Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination and congratulations to this year's candidates! Learn more about each candidate by reading their statements below. Owners will be able to vote beginning on Thursday, March 15th through Thursday, March 29th online and in store.

All of our owners will have a chance to discuss candidate statements and ask questions at our Meet the Candidates Meeting on Thursday, March 15th! 

 

Rachelle Faroul

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Year joined: 2017

Rachelle Erica Faroul is originally from East Flatbush, Brooklyn, (by way of Barbados, West Indies) and currently lives in West Philly. Their love of Brooklyn and agriculture inspired them to join the Park Slope Food Coop staff where they worked as a Buyer until moving to Philly in 2015. Rachelle joined Mariposa as an overnight staff member in October 2016, and while not on staff anymore, they became a member a few months later.

Rachelle's leadership experience includes serving on the board of the Greene Hill Food Coop in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. They were also a core member of the Safe Outside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project. These days, Rachelle obsesses over housing collectives, land access, and making pottery. Their dream jobs are farming and back-up dancing for Tina Turner.

Hannah Jo King

Year joined: 2018

My name is Hannah Jo and I’ve been a member of the West Philly community and shopper at Mariposa for two and half years. When I came to Philadelphia, I was lucky that I moved straight to West Philly. To have stumbled upon a place with so many intersecting communities that relate to my own identity—as an African American, queer, environmentalist—quickly made West Philly a place close to my heart! If I were elected to the Board of Delegates, it would be important to me that the food and culture of Mariposa continues to reflect and be informed by its surrounding community. Additionally, recognizing the scarcity of grocery stores in its vicinity, I would encourage the co-op to continue striving for healthy, affordable, and staple food options. Finally, most people in the U.S. spend more time at work than they do at home. If I was elected to the Board, I would aim to ensure that Mariposa, as a work place, was comfortable, fair, and gratifying for its employees.

I am interested in running for the Mariposa Co-op Board for many reasons. First, I am passionate about sustainability and community development, and very curious to understand the structure and workings of Cooperatives. I was recently working as a fellow at The Common Market, a local food hub in North Philadelphia, and came to understand the crucial history of cooperatives as an empowerment model for advancing the well-being of racially, economically and otherwise marginalized people. In that position, I had the opportunity to learn from role-models in the sustainable food/ good food movement and from books such as "Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic." It is important to me that I continue being a part of the movement and I relish the opportunity to gain first-hand experience and knowledge about the inner workings of a food cooperative—in my own neighborhood at that! Additionally, in the Fall of 2019, I intend to enter graduate school to study equity and sustainability politics in the U.S. food system. I believe serving as a Mariposa Board Member would be a valuable experience towards informing my future areas of study.

I also believe that I am a strong candidate for Mariposa Board appointment. I have a background in environmental science and community development from Stanford University, and have worked at organizations focused on emergence housing repair, youth empowerment, rural development, and sustainability. In 2015, I worked at Fair Food Farmstand as a manager-on-duty, and in 2016-2017 I worked at The Common Market. Through these positions, I gained an understanding of the experience of staffing a local grocery store and of fundraising and strategic planning for a food organization with a dual community-sustainability mission. I have transferable committee leadership experience from serving as the Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) from 2016-2017. I believe this leadership experience prepared me for the planning, evaluation and collaboration work that the Mariposa Board undertakes. Additionally, I helped to start the internal Culture & Social Committee at The Common Market and care deeply about fostering mission-aligned organizational culture. Finally, I have a year of board and leadership experience from being the VP of Recruitment within my sorority, AEPhi, in 2011.

Shanice Solomon

Year joined: 2017

My name is Shanice Solomon, and I am in the running for the Mariposa Food Co-op Board 2018. I’ve been a member at the co-op since 2017, lived in West Philadelphia for about 3 years, and I am a La Salle University alumnus c/o 2015. My upbringing stems from areas of Northern NJ and Stroudsburg, PA, with strong roots from Guyana, South America.

I joined the Co-op because after a few months of shopping and exploring the local and ethically sourced food options, I physically began to feel the difference through the food I was eating, and I wanted to make that commitment to the organization and most importantly myself and my health.  I’d like to become an active member on the board to help provide wide perspectives, create systems and/or programs that will further enhance members needs and wants, as well as fulfilling a personal goal of becoming more actively involved in the Co-op. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Public Health I’ve worked in the non-profit realm. I currently work as a Health Educator at Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative where I strive for the improvement of maternal health of families in Camden County. I also have served on the board of Young Caribbean Professionals Network (YCPN), which is a non-profit organization that connects like-minded Afro-Caribbean/Latino individuals as well as provides resources to over 700 high school students from parts of the Caribbean that allows them the opportunity to compete annually in the Penn Relays.

