Rachel grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Wellesley College in 2012 with a degree in peace and justice studies. Her studies focused on urban farming and community development, particularly for marginalized communities. At Wellesley, she served on the Multicultural President’s Council to increase the power of marginalized students through dialogue, collaboration, solidarity, and action. She interned at Growing Power in Chicago, where she worked on community food security issues at their urban farm and spent 6 months in India working with and learning from a number of environmental and women's rights NGOs.
Field placement: Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
Rachel supported production at four school gardens and facilitated the development of school garden teams comprised of teachers and staff. She devised materials and systems for students to safely run their school’s garden and helped institute good handling and agricultural practices (GHP/GAPs) at each school. Additionally, she collaborated with Tucson Unified School District Food Service administrators and staff on ways to make it feasible to include local and school harvests in cafeteria meals in the future.
Policy placement: National Family Farm Coalition
Rachel researched the effects of land and resource speculation in the U.S. on food production and rural communities. She conducted interviews with farmers and other stakeholders and created an online narrative sharing their stories. She also developed workshop materials to educate and mobilize those affected by land speculation.