Tanya Fields - Executive Director
Inspired by her experiences as a single working mother living in a marginalized community, Tanya Fields founded the BLK ProjeK in 2009 as a response to sexist institutional policies, structurally reinforced cycles of poverty, and harsh inequities in wealth and access to capital that result in far too many women being unable to rise out of poverty and sustain their families. The group’s work has been covered by the New York Times nominated and Tanya’s numerous fellowships and commitment to professional development has connected her with a national cohort of social justice change agents. With a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Baruch College, and a talent for public speaking, blogging and singing and represented by Speak Out! Tanya has become a sought after public speaker. She provided widely praised keynote speeches at the 2012 Just Food conference, the City University of New York School of Professional Studies 2013 commencement, the Marion Institute’s Connecting Through Change conference and the 2016 Greenthumb Conference: Grow Together, to just name a few. She has served on several plenary panels, lead and facilitate workshops across the country. Previous to the BLK ProjeK, Tanya worked with several high profile environmental organizations located in the South Bronx - Mothers on the Move, Sustainable South Bronx and the Majora Carter Group. Tanya built upon the network, skills, resources and knowledge she gained through those experiences to create the BLK ProjeK.
She is a reputed and rising public speaker and educator. She has received the "Women Stop Hunger Award" from Sodexo's nonprofit, Stop Hunger in Paris, France as well as the Food Bank of NYC's 2017 "Can Do Award", presented to her by actress Joy Bryant. She has spoken, conducted workshops and participated on panels at Just Food Annual Conference, NOFA NY Winter Conference, Manhattanville College, Kingsboro College, Brooklyn Food Coalition, NEWSAWG and others.
In addition to her work as a nonprofit and community leader, she is a thought leader, cultural influencer and social media personality. With a strong following on Facebook and Twitter, Tanya created and stars in Mama Tanya’s Kitchen, a web based cooking and lifestyle show. With, a heaping amount of sass and a dash of humor, Tanya teaches viewers how to cook affordable, diverse meals with gourmet flair. Her episodes and Facebook Lives are becoming quickly popular and attracting attention in the food world.
Naomi Gerwitzman - LUF Manager & SBMMC Coordinator
Naomi Gewirtzman is a native New Yorker with a passion for community building. She received a MPH in Community Public Health from CUNY Brooklyn College in 2016. Her graduate studies at Hunter College were focused on obesity, food justice, and urban farming.
Contact Naomi at Naomi (at) theblkprojek (dot) org
Shantrice King - Programming Assistant
Shantrice is adventurous, resourceful and dynamic. She was born and raised in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. She grew up in a matriarchal family led by women who emigrated to NYC in the early 1980s from Panama. Shantrice is intrigued by the African diaspora and resilient women-led communities. She has a Bachelors in Women and Gender Studies from Carleton college and after graduated worked with the BLK Projek as the Food Coordinator Intern. She has spent the last three years living in Paris, France doing research on Malian Women's reproductive patterns while also earning a Masters degree in Public Health. Shantrice's current work centers around creating and implementing economic development strategies in struggling neighborhoods. She has returned to the BLK Projek as a Programming Consultant taking her expanded skillset and experienes to create and stabilize programming that supports mothers and their children.
Contact Shantrice at shantrice (at) theblkprojek (dot) org