As I come from a family of immigrants, I understand the importance of opportunity and inclusion. I look forward to the elections and learning with the Mariposa Food Co-op. Thank you.

Kaila Pedersen

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Year Joined: 2017

I moved to West Philly in 2016, became an owner at Mariposa in 2017, and have been serving in a temporary seat on the Mariposa board since this past December. As I've become oriented to the board, I have been so impressed with the work of staff, management, and owner committees - I would be excited for the chance to serve in an elected seat and support the amazing work that you all do.

I was initially drawn to serve on the board because I believe strongly in the co-op model. Previously, I served as one of two co-leaders for a residential co-op called the Sustainable Living Center. My co-leader brought the in-depth knowledge of food systems and energy; my focus was on the sustainability of community. I learned so much that year, from managing unintentional bias in a group to building relationships with neighboring groups and recognizing the interconnectedness of our work.

In my current day job, I work in strategic planning and collective impact evaluation for a health innovation nonprofit in Camden, NJ. In this role, I interact with our board and staff to crowdsource input, co-design strategy, and build systems for measurement and communication. Most recently, I have been working with staff and local residents to develop a scorecard to assess how well our organization innovates alongside community members. I also co-chaired our organization's Diversity and Inclusion Committee through its first year. If elected, I would be excited to bring my skills in facilitation, evaluation, and project management to the board and and its committees - particularly the Policy Governance committee and the Food Justice and Anti-Racism committee (in my mind, there can be no food justice without racial justice).

As a relative newcomer to Mariposa ownership, I know that I have much to learn, and will not be ready to give a specific vision for Mariposa without much more listening. I do, however, have some hopes: I hope the board continues to strengthen communication among board members, management, staff, owners, and the public; I hope Mariposa moves closer to being able to name its home communities in West Philly and to incorporating community-driven efforts into its policy and strategy; and I hope staff, owners, and neighbors can come to see Mariposa as a resource to them - and for which their input matters. Thank you for your consideration!

Nidhi Krishen

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Year Joined: 2018

My name is Nidhi Krishen, I live in University City and my go-to grocery store is Mariposa. I’ve been a faithful customer for many years and I recently became an owner. I’m interested in serving on Mariposa’s board because I believe that the co-op promotes, enables and supports a culture of food that is not only healthier for people but also healthier for the environment and both these issues are really important to me.

I work in the field of sustainability and my work is my great passion. I have a Master’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on sustainability. I currently work for a global consultancy that specializes in sustainable development. We work with organizations around the world to help them manage their environmental and social responsibilities (reducing environmental impact, contributing to healthier, inclusive and stronger societies).

A sustainability topic that really interests me is food systems. Our current food system is a classic example of environmentally and socially irresponsible policies and practices. Extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides damage the environment, factory farming methods keep animals in unhealthy conditions, labor conditions for farm workers are rife with exploitation and abuse and the economic pay structure is skewed against producers, who do not receive a fair share of the profits from their products. Additionally, healthy foods such as whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables are either more expensive than unhealthy processed foods or are simply unavailable, especially in economically depressed communities. This is not a sustainable system and I believe very strongly that we need to work towards building something better.

That is why I am an ardent supporter of Mariposa. The co-op promotes sustainable food systems by sourcing responsibly, promoting organic and locally produced food and supporting equity in the food chain by offering products that are certified by labels such as Fair Trade. But I believe that there are opportunities for Mariposa to make an even greater impact. One topic that really interests me is food waste. Approximately 40% of the food produced in the US is wasted, which is quite a horrific statistic. It would be interesting to explore if Mariposa could help address this issue. Could the co-op engage its customers to get them thinking about food waste? Another very important area of impact that I see is greater engagement with the local community. Could the co-op do more to promote more inclusive access to healthy food, especially in the nearby underserved communities?

I’m very excited at the opportunity to participate as a Board member. Although I have not served on a Board before, I believe that I can contribute to furthering Mariposa’s mission and goals. I have knowledge and experience with food systems. As part of my job, I work with standards such as Fair Trade and with organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the U.N. on projects to promote sustainable agriculture. I’m also passionate about making change at the local level. Last year, I started a project (the Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative) to address sustainability issues such as energy, waste and most importantly, food (the Mantua and Powelton Village neighborhoods are food deserts) in my local community. The project aims to provide solutions to these issues through education, community engagement and collaboration with partners to develop the services that we need to make our communities stronger and healthier.

I would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to become a Mariposa Board member, to listen, to learn and to offer my passion, skills, knowledge and experience in promoting a better food system for all.