Our Staff

Ms. Jillian Hishaw, Esq. Founder & Director

As a Midwest native for the past decade, Ms. Hishaw has worked extensively in the area of environmental education, civil rights, and agricultural policy. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Tuskegee University, and a Juris Doctorate and Legal Master’s Degree in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, Ms. Hishaw’s work experience in environmental and agricultural advocacy has varied. Ms. Hishaw’s dedication to public service is reflected in the 2006 establishment of the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program, an inner-city environmental education program in Kansas City, Missouri, geared towards educating young Black males about ecology and conservation. The program was later adopted by a neighborhood association and the City of Kansas City Green Block Initiative.

As an Environmental Planner, Hishaw had the opportunity to enforce policy on a grassroots level, in working with federal, state and local municipalities to ensure compliance of the Clean Water Act provisions in low income communities. Furthermore, her work in civil rights within the federal sector to providing legal assistance to Black and Native American farmers during the settlement phase of two discrimination class action suits, influenced her current efforts in establishing a legal non-profit for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers in the Southeast. Ms. Hishaw is licensed in Wyoming.

Notably, Ms. Hishaw’s extensive law review and American Bar Association includes her latest Co-Authored article, How Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Initiatives Have Not Resolved USDAs History of Discrimination and Recommendations From Front Line Agricultural Workers, Tuskegee University-Production Agricultural Workers Policy Journal (Fall 2013 Edition).

Mr. Pete Charlerie

Pete Charlerie is an Agriculture and Natural Resource Economic professional with 10 years of
experience in sustainable agriculture, urban farming, conservation, energy management,
business management, as well as community outreach/education. He currently provides
independent consultancy services for agricultural and energy conservation projects in the United States and Latin America. Pete Charlerie is a 2009 graduate from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) at the University of Maryland. In 2011, Charlerie started SunSplash Farm LLC where he grew vegetables and cut flowers on five acres in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He sold his products at several farmers markets in Prince George’s County  and to various wholesale customers through the Washington DC area. During this time, Mr. Charlerie was active in local agriculture initiatives as a member and speaker at several committees and associations such as the Prince Georges County Food Equity Council and the Caribbean Agriculture Network. He also worked as a Farm Management specialist for the University of Maryland Small Farm program providing education to farmers. He sold his farm was sold in 2017 and subsequently moved to south Florida where he continues to be involved in agricultural production.

Zoe Scruggs, Intern

Zoe Scruggs is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). During her undergraduate studies at RISD she supplemented her studies with courses in History, Philosophy + the Social Sciences department. Through her studies she found an interest in farming and its relationship to social and environmental issues. Since 2018, Scruggs has worked at farms throughout the Northeast including Harmony Homestead and Wellness in Hillsdale, New York and Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, Rhode Island. Scruggs assist us with administrative and program tasks in the focus area of social justice.

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