2024 SPEAKERS

lauren Ornelas

She/Her

Founder, Food Empowerment Project 
Talk: A Path Towards Food Justice
Time: 1:45pm – 2:15pm

lauren Ornelas is a long time animal rights activist since 1987 and is the founder and Senior Programs Director of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit that promotes veganism, champions for the rights of farm workers, highlights the lack of access to healthy foods in Black and Brown communities, and raise awareness about the worst forms of slavery, including child labor, in the chocolate industry. Watch lauren’s TEDx talk on The Power of Our Food Choices on YouTube. Learn more about F.E.P.’s work at www.foodispower.org

Tamearra Dyson

She/Her

Founder, Souley Vegan
Talk: Unbreakable Spirit:There’s Beauty in Resilience
Time: 4:00pm – 4:30pm

Tamearra Dyson is a second-generation Bay Area native with roots tracing back to Louisiana. Growing up as the youngest of three children in a single-parent household, she experienced firsthand the hardships of food insecurity and the impact of limited financial resources on a family. Due to these circumstances, she found herself in an abusive environment when left with her father. Despite these challenges, Tamearra was driven to succeed and forge her own path. She garnered an impressive reputation at Marin General Hospital, where she dedicated nearly ten years to the surgery center’s Endoscopy unit. Her exceptional work ethic and dedication earned her the respect and commendation of the physicians she closely worked with. They wholeheartedly supported her pursuit of nursing school, providing glowing letters of recommendation.

Balancing the responsibilities of a single mother day shifts, school, and being on call for emergencies during weekends, Tamearra made the courageous decision to chase her long-held dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. This meant leaving behind the security she had worked tirelessly to build, in order to embark on her journey with Souley Vegan.

Sid Garza-Hillman

He/Him

Vegan Author 
Talk: Making the Trade: Perceptions of Restriction in the Vegan Lifestyle
Time: 2:30pm – 3:00pm

Sid Garza-Hillman is the author of four books: Ultrarunning for Normal People: Life Lessons Learned On and Off the Trail, Approaching the Natural: A Health Manifesto, Raising Healthy Parents: Small Steps, Less Stress, and a Thriving Family and Six Truths: Live by these truths and be happy. Don’t and you won’t.  He holds a BA in Philosophy from UCLA, is a public speaker, podcaster (What Sid Thinks Podcast), certified nutritionist & running coach, Oxygen Advantage breathing instructor, and founder of smallsteppers.com. He is the Stanford Inn & Resort’s Wellness Programs Director and Race Director of the Mendocino Coast 50K trail ultramarathon.

Isabelle Cnudde

She/Her

Founder, Clorofil
Talk: A Hen’s Tale: From a Battery Cage to Playing Cards
Time: 1:00pm – 1:30pm

Isabelle Cnudde is the founder of Clorofil, an all-volunteer animal advocacy nonprofit and micro-sanctuary in Los Altos. As a humane educator, Isabelle gives talks about the plight of farmed animals and encourages a plant-based lifestyle.

Solaire Denaud

She/They

PhD Candidate
Talk: An Introduction to Black Veganism
Time: 12:15pm – 12:45pm

Solaire Denaud is a French and Haitian Ph.D. candidate in the Comparative Literature Program of the University of California Santa Barbara. Her research interests focus on occurrences of plant-based diets throughout the African Diaspora as well as Black environmentalism. More broadly, she is interested in literary conceptions of ecologies and animal ethics in Afro-diasporic literature and their entanglement with postcolonial and anti-racist resistances.

Rachael Brown

She/Her

Plant Based Nutritionist 
Talk: Your Kids Can Eat Healthier 
Time: 11:30am – 12:00pm

Rachael Brown earned a plant-based nutrition certification and food and sustainability certification from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell. After being diagnosed with high cholesterol in her late 20s, she discovered The China Study and transitioned her family to the whole-food, plant-based, no-oil (WFPBNO) lifestyle, and her cholesterol immediately dropped 50 points. She has been an adjunct professor in nutrition and wellness, a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, and a licensed massage practitioner. Learn more at www.forforkssakebook.com.

Dr. María José Hummel

She/Her

Vegan Nutritionist 
Talk: Community Rx: How to Improve Health in 10 Days
Time: 3:15pm – 3:45pm

Dr. María José Hummel is a nutritionist, health educator, author, international speaker, and former engineer. She holds multiple degrees, which include a Bachelor’s in Engineering from Cal Poly, a Master’s of Science in Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a Master’s in Public Health from San Jose State, a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell University, and she holds a doctorate in naturopathy as well as a Doctorate in Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Natural Medicine from the International Institute of Original Medicine.

As a health educator and plant-based nutritionist, certified by the American Association of Lifestyle Medicine, Maria Jose enjoys sharing not only her knowledge, but her passion, for nutrition, health, and plant-based cooking. She has appeared on cooking shows on radio and television networks such as 3ABN, 3ABN Latino, and other radio and television networks. She has taught nutrition courses at the Adventist University of Chile and the Peruvian Union University. She is frequently invited to give seminars and health education courses at churches, community groups and clinics where she teaches people how to avoid, and to reverse, lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Maria Jose has also done extensive work in the community through helping to organize free health clinics to provide comprehensive healthcare services for underprivileged and uninsured individuals.

Maria Jose is the author of two vegetarian cookbooks and a book on reversing diabetes (in Spanish). Maria Jose connects with her worldwide audience through her two websites Health for Today for her English audience and Salud para Hoy for her Spanish followers. Maria Jose has a YouTube channel with more than 41,000 subscribers.

DCherry Clown

She/Her

Drag Performer
Talk: Drag Vegan Story Time
Time: 10:45am – 11:15pm

DCherry Clown is a local drag performer from Monterey county who has been vegetarian since she was just 14 years old. She loves animals and cares for many companion animals so it was only natural that she couldn’t eat them. She finds joy in making people smile and laugh through the art of drag. 

DNA

He/Him

Comedian
Talk: Vegan Comedy Show
Time: 4:45pm – 5:15pm

DNA’s unique brand of comedy skewers America with a psychedelic double twist. The creator of several comedy festivals and a web series, DNA has opened up for Moshe Kasher, Janeane Garofalo, Myq Kaplan and most of the Bay Area. An extremely strong dose of LSD led DNA to win the Showtime Comedy Competition at Chico State in 1990.  For the next three decades DNA pursued community activism before returning to comedy in 2007. Since then DNA has fostered a community of comedians in Santa Cruz, California. A BOD member of Comedy Day in Golden Gate Park, DNA has not left his activism behind and uses comedy to bridge the gap between generations, genders, religions and species. A true intergalactic performer.

Virginia Jones

She/Her

Comedian
Talk: Vegan Comedy Show
Time: 5:30pm – 6:00pm

Virginia Jones can be seen on Portlandia, CNN’s History of Comedy, and on an Australian tap dance infomercial. Virginia has 20K followers on TikTok, which she believes to be the most. Most recently, she has enjoyed opening for Maria Bamford at the newly renovated Pasadena Ice House, performing for sold out shows at the 20th San Francisco Sketchfest, and she also recently had a vegan ice cream sandwich she really liked, with chocolate chip cookies.

MORE TO COME!