Samantha Skenandore is an attorney at Quarles, where she advises tribal and corporate clients on federal Indian law and tribal law, handling tribal and corporate governance, governmental affairs, corporate transactions, real estate, labor issues and litigation, and in matters involving participation in the Small Business Administration’s program, corporate entity formation, financing, minority- or women-owned certification, labor relations, complex commercial real estate matters and government relations. An enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, Samantha previously served as a tribal attorney for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice, where her responsibilities included chairing the administrative grievance review board. Earlier in her career, she clerked for the U.S. Department of Justice, Indian Resources Section, and was a judicial clerk for the Colorado Division of Administrative hearings.
Robert Pierce, a long-time resident of South Madison, has started his own practice of urban agriculture in 1984. Robert recalled his initial steps saying, “It started off as something for myself [with] health benefits because of the allergies I had contracted after Vietnam. I was also at a business college at the time too. And I decided at that point that I wanted to become an organic farmer,”. His motivation was to produce healthy food for himself and his family. Over time his goal has expanded to ensuring access to safe, affordable, and healthy food for the low-income and multi-ethnic South Madison community. As the owner of Half the Forty-Acres Farm, and the Manager of the South Madison Farmers’ Market, Robert has been active in multiple local food projects and is now focused on developing a strong foundation for a just food system in South Madison
Tiffany Malone is a real estate consultant, affordable housing advocate, a change agent for racial justice in the real estate industry, and a loud voice for building generational wealth for Black families. Tiffany works with buyer and seller clients in the greater Madison WI area as a licensed Realtor at Alvarado Real Estate Group and is one of the co-creators of OWN IT: Building Black Wealth, an innovative local initiative that is changing the game when it comes to educating and creating access to funds for Black and Brown families to build wealth through real estate and homeownership. Tiffany is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion work within the real estate industry. Being raised by a single Black mother who overcame many obstacles, she witnessed first hand how she was treated and the opportunities she missed because of her race and gender. Tiffany is motivated to change that and her goal is to make a difference in the lives of others, to build generational wealth for her family, and to advocate for others who want to do the same.
Donale was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated from Madison East High School in 2012 and then UW-Madison in 2017 with a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering - Natural Resources. Since college, Donale has worked various jobs and community projects in food and agriculture, including UW-Extension, Off the Block Enterprises, Madison Public Market Foundation, Dane County Food Council, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, UW-Madison’s School for Urban Agriculture, South Madison Farmers Market. Over the years, he spent time building a network of mentors and strengthening connections in local and regional food systems. The knowledge obtained led to the creation of MFS to fill in the gaps of services not easily available to Black and Brown people seeking to turn their dream into a reality. As he takes time to foster his dream of operating a farm-to-table restaurant, he wishes to help other small business owners along the way.
PA DER LOR
Pa Der Lor is a first generation Hmong American woman. Pa Der has worked with the senior population since 2010. Pa Der planned, coordinated, and facilitated various therapeutic programs with a focus on seniors. Currently, the Adult and Senior Program Coordinator at Bayview Community Center, Pa Der has expanded the adult programs available to Bayview's residents. Pa Der's role is to listen to the residents’ wants and needs and then seek out community resources to support them. Building community and listening to residents’ voice are values that Pa Der work to upheld.
Wally is active in the Lincoln, Nebraska food system with our local Southern Heights Food Forest, Open Harvest Co-op Grocery and the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society. Wally is trained as a Landscape Architect and enjoys creating meaningful educational spaces for kids and their families to learn about plants they eat. Wally sees our food system connected through a series of interconnected watersheds and regional foodways. Originally from Wisconsin, his favorite meal is a seasonally sourced Friday Night Fish Fry enjoyed with friends. He is inspired by seeking to understand the soil fungus in our permaculture guilds, the art & science of raw milk cheesemakers, and the joy of eating Spicy Daikon microgreens
Tia Murray, BS, CLC, CD(DONA) was born and raised in Madison, WI and has worked with women, children and families in multiple capacities throughout her professional career. She founded Harambee Village Doulas, a community- based doula organization that provides culturally sensitive and evidencebased pregnancy, birth, infant and lactation support to mothers and families in South Central Wisconsin, and is also Executive Director of the Harambee Birth and Family Center, a local community based maternal and infant health practice, in collaboration with Project Babies, and the African American Breastfeeding Alliance of Dane County. She is a Ph.D. Student in Human Ecology: Human Development and Family Studies at the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology. Her research interests include bringing greater awareness to the root causes of the residual impacts of racial inequities in maternal and child health.
