Meet The Team
Qiana Mickie, Executive Director
Qiana became the Executive Director of Just Food in May 2017. She previously worked as the CSA Network Manager and the Policy & Advocacy Director/ Farmers Market Network Manager. She enjoys cultivating community leadership, exploring the intersectionality of food justice, and advocating for equitable food/farm policies on the local, regional, and federal level. Qiana earned her Food Hub Management Certificate from the University of Vermont and her B.S. in Marketing from Hampton University. She serves on the Organizational Council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), the International Council of Urgenci, as well as the boards of the South Bronx Farmers Market, The Point CDC, and Revolutionary Fitness. Qiana is an active CSA member of Rock Steady Farm & Flowers and enjoys speaking nationally and internationally on food, social justice, and fostering a solidarity economy.
JENINA PODULKA, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Jenina joined Just Food in fall 2018 as the Strategic Partnerships and Communications Manager. She is passionate about challenging dominant narratives and lifting up stories of liberation. She creates language, materials, and resources to communicate the value of Just Food's work towards self determination for marginalized people within the food system. She also engages with diverse partners to assess how Just Food's work can be most valuable to them, and develops strategies based on this knowledge. Jenina began her journey using storytelling and communication as a tools while earning her BFA in Filmmaking from Montclair State University. She enjoys reading speculative fiction and using food as a way to reconnect with culture and tradition.
MERELIS CATALINA ORTIZ, COMMUNITY FOOD EDUCATION + ENTERPRISE MANAGER
Merelis joined the Just Food team in Fall 2018 as their Community Food Education + Enterprise Manager. She is enhancing our food education work by centering racial equity and food sovereignty through a solidarity and cooperative economy lens. Merelis has been committed to food sovereignty for most of her career. As a CoFED Racial Justice Fellow in the summer of 2018, she launched PAS - People y Alimentos Solidarity program a bilingual offering that focuses on building solidarity among Black, Indigenous, and Latinx- heritage people through land and food at Kelly Street Community Garden in the Bronx. She was previously a worker-owner at Woke Foods, a cooperatively owned food business and is an alumni of Soul Fire Farm's Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion program. Merelis holds a B.A. in International Studies from City College of New York. Merelis enjoys dance offs, preparing remedio caseros, and helping her parents restaurant be more eco-friendly.
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