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Visionholders Bios

Women security Conference Founder


V.P Hattie Carthan community garden, Founder of the Hattie Carthan community market, food advocate, urban farmer, Author, musician, Raphaologist:-plant and sound medicine practitioner, reiki master,ordained minister,circle facilitator, City farms trainer, community food educator, herbal wysewoman. 

How Fleming describes herself:

Yonnette Fleming is a lifelong musician, writer, social change agent,earth steward,circle facilitator who is committed to the use of primal sounds and indigenous plant medicine as a vehicle for self-expression, healing and empowerment in humans.

Fleming has received degrees in Social Science/Letters /Women's Studies, Practical & Theory of music

Reiki Master, Ordained minister - Spiritual Humanism

Fleming has received formal education in

West African drum and Dance,Women's spirituality plant medicine and phyto nutrition,Aromatherapy,Urban farming,Raphaology, Feng shui, Reiki, Medical intuitive practice,sound and color healing and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Eco-psycology.

Lifelong student of African religion.

Fleming facilitates highly interactive workshops in re-connecting to nature,Raphaology (interactive diagnostic therapy) , phytonutrition, food security/sovereignty, food justice, gardening, practical uses of herbs,herbal medicine making, herbal healing, herbal journeying,herbal wildcrafting,soil health,decaying art, aromatics, aromatherapy, Reiki attunements I, II, III, drum journey meditations, percussion circles, nurturing creativity, nature art, nature writing, clearing energy blocks for personal evolution, inner child healing, transformational belly work, chakra clearing and re-balancing , aura cleansing ,boundary work and more.

The visionary has instigated intentional dialogue, orchestrated large group healing rituals and percussion circles for over a decade in various communities and began playing music at age 3 years. She aspires to bring about lasting social change by organizing community based education initiatives which help increase awareness about changemaking,community resilience, preventive health, health disparities, food insecurity, hunger and poor nutrition in low income communities.

In 2003 Fleming and the Hattie Carthan gardeners created an International Food festival fundraiser to support work in the garden around food matters. This festival attracts hundreds of people into the Brooklyn garden and has assisted the garden to become more self-reliant. From those food festivals, the garden has purchased tents, tools and helped maintained its overall infrastructure . Fleming went further to add an educational component to the international food and film festival in the last two years by adding food education workshops , seed starting workshops, canning workshops,sprouting workshops and composting workshops which give community Central Brooklyn residents critical,grounded information about food.

In 2008, 2009 Fleming collaborated with community partners to host the U.N CSD tour in NYC at the Hattie Carthan community garden. Over two hundred people flowed through the garden to commune and to hear people speak from all over the world about what they are doing to advance food and health. The international spread consisted of food grown in the garden and local farms . International food spread was prepared by Fleming and the Hattie Carthan community gardeners.

In 2009 Fleming worked to mobilize community gardeners to reclaim blighted land in order to create a community farmers market and childrens garden which serves as a learning space to two hundred elementary school aged youths in the Bedford Stuyvesant community. Each week children gather in the garden to learn about where their food comes from and about the environment.

This year youth documentary makers spent time asking questions about the food system and documenting about the differences between large and local scale agriculture. They were able to document livestock being treated humanely on our farm and food growing without chemical inputs. That documentary will be featured at the 2010 Tribecca Film festival .

In its first year alone, the community market distributed over eight thousand pounds of food and engaged seven neighborhood youths to Earn and Learn about urban agriculture on the farm . The market has created the Hattie Carthan Urban Agriculture Youth Corps which will promote youth participation in agricultural projects in Bed Stuy as minority youth are visibly left out of conversations about improving their environment and community. Youths gain valuable information about urban agriculture and entrepreneurship by learning in the Garden and working in the market.

Flemings work unfolds in community settings:- gardens, festivals, urban farms, in farmers’ markets, on city streets, in low-income housing projects , universities and schools. To read more about the work of this visionary at the Hattie Carthan garden visit

The conference Founder is the author of three self published books

Follow the Flow Home - poetry - 2005

A Time for Healing - 2006

Determined to survive and thrive - poetry - 2008

African Drum journey CD - Primordial pulse

Current Book Project in Progress

Book Title :Finding Water in a Brooklyn desert -

The experiences of a female urban farmer working to grow food and community resilience in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood classified as a food desert in Brooklyn

Current CD Project in progress

West African & Caribbean Rhythms for the Garden & Farm

Current DVD Project in progress

The Art of Decay - A guided meditation based on the science of composting.

Nancy Romer

Nancy Romer, General Coordinator of the Brooklyn Food Coalition, has been an activist and organizer for over 40 years in the anti-war, labor, public education, women’s, anti-racist movements. She is Professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College and Executive Director of the Brooklyn College Community Partnership that serves 1500 Brooklyn teens annually. She is an officer of her union, the Professional Staff Congress, which represents the 20,000 faculty and professional staff of the City University of New York. She has two adult sons who were raised in Brooklyn and has been a member of the Park Slope Food Coop for many years.

