$0 – $10,000

NWIAA 8th Annual Conference and Symposium

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale

155 Temple Street

New Haven, CT 06510

View Map

Event description


Dates: June 28, 2018 to June 30, 2018


Main Conference Meeting Space

Omni Hotel

155 Temple Street

New Haven, CT. 06510

Breakout Rooms & Vendor Symposium

Gateway Community College

20 Church Street

New Haven, CT. 06510

Contracted Hotels:

Room reservations are not included in registration rate. Please contact the hotels directly in order to reserve a room for your stay.

Omni Hotel at Yale University (Pending)

Courtyard Marriot New Haven (Pending)

The Study at Yale (Confirmed)

Please register online at: https://reservations.travelclick.com/15472?groupID=1982480

New Haven Hotel (Confirmed)

Please contact the reservations line at 1800-644-6835 to make their reservations and use the group code “HIDDEN” in order to receive the group rate.

Invited Speakers:

Leslie Wheelock

Maurice Small

Minda Honey

Lisa Kirivist

Tekowa L. Otunnu

Nakia Navarro

Dr. Mike Rossman

Dr. Lorann Stallones

Rowen White

Anha Kruzic

Ruby Olisemeka

Invited Performance Artists:

Kelvin Young

Tekowa L. Otunnu

Conference Information:

Working Theme: Women, Intersectionality and Food Systems

*This page will be updated periodically as Conference agenda items are confirmed*

Day One, June 28, 2018

Sunrise yoga (Omni Hotel, room TBD): 6:30 am to 7:15 am

Introduction: Welcome to New Haven: 8:00 am to 8:30 am - Honorable Mayor Toni Harp

Plenary Session: 8:45 am to 10:45 am - Lisa Kirivist

Soil Sisters: How Women Intersect & Cultivate Healthy Food Systems

What’s the key ingredient to healthy communities? Women leading food system change. Women make up one of the fastest growing segments of new farmers today and we come from a long and deep history and tradition of cultivating the soil. This fresh crop of women farmers today find innovative ways to champion local agriculture and foster greater collaboration and cooperation, all based on an intentional intersectionality: we are all connected. Collectively, women “connect the dots” and improve the health of our environment, stimulate the economy, build a greater sense of community, and nurture a more vibrant food system. What does our future hold? How can we support more women cultivating these connections? Come celebrate the historic roots and inspiring stories of women farmers today — and in the future.

Attendees will gain an understanding of:

  • The intersectionality of the women in ag movement: how collaboration and cross-pollination support women in launching and succeeding in farm businesses.

  • The complex history in which today’s women farmer movement is rooted, such as a lack of representation and discrimination.

  • A diversity of women farmer success stories throughout the country, identifying business tactics and ideas to use in their own farm ventures.

  • The importance of increasing the number of women farmer in leadership positions and encouraging attendees to take on such roles, including running office.

Break: 10:45 am to 11:15 am

Workshop Sessions:. 11:15 am to 12:30 pm

Session A: Breaking Ground: How to Access NEGEF Awards & Sponsorships w/ Nakia Navarro

Nakia Navarro, Program Director for the New England Grassroots Environment Fund will provide insight on how the Grassroots Fund awards grants and provides training/skill building resources to frontline organizers. The New England Grassroots Environment Fund is a collaborative funder with over 20 years experience resourcing the frontline of the New England environmental justice movement.

When participants finish the workshop, they will know:

- How to apply for funding via the Grassroots Fund three grant programs

- How to attend RootSkills webinars and in-person trainings

- How to apply for event sponsorships

- How to apply to present at a RootSkills training or webinar

Session B: TBD

Session C: TBD

Lunch:. 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, On your own!

