Elizabeth J. Reynoso, Food Policy Director

ReynosoElizabethElizabeth J. Reynoso believes that justice thrives because of healthy people and healthy environments. In 1994, Elizabeth began promoting human rights worldwide as a media liaison for Human Rights Watch.  Moved to inform large audiences to become active against injustice everywhere she pursued a career in documentary film.  She produced for ABC News and for PBS/Frontline where her team earned a Peabody for The Drug Wars.  Before moving to the Basque Country to pursue her own film project on political prisoners, she traveled the US for almost a year working on community-supported agriculture farms and gardens.  Elizabeth continued to deepen her food sovereignty activism and farming knowledge while working on 16th-century orchards and family-owned farms practicing sustainable agriculture in Spain under the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy.  Returning to the US in 2003, Elizabeth focused on US drug policy and the reentry journey of former prisoners on film projects.  To further strengthen her advocacy work for families and communities beleaguered by the criminal justice system, she joined the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ) to launch their holistic, direct service, employment-brokering program.  A package of prisoner reentry bills hailed as “a model for the nation” based on NJISJ’s on-the-ground reentry work was passed by the NJ State Legislature in 2010.  Before leaving NJISJ, Elizabeth initiated a green transitional jobs program for men and women returning home from prison which continues today as the City of Newark’s Clean and Green program.  In 2010, Elizabeth’s local and national green jobs advocacy work evolved into the implementation of a six-city green jobs training program funded by the Department of Labor’s Pathways Out of Poverty grant.  She managed a $7.3 million ARRA investment to ensure high-quality green job training for thousands of low-income individuals through Goodwill Industries International.  Currently, Elizabeth is the City of Newark’s first Food Policy Director.  In her role to remove barriers to food access for all residents, Elizabeth is extremely grateful to return to Newark to offer her social justice, economic development, farming, and media education experience to enhance initiatives that are just, sustainable and transformative. Elizabeth was a co-chair for the City of Newark’s 2008 Green Futures Summit, a member of the Leadership Newark class of 2010, a Green For All fellow, and is a Vice-President of her Wellesley College Alumnae class.


One Response to Elizabeth J. Reynoso, Food Policy Director

  1. Pingback: “Many hands make light work” | ShapingNJ Community Pilots

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