Kiana Love

Founder & Director of Be Wild Woman


Educator – Healer – Guide

Kiana is passionate about empowering women to reclaim their bodies & love feeling sexy.

She draws from her personal healing experiences, studies of the feminine, sacred sexuality, and healing to restore women’s’ connection their own wild wisdom.

At Be Wild Woman, she started the Healing the Womb project to help women heal from physical, mental, & spiritual wounds of the womb. She realized that women as a culture need to feel the safety & nurturing that the womb represents in order to be wild. The project has expanding to teaching women to womb; to create & cultivate safety in their bodies in their lives, so they can feel free to express themselves fully.

Kiana started Be Wild Woman in November of 2005 to create opportunities for women to come together, create community, dialogue, play, heal, and give voice to their inner wildness.

She started with a dream to build a community of wild women committed to reclaiming and integrating all aspects of their inner wildness, from the wild abandon and joy of a child to the ferociousness of a protective mother. This vision extends from a woman's personal healing to that of women around the globe. Be Wild Woman has evolved to become a school a healing center and a mission as it has became apparent how vital the healing of women is to our community at large.

Be Wild offers healing, education, and community through lectures, workshops, healing programs, herbal gardening, women's circles, and celebrations at our Kakini Healing Center, Be Wild Woman Herbal Healing Garden, & around NYC.

Kiana Love graduated from the Women’s Wisdom program in 1998 and has continued to study and deepen her knowledge of women’s wisdom. She leads women’s events and circles, and specializes in supporting women’s recovery from trauma.

At Be Wild Woman she employs somatic therapies, nutritional coaching, energy work, yoga & reflexology to teach & guide women to reclaim their body's wild wisdom. She holds a B.S. in Behavioral Science from the University of Houston and has certifications in body mind healing. Kiana's women's trainings include the Women's Wisdom Program with Hemitra Crecraft & Sue King & the Women in Power initiation in 2005 with Alisa Starkweather. She is also certified by chakra expert Anodea Judith as a Sacred Centers Chakra healer & instructor. Kiana Love has presented at COSM, Evolver, Jivamukti Yoga, Urban Sanctuary, Reflections Yoga, East West Yoga, Nurture New York, & Balilbay Camp for Performing Arts & is available for healing programs, workshops, circles, & parties.

"Here at Be Wild Woman, finding love starts with loving and nurturing yourself. Be Wild Woman provides the tools & support for you to reclaim your body & love feeling sexy! Learning how to reclaim my body helped me move from feeling anxious, depressed, ashamed & uncomfortable with my body to feeling innocent, self confident, empowered, sexy & free to express myself. I know it can help you too!”~Kiana Love

Solita Stephens is a New York City Master Composter, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Certified Horticulturist, Metal Artist, Garden Lecturer and writer, poet, and photographer. She is a past First Vice-President and Program Chair of the Long Island HorticulturalSociety, the Kings County Chair Person for District II, Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, founder of Olympus Garden Club, editor of Olympus’ quarterly newsletter “The Express”, and a Garden Consultant with the New York City Housing Authority. 

"Growing up with only sisters gave me the freedom to evolve without the ever present societal restrictions of gender roles present in mixed families. As a result of this I grew up knowing that it was ok to just be myself whether it involved using nails or drills or needle and thread. I believe that we all should make an attempt to "talk the talk and/or walk the walk" so over the last ten years, I have had the opportunity to teach workshops on building garden structures in New York City and had the satisfaction of getting many women to hold a drill or saw for the first time." "It is my hope that every woman who participates in this conference will walk away knowing that anything is possible as long as they are willing to do the inner and outer work necessay that would allow them to have the freedom to live their best life."

Andrea Brathwaite Brooklyn, New York

As a mother of six, an entrepreneur, activist, and holistic practitioner; Andrea L. Brathwaite is not only a jack of all trades but a master. Certified and experienced in herbology, aromatherapy, stress reduction, and Reike (hands on healing) Andrea, better known by many as Sistah Cuchy, hails from a lineage of herbal use.

Continuing a tradition where the usage of herbs is an integral part of everyday living; Sistah Cuchy grew up watching her grandmother manipulate herbal applications to prevent illness and maintain health. However, it was not until about 15 years ago that this enduring relationship transitioned into an intense and in-depth study of the properties and relevance of herbal guidance. Under the apprenticeship of Dr. Gosnel Duncan, Director of Duncan Wellness Center, Robin Rose Bennett of the Wisewoman Healing Ways center, Caroline L. Baynard, Director of Northeast holistic Center, and Marie Mathew and Veronica Blakely-Ewart, co-directors of the Sacred Womb Center, Sistah Cuchy developed and enhanced the skills necessary and critical to mastering the practice of herbology, aromatherapy, stress reduction and Reike.