Workshop Sessions:. 1:45 pm to 3:00 pm

Session D:.TBD

Session E: TBD

Session F: TBD

**Dinner and networking at Olives and Oil Restaurant, 124 Temple Street in New Haven from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Registration for this event is separate from admission and required for entry. Please register separately at checkout.**

Day Two, June 29, 2018

Sunrise yoga (Omni Hotel, room TBD): 6:30 am to 7:15 am

Introduction: 8:30 am to 9:00 am -Women in Agriculture - Commissioner Reviczky, Connecticut Department of Agriculture

Plenary Session: 9:15 am to 10:45 am - TBD

Break: 10:45 am to 11:00 am

Workshop Sessions:. 11:15 am to 12:30 pm

Session G: TBD

Session H: TBD

Session I: TBD

Lunch:. 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, On your own!

Workshop Sessions:. 1:45 pm to 3:00 pm

Session J:.TBD

Session K: Feminism Is Not Enough! Reviving the Yoni Culture - A Celebration of the Feminine, An Awakening of the Goddess Within with Ruby Olisemeka

The feminist movement, mid 1800's onwards, has made significant ideological changes and tangible strides in the struggle for equality between men and women.

However the movement has centered historically around empowering, white women, and appears to seek assimilation into a fundamentally flawed societal model, rather than dismantling that model and all the oppressive systems that are woven within it.

The feminist movement also appears to not acknowledge the suppressed history off the ancient feminine goddess cultures and reviving them as a critical part of womens liberation.

In this interactive workshop we will critically analyze the concept of femininity, look at some feminine archetypes, and the cultures that created and celebrated them.

We will discuss the ways we can work to awaken this culture, first within ourselves.

We will practice some rituals and methods (herbal medicine making, land practices, mantras) to strengthen and express the divine feminine within.

Session L:. Reclaiming Your Voice w/ Minda Honey

It is time to tell your story. The story of you and the soil, what it has taken from you – your sacrifices and your sweat as you've labored over the years – and what it has given to you – the crops you've harvested and the revelations you've unearthed. By telling our stories we empower our sisters to dig in beside us and give others the gift of awareness and insights into the challenges we face. Storytelling is a from of self-care and a way to validate your experience. You have a story, it deserves to be told and it deserves to be heard.

In this workshop, Minda Honey will share her experience as a "Woman of Color in Wide Open Spaces," talk about her writing process and take you through a writing exercise. You will leave the workshop with:

  • Craft suggestions for how to write your story in a way that is compelling for the reader

  • Tips for how to get started – because sometimes the blank page can feel intimidating

  • Discussion about the difference between the writing we do for ourselves and the writing we do for others

This workshop will be a worthwhile experience for you whether you're interested in strengthening your craft, are looking to break ground on a new project or are ready to return to an old project with fresh eyes. Minda has worked with writers of all ages, at the college level and within the community.

*Please join us for smores and story telling with Minda by the fire at astate park location TBD, 5:00 pm to 7 pm. FREE*

Day Three, June 30, 2018

Sunrise yoga (room TBD):. 7:15 am to 8:00 am

Community Volunteering Opportunity:. Habitat for Humanity WomenBuild, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (*By registration only. Volunteers must commit to the whole day. Please check for more details on this opportunity by April 2018*).

Community Farm Tour # 1: Common Ground High School

Community Farm Tour # 2:. TBD

Community Farm Tour # 3: TBD

Community Farm Tour # 4: TBD

Our Valued Supporters and Sponsors:

New England Grassroots Environmental Fund

Connectitcut Suicide Advisory Board

Cabot Cheese of Vermont

Food First

Moutain Rose Herbs

Food Tank

Food Solutions New England

Natural Nutmeg Magazine

Speaker Biographies:

Dr. Lorann Stallones/Director, the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University

Lorann Stallones, PhD, MPH, is the Director of the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University. She has held this position since 2007.