Francisco J. Sayu is a father, sustainability engineer, and environmental justice advocate. He holds a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has over 10 years of experience specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Francisco is the founder of Sustainable Community Partners LLC and currently serves as the Emerging Technology Director at RENEW Wisconsin. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Advisory Council on Building Sustainability and serves on the Steering Committee of the Wisconsin Environmental Justice and infrastructure Initiative. Prior to his current position, Francisco was the Program Manager for the Focus on Energy® New Construction Solution, which is a statewide program that helps Wisconsin businesses and residents make energy- saving decisions. Francisco lives in Madison with his wife, Rebecca, and their children.
VIRGINIA (VIKI) LEE
Virginia V Lee-Barry advocates for programming that fosters equitable community engagement and development. She has over twenty years of experience developing and facilitating youth programs for nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher learning, including AmeriCorps, Reach Dane, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Edgewood College. She enjoys long walks, dining out, traveling, and watching a great sitcom.
Justice Castañeda serves as the Executive Director of Common Wealth Development, a long-standing community development organization in Madison, WI. An educator and community development specialist by trade, Justice’s professional and academic work explores the intersections of housing policy, economic development and community violence, looking at the role these intersections play in educational & life outcomes for youth who have experienced traumatic events in early childhood and adolescence. His most recent research explores the relationship between land-use polices (including housing policy) and economic / educational outcomes for youth in Madison, WI. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of California - San Diego, earned a Masters of Arts in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mya Whitson is a tireless advocate for marginalized populations, she has done volunteer work for communities in Florida, Georgia, California and currently Wisconsin for 15 years. Mya has worked diligently to create opportunities for better jobs, housing, legal services, restorative justice and mental Wellness for the underprivileged and homeless communities, through Facilities and grassroots organizations such as Operation Welcome Home, Sankofa Mental Health and The Beacon. Mya has completed The United Way’s Boardwalk Academy and is currently a student in the UW’s Odyssey program as well as completing a course to become a certified CHW. Mya is an active member of the Resident Advisory Board (RAB) , Truax Resident Advisory Committee (TRAC), as well as The Darbo Council.
Jerreh Kujabi is a Network Engineer for the Sun Prairie Area School District with over 15 years of experience in Cisco Solutions design and implementation. He has previously worked for TDS, Wisconsin Department of Administration, and Berbee Information Networks Corporation in various IT roles. He is also a Managing Partner of Gooh Grocery. A community grocery store, located in a designated food desert, committed to providing access to healthy retail food to underserved communities of color. Activities include:
● President - Madison-Kanifing Sister City Committee
● President – SeneGambia Association of Madison
● Plan Commissioner – City of Sun Prairie Plan Commission
● Member – Madison Information Technology Association
● Member - 100 Black Men of Madison
● Former Board Member & Vice-President - African Association of Madison
● Managing Partner – Midwest Gooh Group,
● Coach - CapEast Soccer Club
Mike Engel empowers private landowners to restore habitat for wildlife. He informs and connects landowners to resources to leverage their own resources to meet conservation goals. Mike enjoys meeting new landowners to walk their land. Many hats are worn including biologist, project manager, grant writer, and contract administrator. Mike has experience restoring wetlands, streams, prairies, and savannas. Projects that benefit rare and declining species are his favorite. Especially those that offer connectivity and elasticity for changes in climate or the landscape. Mike is based in Madison, WI. His free time is usually spent outdoors.
ABOUT THE VISIONING WORKSHOP
On Saturday, July 22nd at 12 pm, BT Farms Foundation and consultant team led by Creative Urban Alchemy will host an in-person workshop in East Madison and will include a community meal. This is a save the date; more details will be provided soon.
*Note that this event is secular. It is open and welcoming of people of all religious or non-religious backgrounds.
On-site childcare and language interpretation in Spanish and Hmong will be available. Contact us with any other accessibility needs.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The BT Farms Foundation is developing a regenerative agri-community plan for approximately 222 acres of farmland and wetlands in Madison, Wisconsin. Inspired by emerging trends of cooperative urban farming, this intentional community will center equity, justice and intergenerational wealth building, and support Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities to thrive, as foundational principles.
The BT Farms Agri-community site is located in East Madison, at the intersection of E. Buckeye Road and Fankhouser Road.
The project goals are to facilitate:
This year, BT Farms and a multidisciplinary consulting team led by Creative Urban Alchemy will launch a community-engaged planning and design process to create a vision for the future agri-community. This spring, summer and fall, there will be opportunities to vision with us through:
This initiative and process is open to all, but will be centering the voices of those of historically marginalized identities.
Visit btfarms.org to learn more!