Dreaming Out Loud Welcomes New Team Members!

Brandy Brooks DOL In the Office

2016 has been a year of amazing growth for Dreaming Out Loud. In addition to a new season at our community markets in Northeast and Southwest, the past several months have seen new volunteer groups and community members joining us at our organic garden, the launch of our community engagement process for the Farm at Kelly Miller, and an expansion of our support for food micro-entrepreneurs. To build our capacity for this work, Mary Alice Reilly joined us as our Farmers Market Manager in April, and Brandy Brooks joined us as our Director of Programs in May.

In August and September, Dreaming Out Loud welcomed three additional team members to support us in our garden, at the farmers markets, and in the development of our farm and micro-enterprise programs. Click on their profiles below to read more about Sumayyah, Joanna and Kyle!

Sumayyah Muhammad

Garden Assistant

I joined DOL because I saw Chris at a few events and appreciated what he was he had to say and wanted to be a part of what he was doing and learn about how I can help change social injustices.
Food justice to me is being able to provide my family with healthy quality food and not having anyone manipulate the process for their gain.
My favorite moment at DOL was doing the Farm Aid video and going to the event.
My best meal was a tomato dish I made it was amazing because I used tomatoes from my garden.
Joanna Williams

Emerson National Hunger Fellow

I was placed here as part of the field site portion of my Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship. After learning more about the organization and the team at DOL, I don’t think I could’ve found a better place to grow as a food justice advocate.
I can’t think of a better definition than the one I heard Brandy give at Farm Aid a few weeks ago: “Food justice is social justice is economic justice is environmental justice.” The many branches of social justice cannot be attained without intentional, intersectional thinking of the many fields of inequality in our world. Everything is connected.
What I’ve enjoyed the most about working at Dreaming Out Loud has been being thrust into the DC food justice scene and meeting so many passionate farmers, gardeners, community members and advocates who are working toward food equity in the DMV. Each day I learn something new from a person I met through DOL and I can’t think of anything more fun than that.
I’ve never worked with an organization that is as intentional about community organizing and meeting as I have with DOL. The way the team analyzes their approach and their advocacy has been something truly inspiring.
The best meal I’ve ever had was my mother’s fried chicken with potato salad and baked beans. Certainly not the healthiest meal, but like all of my mother’s cooking it was made with love and the perfect amount of skill.
Kyle Machicado

Emerson National Hunger Fellow

I started working with DOL due to my placement as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow, as I had stated that I was very interested in Urban Agriculture, especially in the context of East Coast cities.
Food justice to me means having easy access to healthy, affordable, and desirable food regardless of socioeconomic or racial background.
One of my favorite moments working with DOL has been when I had a chance to visit THEARC’s urban farm in Southeast DC. While it is a small farm, it is a beautiful, bountiful, and lively place that you can see is run by a passionate staff. It is also home to some very angry ants with very painful bites.
Something I learned working with DOL that I didn’t expect is the level of logistical difficulty that administering food assistance programs involves, and the burden that something as simple as food voucher distribution places on market staff.
The best meal I’ve ever had was the first time I had salteñas after returning from a few weeks in my mom’s hometown of La Paz, Bolivia. I had grown up eating the Bolivian staple and expected them to be even better once I was in Bolivia itself, but it turns out that things aren’t always better in their country of origin, and so returning to have those perfected Bolivian-American salteñas was a great experience.

You can read bios of all DOL team members on our staff page.