In this episode, we chat with two visionary leaders in Alabama and Georgia: Dr. Mikhiela Sherrod and Susan Diane Mitchell.
Dr. Mikhiela Sherrod is the Executive Director of Agricultural Missions, Inc., an 85 year old ecumenical organization that supports rural people in the US, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America in using advocacy and agriculture to address the structural causes of poverty and injustice. She has over 17 years of experience working as a community organizer with Black farmers and rural communities of color in the U.S. and developing countries.
Dr. Sherrod leads a long-term development and capacity restoration agricultural program in Liberia and Sierra Leone that uses regenerative agricultural practices that reinforce adaptation and mitigation of climate change. She is also experienced leading research and evaluation projects that use a racial equity lens to assess and address disparities in health, access to food, and economic opportunities. Dr. Sherrod is vice president of the US Climate Action Network board of directors. She earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tuskegee University and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Iowa.
Susan Diane Mitchell was born in Washington, DC, the first child of student parents attending Howard University in the 1960s. Growing up for her formative years in the nation’’s capital, surrounded by a culturally rich and excellent education, Susan continued her path in Oakland, California, matriculating in both the finest public and private schools in the area. Ecology, community service, and creative thinking were key principles of her education. The love and sacrifice of her mother and family for her education prepared her well, and upon receiving an Honors Program scholarship, Susan graduated Bishop O’Dowd Catholic High School and left the Bay Area to study at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1985.
She founded the Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust in 2016, and currently serves as their Co-Executive Director. In 2017 she became a Co-Founder of SWEET Alabama, where she still serves as a member of the Advisory Board. As a three year member of the AmeriCorp, she served with Urban Ministries, the YWCA Central Alabama, and The Literacy Council.
Dr. Mikhiela Sherrod
Susan Diane Mitchell