Keynote Speaker: Nikki Silvestri
A thought leader at the intersection of sustainability and racial justice, Silvestri is former Executive Director of People’s Grocery in Oakland, an organization fighting for equal access to healthy food in neighborhoods contending with disinvestment, poverty, and racial segregation. She also served as Executive Director of Green for All, the national organization co-founded by activist, best-selling author and TV commentator Van Jones that advocates for a “green collar economy” to combat poverty. Named one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans by The Root magazine, Silvestri is founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, a project-development firm working to create systems change while improving relationships between communities. She has written for BET.com, the Huffington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and her recent television appearances include All In with Chris Hayes and the Melissa Harris Perry Show on MSNBC. You can learn more about Nikki Silvestri at http://www.nikkisilvestri.com/.
Featured Performer: Sandra Lilia Velasquez (SLV)
Chicana chanteuse, Sandra Lilia Velaquez (SLV), sings soulful protest songs in English and Spanish that blend pop, electronic world beat, and sultry downtempo grooves. Her journey in music began as the founder and lead vocalist of the alt-Latin band Pistolera, which toured internationally at festivals such as The Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), Central Park Summerstage (USA), Sfinks (Belgium), and Ollin Kan (Mexico). They performed the NPR Tiny Desk Concert and had their music featured on Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and more. As SLV, Velasquez she has opened for acclaimed artists including Gotye, Aloe Blacc, Maxwell, Los Lobos, Lila Downs, Vieux Farka Toure, Ozomatli, and Explosions in The Sky. Her debut EP, Dig Deeper, was produced by Grammy-nominated performer Meshell Ndegeocello, who also co-wrote one song and played bass on the recording. SLV's new album, Piece of Mind, is a sharp lyrical reflection on the current state of affairs that for the first time ever has her rapping. You can learn more about SLV at https://www.slvmusic.com.