Out of this experience, it seemed a natural progression when Sistah Cuchy created Jahbulani, a highly regarded and much sought after line of natural skin and hair care products which incorporated the spiritual, healing, and medicinal properties of herbs and aromatherapy oils. She lectures and teaches classes in Aromatherapy and herbology specializing in women’s healing. She also conducts a women’s healing circle and has presented at holistic healing seminars both locally and internationally. Shortly after developing and launching Jahbulani, Sistah Cuchy graduated from Medgar Evers College with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration.

She is deeply involved with and heavily committed to her family and the community and serves as a positive mentor for all she meets. Sistah Cuchy encourages herbal usage amongst all generations.


I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. Both of my parents are from Louisiana. My mother grew up on a self sufficient farm. They owned their own land which was over 500 acres that was purchased before the Civil War. They made their own clothes, did beekeeping, raised chickens, cows, geese, made their own honey, cheese, buttermilk, grew cotton, used compost toilets, built schools, homes and churches. I am just one generation removed from an agrarian background.

My mother had a garden and raised chickens when I was in grade school. I grew up around peach trees, snap dragons, birds of paradises, lilies, strawberries, potatoes, onions, mint, greens, butterflies, spinach and tomatoes. My mother made quilts, baked bread, made our clothes, canned food and is an incredible cook. I came of age in Berkeley, California which was a big influence on my development growing up in a politically active environment.

In 2000 I returned to my passion which is Anthropology, nature and Ecology. I went to Belize, Central America and started to work with Belize River Valley Development. I was the content provider for an environmental website that focused on Africans in the Diaspora to promote ecological concerns and the planting of Mahogany trees and to maintain the Howler monkey’s habitat. The website was a resource for understanding the sustainable revolution that is gradually taking hold, and to get people of African descent involved in ecology and sustainability.

I learned a lot while working with Belize River Valley Development. I did extensive research and got hands-on experience in learning alternative building techniques, such as cob building, building houses using recycled materials for Earthship houses, and strawbales for building homes. My focus over the past three years has been urban gardening and permaculture.

I am a member of the Ghana Nkwanta Project which was started by Elder Adunni Oshupa Tabasi in 2004. It has been an opportunity for me to create projects to apply the knowledge that I have gained and to do outreach work. It is crucial that the Diaspora gets involved in helping Africa to build communities that are sustainable. Capitalism as we know it has reached an end stage, and the only direction is sustainability in building homes and growing food. We must build and grow in accordance with nature and our environment.

I am currently working with the Adele Women Association in Nkwanta ‘Volta’ region of Ghana as an outreach resource coordinator. The Adele traditional area is made up of subsistence farmers which are mainly women. Last year the Ghana Nkwanta Project raised enough money for the president and the treasurer of the Adele Women Association to get training in sustainable eco-farming. They attended a two week certificate program and started a home gardening program teaching other members of the community what they learned. They learned how to grow some new food crops. They have also started growing Moringa, which will improve the health of the villagers. Since taking the course from the International Permaculture Network in Ghana they are now members of the network. Our work is to continue to expand on food production and sustainable agricultural skills for women and children. I am also an outreach resource coordinator for the Permaculture Network in Techiman, Ghana. I am a certified Master Composter from the Queens Botanical Garden. My major in college was Anthropology.

I am a member of the Imani garden in Brooklyn and the Taqwa Farm in the Bronx. As an outreach tool I manage an environmental Google group keeping the community posted on environmental information and events in the New York area. I also have a myspace that is a collection of short video clips addressing the various components of sustainable development. We are also importing Moringa from Ghana. The Ghana Nkwanta Project is also a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues which is an advisory body to the Economic and Social Council, with a mandate to discuss indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights. I am also a member of SRDC (Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus), which is a Diaspora organization working towards the unification of Africa and to become a member of the African Union.


Hannah Riseley-White has spent the last 10 years coordinating a latina womens gardening group and buying cooperative in East Harlem. Started by the Little Sisters of the Assumption 

(, this womens group has produced and average of 1800 pounds of fresh organic produce each growing season out of a local community garden. The group's mission is to bring women together to share their knowledge and gather in a safe place for their children to play and learn about their cultural heritage while growing, preparing and eating food.

She has also worked as a community organizer for Green Guerillas ( for the last 10 years - providing support to garden leaders, many of them women, throughout NYC. Working and learning from NYC's women gardeners has been a great gift and privelge.

In 2009 Hannah recieved a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from UC Santa Cruz and also has a BA in Politics from NYU.

Hannah is honored to participate as a vision holder for the Women's Security Conference and envisions an event that will bring us together, inspire and empower us, and help us to better understand ourselves and our important connections to one another.  

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