Her interest in public health heath came from three different experiences. As an undergraduate she wanted to go to nursing school and when a former student of her father’s and long -time family friend heard about this she started sending her books about medical sociology and talked about public health. The second fact that influenced her was that her father was an epidemiologist and the founding Dean of the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston so she had always heard about public health, but never thought of herself as a scientist, so hadn’t given it much thought. In her junior year in college she took seminar in anthropology where she wrote a paper discussing the development of mental illness as a medical diagnosis in African countries after a number of African physicians had been trained in England. Prior to that, most of the symptoms and behaviors related to the mental illnesses diagnosed had simply been ignored or accommodated by the people living in those communities. She became intrigued with the role of culture in our perceptions and definitions about what were considered diseases and what were not. From this interest it became clear how someone interested in culture may have something to contribute to understanding health and disease.

Dr. Stallones has had varied research interests over the years. Her first research area was the role of marital status change on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. She then moved to studying respiratory diseases and injuries among farmers and farm residents. She also studied the health benefits of the human-animal bond. She moved to Colorado State University in 1990 to pursue work related to pesticide exposure and mood disorders leading to suicidal behavior. She has conducted community based participatory research on a wide range of injury related topics from migrant farm workers risk of injury and perceptions about injury to community concerns about traumatic brain injury, school playground injuries, bicycle safety, and car safety seat use. Recently she has been working with colleagues to study agricultural injuries in China and with colleagues in China, Costa Rica and South Africa to study mood disorders associated with pesticide poisoning. She is also working with graduate students to build a research program that focuses on the role of mindfulness in promoting health and well-being and reducing adverse responses to stress.

Dr. Mike R. Rossman/Farmer, Psycologist

Michael R. Rosmann is a psychologist and farmer whose life's work involves improving the behavioral healthcare of the agricultural population. He seeks to advance regional and global food production policy which enhances the behavioral and economic welfare of food producers, maintains stewardship of the land and other resources used in food production and protects the safety of food for consumers. In an era of increasing tension due to bioterrorist threats and shifts in the agribusiness climate, he is a voice for the agricultural population. The New York Times said this about him: a fourth generation farmer as well as a clinical psychologist, he speaks the language of men and women on the verge of losing their place on the land.

Rosmann has been instrumental in developing a new specialty: agricultural behavioral health. He has authored the popular book, Excellent Joy: Fishing, Farming, Hunting and Psychology, as well as many book chapters, short stories, scholarly articles and magazine features. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN and National Geographic television network programs and has been a guest on National Public Radio and the Farm Bureau Network numerous times. He writes a weekly syndicated column, Farm and Ranch Life, for numerous newspapers. He has often served as a keynote speaker at state, regional, national and international conferences. With other concerned citizens, Rosmann founded AgriWellness, Inc., a nonprofit seven-state program which promotes accessible behavioral health services for underserved and at-risk populations affected by the farm crisis and by the ongoing transitions in agriculture. He is also adjunct faculty at the University of Iowa. He is an avid fly fisherman and hunter.

Michael R. Rosmann received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Utah. Following a five year stint as a faculty member in the psychology department of the University of Virginia, Rosmann and his family moved to their farm in rural western Iowa where he developed an organic crop and purebred livestock operation. He also provided mental health services to the farm population, first in private practice and then in community mental health centers. He developed the first mental health response in Iowa to the farm crisis of the 1980's. He initiated Prairie Rose Mental Health Center in Harlan, Iowa and was its director for eight years. Rosmann received the 2002 Victor I. Howery Memorial Award, given yearly by the National Association for Rural Mental Health to an individual who has made significant contributions to the rural mental health field. In 2012 the American Psychological Association made Rosmann its honoree for the State Leadership Award “for his exceptional service to the profession of psychology as a resolute advocate for rural mental health. He has been inducted into the Iowa Agricultural Safety and Health Hall of Fame. The Sowing the Seeds of Hope program, which AgriWellness administers, was selected as a model program for inclusion in Rural Healthy People 2010: A Companion Document to Healthy People 2010. He is a leader of national efforts to fund health care for uninsured and underinsured farm and ranch families and agricultural workers and to establish a National Center for Agricultural Behavioral Health.

