Over the last ten years, Nikki has been a thought leader in creating social equity for underrepresented populations in food systems, social services, public health, climate solutions, and economic development. She had the honor of being named one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2014.
Nikki has driven change both locally and nationally. During her time as Executive Director at Green for All, Nikki led initiatives that placed vulnerable communities at the center of the climate fight. As the former Executive Director of People’s Grocery in Oakland, Nikki increased the organization’s profile as a national thought leader on food systems development for vulnerable communities. Nikki holds a master’s degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles. She currently lives in Oakland, with her husband.
Effective ethical leadership in food requires more than a sense of right and wrong—it requires the ability to lead with purpose. New food leaders need the tools to develop and sustain a personal moral compass, a strong understanding of the risks inherent to the food system, and the ability to apply ethical decision-making across a range of issues impacting the food industry.
Nikki Silvestri reflects on environmentalism and warns against the dissonance created by treating the environment as something "out there." She advocates for an inclusive movement that builds a working world through reconnecting to the healing power of the environment.
In 2014, Nikki Silvestri was named one of the Root's 100 Most Influential African Americans for her role as a thought leader on the environment and environmental justice and her work creating green pathways out of poverty through Green for All.
Nikki Silvestri speaks on the importance of strong relationships within social movements and the need for building allies within the food movement.