2023 Food Waste Solutions Summit

May 16-18, 2023 | St.Louis, MO

Vanessa Mukhebi

Communications Manager



Name pronunciation: v uh - n EH - s uh MOO- khā'- Bee [phlegmatic pronunciation akin to 'kh' in Arabic]

​​​​Vanessa Mukhebi (she/her/hers) serves as the Communications Manager at ReFED, supporting communications execution and strategy across the organization. Before joining ReFED, Vanessa worked in the international NGO sector, creating multimedia 'edutainment' content and inclusive interventions to promote improved nutrition, climate-smart agriculture, youth empowerment, gender equity, and poverty alleviation across sub-Saharan Africa.

As a food anthropologist, Vanessa is passionate about indigenous food systems and the cultural dimensions of food security — serving as a project and teaching assistant to Prof. Stephan Palmié’s Food Cultura graduate-level research course at the Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago. 

She serves on the Auxiliary Board of Inspiration Corporation, a nonprofit offering a broad array of social services to support individuals and families in Chicago experiencing houselessness, hunger, and employment barriers. Vanessa is also a TEDx speaker.

Vanessa holds a Master of Art in Anthropology (Food) from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor in Media and Communication, Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Sydney in Australia. 

Outside of work, she's passionate about poetry, plants, kickboxing, and travelling. 


Wednesday, May 17th

11:00am - 12:00pm

Cultivating Food Justice, Seeding Sovereignty: A Primer to Reap an Equitable, Inclusive, and Sustainable Food System

Breakout Session (Running Concurrently)

Bringing back last year’s Fishbowl format, this interactive session will allow attendees to examine and discuss the intersection of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) and the food waste sector — providing insights into what work is currently happening, who is involved, where there are gaps, where there are opportunities, and where there are potential inadvertent consequences. You wil get the opportunity to exchange meaningful knowledge, build deep relationships, and make powerful conversations on how to envision our food future together.

Thursday, May 18th

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Mainstage Session | The Future is Now: The Power of Indomitable Youth to Spark Action

Youth are the greatest agents of change in a society. When mobilized and empowered, youth are the generation of environmental stewards driving forward a nutritious, sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system. Yet too often, youth are regarded as recipients and are underrepresented or excluded from decisions that impact their future. And, are the generation most impacted by our present (in)actions. Recognizing their agency means recognizing that this younger generation are heterogeneous societal actors in their own right and with their own values that we can learn from. If they are to inherit our food system, it is essential to develop systems, policies, and enabling environments now that provide spaces and mechanisms to stimulate their participation. In this session you will hear from youth who are paddling the oars of innovation, be inspired by their triumphs, and explore how we can further unleash their potential to thrive in a livable climate. 

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