2022 Regional Network Weavers
Photo credit: Canva.com
REACH OUT TO THEM TO CONNECT!
We are excited to welcome six Regional Food Council Network Weavers to deepen our food work grounded in values of equity, community leadership, and systems change.
These wonderful people are closely connected to their communities and will be helping foster stronger connections across councils in their regions.
Meet the Regional Food Council Network Weavers
Randolph Keaton, Southeast
Randolph Keaton is the Executive Director of Men and Women United for Youth & Families (MWUYF) located in Delco NC. He serves on the NC Rural Center Board of Directors as well on the NC A&T State University Extensions Strategic Planning Council. He also servers on the NC Community Garden Partners Advisory Group. He is an avid farmer and is a City Councilman for the Town of Sandyfield NC. Randolph works closely with MWUYF’s youth food council, the Youth Ambassadors.
They see themselves as a: Champion, Listener, and Connector
Dylan Turner, Charlotte Area
Dylan is a doctoral student in geography at UNC Charlotte where he studies regional food systems, and explores questions around food justice and sustainability. Originally from King, North Carolina, he now calls Salisbury home. As a Regional Network Weaver for Community Food Strategies, he hopes to build stronger connections throughout the Charlotte food system to support the many wonderful groups working hard to get food on people’s plates. In his free time he enjoys reading, cooking, mountain biking, and gardening.
They see themselves as a: Connector, and excited to a Listener, Idea Disseminator
Kendrick Ransome, Northeast
Since 2017, Kendrick has been farming the land and raising animals at his farm, Golden Organic Farm, LLC, in Pinetops. Although he didn’t grow up farming, he does come from four generations of farmers with about 100-year-old family land. His grandfather raised hogs and various vegetables on that land, and through a mix of curiosity, family heritage, and ambition, Kendrick decided to take over the farm to grow healthy, quality food for his family and the community.
Kendrick is Co-founder and Agriculture Director of Freedom Organization, a non-profit which partners with underserved communities to build a marketplace for Princeville, establish community gardens, and promote cultural, recreational, athletic, and economic opportunities. Kendrick is also the Chairman of Just Foods Collaborative.
They see themselves as a: Champion and Listener
Jenn Grimmett, Triad
Jenn lives in Alamance County and has most recently worked with Benevolence Farm in the southern part of the county. During that time, Jenn cultivated deep relationships with local farmers and general community, consistently advocating for raised awareness and education within the intersections of race, food, and economic justice. As a Regional Network Weaver for Community Food Strategies, she hopes to elevate the voices of her communities by facilitating community based research to better determine overlapping strenghths. In her free time, Jenn spends her days with her daughter, two cats, and dog. Favorite fresh food: blueberries!
They see themselves as a: Storyteller
Brielle Wright, Triangle
Brielle Wright grew up in eastern North Carolina and is one of the owners of Farmers B.A.G.
Brielle is a Board Member of the NC Community Gardners Association, the Secretary of the Black Farmers Market, and a member of the Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers member, NC Women of Color Farmers, and the NC Food Advocacy Coalition.
They see themselves as a: Storyteller & Collector
Christina Bailey, Western
Christina (they/she) lives in Watauga County and has been involved in food system work for over 10 years. They are the regional network weaver for the West for Community Food Strategies. They are also a massage therapist, community organizer, cat lover, hiker, and local food enthusiast.
Christina has served as many roles for the Watauga Food Council for several years. They are also connected with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, Vibrant Earth Collective, and Immigrant Justice Coalition.
They see themselves as a: Connector and Energy Infuser
How these positions came about...
Since 2016, Community Food Strategies Regional Leads/Liaisons have been convening and supporting food councils across six regions in North Carolina. As capacity, skill, and membership of food councils continue to grow, this statewide network demands place-based, community-embedded leadership.
We recognize our team’s gap of experiential context and geographical proximity to councils in each of the six regions across the state. In efforts to fill this gap and expand our team capacity, we are piloting and funding Regional Food Council Network Weavers through May 2023, with the support of the NC Local Food Council and a Center for Disease Control Health Equity grant.
We hope greater connection, collaboration, and understanding within and across regions will fuel meaningful collective action towards more equitable food systems change.