NIKKI HENDERSON began her work in social justice through the foster care system in Southern California, having been raised with seven older foster brothers. Through mentoring, tutoring, and directing Foster Youth Empowerment Workshops, she developed her passion for youth leadership development among communities of color. She later shifted into sustainability, developing course curriculum for the University of California system and advocating across the state for environmental justice and political ecology. Nikki has worked closely with Van Jones and Phaedra Ellis Lamkins at Green for All, fighting for a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. She was also a part of Slow Food USA in Brooklyn, NY. In 2009, Nikki co-founded Live Real, a national collaborative of food movement organizations committed to strengthening and expanding the youth food movement in the United States. Nikki holds a Master's degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles, CA.
SARU JAYARAMAN is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC-United) and Co-Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. After 9/11, together with displaced World Trade Center workers, she co-founded ROC in New York, which has organized restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conduct research and policy work, partner with responsible restaurants, and launch cooperatively-owned restaurants. ROC now has 10000 members in 19 cities nationwide. The story of Saru and her co-founder’s work founding ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American. Ms. Jayaraman co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce, (ME Sharpe, 2005). Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” section in 2005, and was named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2008, 1010 Wins’ “Newsmaker of the Year,” and one of New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City. She authored Behind the Kitchen Door, forthcoming from Cornell University Press.