At the 2023 Animal and Vegan Advocacy Summit in Los Angeles, the excitement was palpable as we unveiled our new name and visual identity. Staff, students, and alumni wore purple New Roots Institute shirts with our new tagline “For a just food system” on the back.
As our work evolved over the years, it became clear that we needed a name that reflected our current programming and our unique role in the larger movement. New Roots Institute empowers the next generation with knowledge and training to end factory farming.
The most significant way we can achieve this mission is by forming strong partnerships with other organizations and individuals in the movement to end factory farming, and by supplying those organizations with trained leaders who can help it continue to grow. For this reason, we financially supported students to attend the AVA Summit this year. New Roots students served as volunteers for the event, doing everything from helping with AV equipment to working the registration table.
The summit kicked off with a thought-provoking session titled "Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders," moderated by New Roots Institute's Executive Director Monica Chen. Monica and the Plant Futures team discussed how our movement has been missing opportunities to help students align their careers with their priorities and passions.
Later, the spotlight turned to the students themselves in a panel discussion, "Rooting for Change: Student Voices in our Movement.” In a packed room, four New Roots Alumni (Marielle Williamson, Eemon Ghasemiyeh, Ryszard Pedro Ciupek Huayta, and June Ok) shared how they discovered their identity as advocates and found their role in the movement through launching and leading campaigns on their campuses during their time in our Leadership Program.
Another New Roots Institute alumnus, Taylison Santos of Fórum Animal, took the stage on Saturday with "Hypermasculinity's Influence on The Perception of Veganism." Taylison gave a fresh perspective on dismantling stereotypes and building a more inclusive and welcoming vegan community.
Monica presented with other executive directors from Animal Charity Evaluators, Sentient Media, and Faunalytics in a session titled "Movement-Centric Leadership: A Conversation with Executive Directors.” During this engaging dialogue, Monica emphasized the importance of a leadership style that centers the movement rather than individual personalities, fostering collective responsibility and ownership.
Finally, Veggie Grill in El Segundo hosted several events for New Roots Institute, exemplifying the power of collaboration between aligned businesses and nonprofits.
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