Lisa Kirivist/Author, Sustainable Agriculture Adovocate

A national advocate for women in sustainable agriculture, Lisa Kivirist founded and leads the Rural Women’s Project of the Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service, an award- winning initiative championing female farmers and food-based entrepreneurs.

Lisa is a Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Minnesota, focusing on identifying opportunities to champion leadership development among female farmers and rural women. She was recognized by In Business Magazine as a “Woman of Industry” for leadership growing the women in sustainable agriculture movement.

Together with her husband, John Ivanko, Lisa is co-author ofher husband, John Ivanko, Lisa is co-author of Homemade for Sale,Farmstead Chef, ECOpreneuring andRural Renaissance. She writes on food, farming and women in agriculture for a range of publications including Hobby Farms, Mother Earth News and Grit.

Lisa, John and their son Liam run Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, a diverse farm operation completely powered by the wind and the sun and considered among the “Top Ten Eco-Destinations” in North America and nestled in the rolling green hills of southern Wisconsin.

Maurice Small/Soil Alchemist, Permaculture Consultant

Maurice Small is an independent consultant with 25 years of experience in urban food systems development, youth entrepreneurship training, and soil creation. Maurice Small inherited his profound respect & love for the earth from his parents. This love for natural process and growth nurtures his strong desire to build community as he teaches & cultivates a regional vision for sustainable agriculture, healthy lifestyles in underserved communities & urban/rural collaboration between growers & vendors. His work to address the development of a more sustainable regional food system in Northeast Ohio began in 1988 with vacant lot reclamation, community garden creation, work with local after-school programs and volunteering with organizations to cultivate urban local food production.

Small co-founded the City Fresh initiative and served as its first on-the-ground coordinator in 2004. City Fresh was a strategic project that focused on improving urban market access for rural farmers while improving food access in urban neighborhoods in Cleveland. City Fresh has evolved into a regional initiative that includes farmers and urban neighborhoods from six counties. In his work with City Fresh, Small supports neighborhoods as they organize Fresh Stop food centers which combine nutrition education and local food distribution. Small was part of the team that launched the City Fresh market garden training program in 2005 in collaboration with Ohio State University Extension to train urban farmers to utilize vacant land to grow food for market.

In 2006, Small completed the permaculture training intensives offered by the Agrarian Learning Network with renowned international permaculture designer Darren Doherty. Small was also featured in several digital media projects which culminated in two feature length documentary films, including the Real Low Calorie Diet (2007) and PolyCultures: Food Where We Live (2009).

Minda Honey/Author

Minda Honey is the founder of Write Louisville and a full-time writer focused on centering marginalized voices. She has a bi-weekly relationship advice column in the LEO Weekly, a monthly column about living at the intersection of race and gender in the San Diego CityBeat and her work has been featured in Longreads, Teen Vogue, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books and by many other outlets. She's crisscrossed this country by car several times, most recently after graduating with her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside. Find her online at www.mindahoney.com.

Tekowa Otunnu/Performance Artist, Farmer

Tekowa is a 24 year old, artist and urban farmer from Connecticut. Tekowa has been farming since 2011 and has farmed in CT, ME, and HI, and worked for the Surplus People’s Project, supporting the Food Sovereignty Movement in Cape Town, SA. Her focus is increasing access to good foods in low income communities, communities of color, and providing healing spaces to these communities. Currently the farm manager at FRESH New London’s urban farm in New London, CT, she is working to use urban farming as a means of building community, creating a safe space, and adding vibrancy to the city. As a recording and touring musician, she also aims to weave art and music into the fabric of the farm as a way of connecting people to each other, and their own hearts and minds.

