The Board

Leah Asha Allen is Director of Development at Project EATS, an artist-founded network of farms providing equitable access to hyperlocal, organically-grown food in communities across New York City. She is also Founder and President of Brooklyn Public Art which aims to commission leading artists to create site-specific work for public space throughout Brooklyn.

Leah is second-generation Jamaican American and holds a degree in Africana Studies from Howard University. She is currently pursuing an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Economic Democracy and Community Ownership at City University of New York’s School of Labor and Urban Studies. Leah is a compost and farm apprentice at Earth Matter NY on Governer’s Island as well as a budding herbalist and beekeeper.

Shaquana Boykin (she/her), Secretary, has many years of experience working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. Shaquana was an Urban Farm Educator and Manager at Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Cooperation (NEBHDCO). She is a native Brooklynite who has lived in Fort Greene Brooklyn, New York since 2009. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College & earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Studies at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology.

At a young age of 16, she began volunteering at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and organizing with ACORN as a Canvass Field Manager. Shaquana is a certified Brooklyn Urban Gardener (BUG) and received the 2013 Natural Leader award through Children & Nature network. She graduated from Public Allies New York & the Center for Neighborhood Leadership Community Organizing Apprenticeship in June 2015. In that role, she organized around tenant rights with the Flatbush Tenant Coalition together where they won a new Brooklyn Housing Court building that will better serve the community .Before coming to the Central Brooklyn Food Coop, her last position was as Myrtle Avenue’s Mayor Office Engagement Coordinator for Ingersoll Houses. There, she led a group of 20 residents and 10+ agencies & CBOs under the Mayor’s Action Plan (MAP) launched in 2014. Her role was to lead residents & partners through a planning process to improve safety at Ingersoll Houses. Additionally, she is community leader with OYUnited, a Bike Share Advocate, the Chair of Programming as a Board member of Fort Greene Park Conversancy, and serves on Public Allies Alumni Board & Children & Nature Network Young Leaders Advisory Committee.

Rae Gomes (she/her), Chair, is a mother, writer, food justice activist, and organizer based in Brooklyn, NY.

She is a proud founding board member and former co-chair of the Outreach and Membership committee of the Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative. She continues to support food sovereignty work locally including working toward a Central Brooklyn Food Hub and work with Brownsville East New York Food Advisory Council. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. Her writing often includes issues of race and activism and has been published in The Nation magazine, AlterNet, Colorlines, and The Root among others.

As an organizer, she works at the intersection of race and food justice to address health disparities in under-resourced communities. Employing a framework of community self-determination, she works with local residents to cultivate power and ownership over the systems that have failed to serve them.

Raina Kennedy (she/her), Food Sovereignty Organizer 

Mark Winston Griffith (he/him), Vice Chair is the founding Executive Director of the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC), a Black-led community organizing group, and is the Executive Editor of BMC’s citizen journalism arm, Brooklyn Deep. Mark convened the first organizing meetings that led to the formation of the Central Brooklyn Food Coop (CBFC) and serves on the CBFC Board of Directors. 

A second-generation Jamaican-American and third generation Central Brooklynite, Mark was the founding Executive Director of the Central Brooklyn Partnership and co-founder of the Central Brooklyn Federal Credit Union in the early nineties.  

Mark currently serves on the leadership bodies/boards of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Communities United for Police Reform, Black Freedom Project, Free Speech TV and The City news site.   Mark has also served on the faculties of the CUNY Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, and the CUNY Center for Labor and Community Studies, and is currently a visiting assistant lecturer in Community Economic Development at Pratt Institute.