products to folx of color in low income areas. I have been vegan for about 5 months now and continue to learn more about decolonizing my diet by eating more beans, rice, legumes, nuts and other plant based foods.
I decided to organize with Veggie Mijas because I have seen what a euro-centric view of veganism looks like and represents. My goal is to make sure all vegans reflect on ways to provide for our community and raise awareness, especially looking at the exploitation of farm workers, rural communities affected by factory farms, and reasons why low income communities do not have access to healthier foods. I would like to focus on bringing POC vegans into a safe space where we can connect, heal, and support one another. I hope to bridge this gap and ensure our chapter does work in and around the community.
Personal IG: @crystaluhhv
Vegan IG: @la_vegana_crystal
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Stephanie Ginese, Organizer
Hello all! My name is Stephanie Ginese. My pronouns are she/her. I am a queer identifying, Boricua- Italian, mother, poet, writer, & educator in Cleveland, Ohio. I am the Special Programs Coordinator & a lead teaching artist for Twelve Literary Arts, an intergenerational teaching, learning, & professional development incubator for writers, poets, & performance artists of color & their allies in the Cleveland area.
I have been mostly pescatarian for the past 4 years, but have been moving more towards veganism in this last year. I love making plant-based meals for my fiancé & two sons, which they enjoy eating. I believe everything we put into our bodies affects their every function, especially our physical well-being, mental, & spiritual health.
As an organizer with Veggie Mijxs, my mission is to educate & inspire people of color to reclaim the rights & access to the ingredients that originated in our respective countries & cultures. Which now white folks have co-opted & made inaccessible to our communities with economic racism & gentrification. I am hoping to bring real food justice to the many food deserts & neglected communities in Cleveland & its surrounding areas.
“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”