Nakia Navarro/Program Director, New England Grassroots Environment Fund

Nakia Navarro hails from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts with her two children, Kayla and Mateo. Her nonprofit experience spans well over fteen years. Nakia most recently was the New England Regional Director at Let’s Get Ready, which provides low-income high school students with support services to both enter and complete college. Nakia received her Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration with a minor in Spanish from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, a Certi cate in Global Communications from the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain, and she is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University.

Rowen White/Director, Sierra Seeds

Rowen White is a Seed Keeper from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for seed sovereignty. She is the director and founder of the Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education, based in Nevada City CA. She teaches creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities . She is the current Project Coordinator and advisor for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, which is a part of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance. Her Seed Seva Educational program is a wholistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture , from practical hands on skills, cultural context and memory with guiding principles that are rooted in an indigenous ecology of interconnected relations. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs. Follow her seed journeys at www.sierraseeds.org.

Ruby Olisemaka/Farmer

Ruby Olisemeka is an independent educator/consultant focusing on socially transformative education; food justice and incorporating African and indigenous practices into farming and food & farming education. She began her farming career as an apprentice at Stone Barns (2011) and has since built numerous school and urban gardens in lower Westchester and Harlem. Ruby has over 10 years’ experience educating children and young adults, she has worked as an educator at Edible Schoolyard NYC, Harlem Grown and various public and private schools and institutions.

"We who do this liberation work want to bring about a revolution in our lifetime; we have deemed, with sadness, the current national and international power structure not fit to ensure and promote the full expression of life. I am part of a collective, a movement of people wanting to bring about a more just world. I am a farmer and teacher, a spiritualist and budding herbalist, an afro centrist and naturalist. My path as a farmer began with an apprenticeship at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in 2011.I've kept my hands in the soil ever since, building urban, suburban and periurban gardens in lower Westchester and Harlem. I teach (in classrooms, gardens, spaces where people can gather) children and adults how to do the work I do on land. A farmer can rarely escape the intersections of poverty, politics, food access or justice when farming sustainably. I am an activist working to dismantle the food and health related injustices Africans and people of African descent endure."- RO

Performance Artist Biographies:

Kelvin Young

Kelvin Young is the Director of Toivo by Advocacy Unlimited, Holistic Stress Management Instructor, and Sound Alchemist. As a recognized leader in the addiction recovery movement and throughout the holistic healing community, Kelvin’s powerful healing journey began while he was in prison, where he found inner peace, self-realization, and love through meditation, yoga, and the expressive arts. Bringing his story of personal transformation into the community, Kelvin has shared his story with thousands of individuals in or seeking recovery. In 2014 Kelvin became the Director of Toivo by Advocacy Unlimited - a center for holistic healing and stress management in Hartford, Connecticut. Kelvin continues to share his story of healing from within as a passionate public speaker, and he is known for his warm, loving, and down-to-earth way of connecting with people.

Tekowa Otunnu/Performance Artist, Farmer

(Please see above)

About National Women in Agriculture Association (NWIAA)

National Women In Agriculture Association (NWIAA) was founded and established February 2008 by Ms. Tammy Gray-Steele; who is the Executive Director. The organization is headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK. NWIAA is an agriculture outreach organization, fueled by sisterhood and diversity. NWIAA believes rural minority women have been often neglected; the lack of resources has stagnated rural development. NWIAA is the first minority woman owned and operated organization that provides innovative outreach education that attracts and sustains current and future generations with its innovative, spiritual, and USDA certified education techniques.

Great things are achieved when adequate resources are coupled with energy, initiative, and perseverance of women in rural and urban communities.

Ms. Steele’s passion to provide the next generation in rural and urban, underserved communities throughout the United States of America, and eventually abroad. NWIAA has attracted local and national attention. Other chapter states include: Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Michigan, Oklahoma, (Men In Agriculture, Youth, Native American, and Veteran chapters). Proposed chapters that are being established in are North Carolina, Kansas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and California and others are pending.

Share with friends

Date and Time


Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale

155 Temple Street

New Haven, CT 06510

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved