Snailblazer Awards 2019
As a grassroots network, we rely on the help, kindness, and leadership to ensure that Slow Food is able to accomplish all of its goals. At this year’s Slow Food Nations festival in Denver, CO, we awarded six individuals in the Slow Food community with the Snailblazer award, an official honor given to the most dedicated leaders in our community. These individuals are deeply committed to local, sustainable, and fair food systems. They’re the heart and soul of changemaking in the world of food, and each is a true example of what it means to bring good, clean and fair food to all.
Meet the 2019 Snailblazer Honorees!
Snailblazer for Food Justice
Denisa Livingston is a tribal member of the Navajo Nation. She is currently one of ten 2016-2017 Empowered-to-Serve National Ambassadors for the American Heart Association. She is committed to addressing the diabetes epidemic, the dominant culture of unhealthy foods, and the lack of healthy food access on the Navajo Nation. Denisa is a community health advocate for the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance (DCAA). DCAA have been globally recognized for the successful passage of several laws, the first of its kind in a food desert: Elimination of Tax on Healthy Foods, the Healthy Diné Nation Act of 2014 or Unhealthy Foods Tax, and a tax revenue allocation for Community Wellness Projects for all 110 Navajo Chapters.
From UNLV, Denisa received a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Public Health degree. She is an alumna of Leadership San Juan and Leadership New Mexico Connect program. She was a W.K. Kellogg Foundation nominee and a Slow Food International delegate of the International Indigenous Terra Madre event in Northeast India and Salone del Gusto Terra Madre in Italy. She is a member of the Slow Food Turtle Island Association, National Young Farmers Coalition, a national Sugar Action Group, and an advisory member of Reclaiming Native Truth: A Project to Dispel America’s Myths and Misconceptions. She was featured in the Washington Post live event – America Answers: Changing the Menu, Gourmet News Magazine, TV Tokyo, Mother Jones, Civil Eats, Al-Jazeera America, NPR, and others.
Snailblazer for Public Advocacy
Kevin Scribner has extensive experience in natural resource planning and management, community cultural development, alternative food systems, ecological restoration, and commercial fishing. Kevin commercially fished for salmon in the Pacific Northwest and Bristol Bay, Alaska from 1976 to 1996. He is developing Forever Wild Seafood, an e-commerce seafood business, and its companion non-profit, the Forever Wild Fund. Kevin is a volunteer with the nation-wide Slow Fish USA movement, and serves on the Slow Food USA Policy Steering Committee and the Slow Food Equity, Inclusion and Justice (EIJ) Working Group.
Kevin serves on the National Policy Council of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, and works with Salmon-Safe, a third-party certifier of fish-supporting land management practices. Kevin represents Salmon-Safe on the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force, serving alongside representatives from many Pacific Northwest Tribes. Kevin calls Walla Walla, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, home.
Snailblazer for Biodiversity
Mimi Edelman is the owner of I&Me Farm providing organic, biodynamic harvest to chef partners on Long Island’s East End and New York City. Mimi has held chapter leadership roles in both the Upper and Lower Hudson Valley region. For the last five years, her attentions have been Co-Chairing the Northeast/New England Ark of Taste project.
Mimi is currently on the board of Slow Food East End leading the Sustainable Food Committee. She is one of the founding leaders of Slow Food New York State developing the Biodiversity Council. The farm is the springboard for community action in food inequality, farm based education and horticulture therapy.
Snailblazer for Family Farming
Chanowk Yisrael, Founder of The Yisrael Family Urban Farm, is an urban farmer, community activist, father and husband. Born and raised in Sacramento, Yisrael has traveled across the country on the dime of corporate America before deciding to trade in his frequent flyer miles for seeds and soil.
Today, The Yisrael Family Urban Farm educates the community of South Oak Park through healthy cooking demonstrations, educational farm tours, a local harvest group which gleans fruit from neighborhood trees to be distributed for families in need and Project GOOD, a summer youth leadership program that teaches youth the valuable tenets of cultivating the soil, cultivating self, cultivating service to community.
Snailblazer for Children and Food
Kim Aman, a former public school teacher, is the SFUSA Governor for Texas, SFUSA Garden Network Co-Chair, Slow Food DFW Board Member, and Program Director at Moss Haven Farm, where she holds the title of Farmer Kim, integrating curriculum on a k-6 campus. Additionally, she works with the Farmers Market Friends, Grow North Texas and the Dallas Food Policy Council, to support the local food system. Kim works as a consultant for schools in North Texas and across the country in creating sustainable school garden programs and authored the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens/Whole Kids Foundation garden curriculum.
Her farming roots run deep from her Grandfather who grew crops in the rich soil of central Ohio. He taught her about the earth, soil, plants, animals and the beauty of a bite from a vine ripe tomato. Her garden programs have formed partnerships with the American Heart Association Teaching Garden Program, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, The Cooper Institute, Healthy Zone Schools, Texas Master Gardener Association and Whole Kids Foundation. On any given day, you can find Kim in the garden working side by side with her student farmers, teaching them about the land and the food they eat. She knows that she is fortunate to be doing what she loves and looks forward to every day that she can spend digging in the dirt.
Snailblazer for Children and Food
A public school teacher for over twenty years, Walters believes gardens provide the perfect setting for children to experience hands-on meaningful instruction by growing their own food. Walters, named Mother of the Revolution by Kiwi Magazine in 2008, has been developing food education and plant-based learning for more than fourteen years. After discovering the impact of children growing food, Walters established The Low-Tunnels for Schools program to provide more opportunities for students to plant gardens in Central Ohio. Cynthia has introduced numerous school districts to growing under low-tunnels; allowing students to harvest food throughout the school year. Walters is the Founder and Chairperson of School Gardens of Ohio where she has fostered relationships with community partners to meet the needs of school garden educators. In 2018, Walters became the Co-Chair for the Slow Food USA School Garden Network and currently serves as SFUSA Governor of Ohio. Cynthia is an advocate for improving The National School Lunch Program and has authored a call-to-action to increase the access of real food in the cafeteria. By embedding garden-based education into the core curriculum and having students make connections from garden to cafeteria, Cynthia empowers children to make healthy lifelong decisions about good, clean, and fair food.
Snailblazer for Emerging Leader
Dr. Colleen Morich retired after 40-years as an educator, her last 25 as a middle school counselor. While new to the Atlanta food movement in 2013, Colleen grew up in Carrollton, Georgia where her father grew vegetables in the family garden after working at West Georgia College. Colleen shares her love for food and comprehensive knowledge of Slow Food Atlanta as the Education Chair. While living in Italy for a year with her husband, Peter, Colleen became passionate about Slow Food and its mission – especially after meeting and eating with Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini himself!
Upon returning home to Decatur, Ga., Colleen joined the local chapter and later brought her experience teaching and relationship-building to the Board. She is a curator for the Lexicon of Sustainability and provides learning opportunities for Slow Food Atlanta members through her Slow Food 101, Ambassador, and Docent training. Colleen is also a member of Southern Foodways Alliance, Georgia Organics, and Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. In her spare time, Colleen enjoys tennis, walking, family time, service opportunities, and church. When it comes to favorite foods, Colleen loves gelato. On the weekends you can find Colleen picking up pasta from Storico Fresco and spinach from Woodland Gardens.