Melanie is a 2012 graduate of Brown University with an undergraduate degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her academic interests include international agricultural trade, labor rights, rising food prices, and supply chain transparency.
Melanie has worked to improve employment conditions and living wages for workers across the food supply chain. As a paralegal at Joseph & Kirschenbaum LLP, she helped represent restaurant employees in New York City who were victims of wage theft and discrimination. She has also advocated alongside the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pressure supermarkets into signing a fair food agreement that would improve working conditions in Florida's tomato fields. Melanie is passionate about exploring the interconnectedness between international trade, access to food, food aid, and land rights.
Borghild is currently studying for a master of science degree in Globalization, Global Politics, and Culture at the Norwegian University of Technology and Science. Her academic interests include global food systems, understanding large scale land investments, food aid and development assistance policies, industrial versus organic farming practices and land rights issues.
Borghild is passionate about climate change and sustainability, and through her involvement with the non-governmental organization Future in Our Hands, she works towards changing the notion that individuals are powerless in today’s globalized world. She is driven by the belief that the choices we make every day matter, and together we are able to build a better, more sustainable world for all.
Luis is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with undergraduate degrees in Political Economy and History. His academic interests include postcolonialism, international development, the political economy of higher education, and institutional change. His writing has been published in the Berkeley Undergraduate Journal, the Berkeley Political Review, the Daily Californian, and the Berkeley Planning Journal. A recipient of the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize, Luis will spend the 2013-14 school year along the US-Mexico border exploring the relationship between transnational credit dependence, Mexican structural adjustment, and immigration policy in the context of the Great Recession.
Luis is committed to producing research that not only addresses the needs of the marginalized but is also generated with these communities.
Peiley graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Economics. During her studies at Stanford, she researched the effects of agricultural subsidies on American corn production and the impact of urban food deserts on African-American health. Peiley has worked on a Midwestern organic family farm implementing sustainable agricultural practices. She currently teaches nutrition and healthful cooking courses to the underserved immigrant community of East Palo Alto.
Peiley's academic interests include the role of sustainable food systems in developing economies, the impact of international aid on agriculture and health, food security, and food sovereignty.
Alice has a masters degree in International Public Management from Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science, she focused on social and environmental issues in Latin America, and her third year of study involved a research project in Valparaiso, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Alice has worked for the Research Institute for Development in France, where she carried out an investigation on HIV/Aids in Cameroon and Morrocco. Alice’s interest lie at the confluence of development and social justice, focusing especially on health, agriculture, access to food, and human rights issues.
Graham is a graduate student at UC Davis, where he is completing dual Masters degrees in International Agricultural Development and Agricultural and Resource Economics. Prior to his graduate studies, Graham worked in Uganda with a fair trade cocoa and vanilla company, and spent the summer of 2012 facilitating needs assessments among the company’s smallholder producers in eastern DR Congo. He currently works on the UC Davis Student Farm and is collaborating with a Ugandan research institute on a participatory plant-breeding project through USAID’s Horticulture CRSP program.
His interests lie at the confluence of smallholder production and international agricultural trade, and include the role of agroforestry, agroecology, and producer certification schemes in agricultural production systems.
Jettie recently graduated from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po, Paris, where she received a Masters of Public Administration in Sustainable and International Development. Her academic research focused on land-use policy and took her to Mexico City, where she studied the complexities of agriculture and ecological conservation in a sprawling urban setting. Jettie has also studied domestic agricultural issues, and produced extensive research on the U.S. Farm Bill.
Jettie is interested in global and local trends in agriculture and conservation, and how the complexities of globalization interact with local initiatives.
Brittany is a 2013 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she studied Africa, English literature, and anthropology. Her thesis on customary land grabs in South Africa won the Nnamdi Azikiwe Prize at Penn. Her research interests include rural social transformations, global neoliberal politics, structures of inequality, and land grabs in African countries. She plans to pursue her PhD in anthropology.
Since 2007, Brittany has been the president of A Spring of Hope, an NGO that partners with rural South African schools to provide clean drinking water and economic development projects. Before the Oakland Institute, she interned at the Bureau of African Affairs in the US Department of State and at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. In spring 2013, she was a guest faculty member at the Drexel University School of Public Health, lecturing online on the global water crisis and its impact on education.
Tami Etziony is an undergraduate Environmental Studies student at Mills College. She will continue in the Masters in Public Policy program in 2012-13. Her academic goal is defining and establishing sustainable economic methods, mainly for eliminating human exploitation and resource depletion.
She is involved with local and state political and environmental campaigns. Her interests combine social and environmental issues with the objective of empowering local communities.
Tami’s life experience in gardening and business leads her to explore the use of native local plants as a tool for environmental revitalization, which encourages native fauna. She led construction projects building living native structure in the Mills College botanical garden.
Agazit received her BA in International Development Studies and MA in African Studies from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Her academic interests included African cinema, cultural production, and narratives of resistance. She currently works at UCLA's Center for World Languages in the International Institute and is a research associate for an urban agriculture non-profit in Los Angeles.
Her areas of interest include food sovereignty, farmers’ rights, land rights and land grab, climate change, sustainable development and social justice.
Caroline completed nearly 10 years of business-to-business research in the US and France. She is now pursuing her interests in social and environmental justice. She is currently completing a Master’s in Cultural and Social Anthropology at CIIS in San Francisco. Her academic work focuses on environmental injustice and biodiversity loss, especially in the context of land grabs from traditional/ indigenous farmers. She has spent time in the field, building alliances and conducting research in both the West Bank and Ecuador.
Areas of interest: globalization, land rights and displacement, small-scale agriculture, indigenous rights, climate change, and biodiversity.
Grace Phillips is a Morehead Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Environmental Geography with focus on theories of value, knowledge, existence, as well as spatial distribution patterns of biota. She hopes to unite these disciplines in her interest in conceptions of land use and ownership and it's translation into resource management policy.
Grace has spent time working with indigenous and impoverished populations in Guatemala, Madagascar, Mongolia and North Carolina. These experiences inform her interests in globalization, autonomy, food sovereignty, climate change, sustainable food systems, and international trade.