Meet The Team
Founder & Collaborative Director
Amber Arnold (she/her)
My ancestors come from many places including Haiti, New Orleans, Foggia, Mississippi, Virginia, Florida, and many more. I am a Multiracial Black/brown Kreyol Italian born in Woburn, MA transcending spaces from Nashville, TN thru the North East. I AM a commitment to collective liberation, to nourishment, to co-creating land based places and spaces for Black and Brown folx to thrive and experience liberation in real time and for the generations to come after.
Founder & Collaborative Director
Naomi doe moody (they/she)
Naomi is a Black multiracial, Afroatlantic non-binary queer femme living on the ancestral homelands of the Wabanki people in so-called southern Vermont. As the descendant of Mississippi sharecroppers, they consider themselves a legacy farmer whose work is to reconnect to the wisdom and knowledge present in their ancestral heritage as a way to not only heal themselves and their lineage but also to continue the reparative work needed to be in right relationship with the lands they occupy. They are a plant person, an herbalist, a gardener, a tender, a protector and are devoted to caring for their non-human kin. Naomi lives in an off-grid yurt with their partner, kiddos and farm dog and looks forward to transitioning to Susu’s future home.
Field & Farm Director/Botanica Witch Doctor
Kyana ferro (They/them)
Ky is a somatic earth worker, medicine maker, community herbalist & healer born and raised on Nipmuc lands in so-called Western Massachusetts. they are a black, queer femme carrying bloodlines from West Africa, the Mediterranean and the eastern woodlands of Turtle Island. Kyana has been co creating spaces for black & indigenous communities to intentionally connect with the land to heal and grow awareness of their spiritual connection to nature.
Youth, Belonging, and Place Director
Jarmal Arnold (he/him)
Jarmal was born and raised on the west side of Baltimore, Maryland, with a single mother and sister as his main core family and focus. As a youth he experienced traumas in the form of violence in any way it could show up. He reflects that “alongside the beauty that comes with the culture I grew up in came a lot of pain and confusion as to why life looked how it did for me in those years. These things are what shaped me and molded my trajectory to what it is today.” Youth is Jarmal’s primary focus, as well as building/facilities and coordinating activities and events for youth and community alike. His skills involve working with other people in the community and using his heart and hands to intuitively connect to all. Jarmal has experience in behavioral assistance with youth in schools, also physical or mental challenges with people in the community through a non-profit organization for 11 years.
Director of Development
Aiden Thompson (they/them)
Aiden Thompson (they/them) is a trans and queer person who descends from three generations of adopted women.They have a deep passion for wealth redistribution and mutual aid, growing up with a mixed class background in so-called Philadelphia. A person who connects with water energy, their ancestors settled here predominantly from the coasts of Donegal, Ireland, on one side, and Lebanon, Syria, and Germany on the other.
Aiden came to development work through political and labor organizing. They have since served in development roles with an international Buddhist organization, a domestic violence & sexual advocacy organization, and most recently, as Development Director with a rural LGBTQ movement building organization.
Aiden's favorite pastime is having long conversations about what you are passionate about - especially if we can sit around a fire, swim in the river, or walk in the woods at the same time. They are eager to contribute to SUSU's visionary work - and to invite you to do the same!
People and Place Director
Kegan Refalo (they/them)
Kegan is currently in the work of being a human being in right relationship with the land, and the community of beings in the Kwentekw river valley. Their ancestors, predominantly white settlers with a thread of indignity, are all peoples of the waters from the Great Lakes, the Atlantic Ocean, to the Mediterranean sea. Over the past 10 years, Kegan has also been in service to various indigenous communities with members connected to the Anishinaabe Midewiwin, Mexica, Lakota, Shoshone, and Mannahoack peoples and are claimed as kin by their Winkté Ina.
Weaver of Internal Strategies
Ashlei Milligan (she/they)
Ashlei was born and raised on Lenapehoking, in the Coatesville area of Pennsylvania. She is a Black, queer, environmentalist with a background in biology, organizing, and urban agriculture. She is interested in connecting with her ancestors while restoring ecological balance through Indigenous agriculture. Ashlei’s hometown is like many steel/coal towns of its time. Once Black people fled to the area in search of a job at the mill there was white flight, which Coatesville has struggled to recover from. This has impacted Ashlei in ways that she did not notice until she was older and deeply informs her current work.
Olivia McNeill (they/she)
Olivia McNeill (she/they) is a teacher-learner, researcher, and facilitator born in the mountains of North Carolina. As an undergraduate student at Appalachian State University, Olivia co-organized mutual aid projects with rural Appalachians and felt the power of community-based responses to community concerns. Their liberatory education praxis was seeded as a high school English teacher in North Carolina, where she co-created life-affirming learning spaces with youth. At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, she co-organized a climate survey with custodial workers to advocate for institutional changes. As an Assistant Director for the Brown Center for Students of Color, Olivia also coordinated political education and peer support models for BIPOC students at Brown University and in the Providence, RI community.
Olivia currently collaborates with groups and organizations as a consultant in the Connecticut River Valley and beyond to facilitate Participatory Action Research projects and popular education spaces with intergenerational communities. Her work is rooted in the possibilities of abolition and healing justice. They are a Ph.D. student in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where they are studying Black and Indigenous research methodologies. She loves the land, speculative fiction, her family, and her cats.
Dr. Morgan Leichter-Saxby (they/them)
Dr. Morgan Leichter-Saxby is a therapeutic and community playworker of Eastern European Jewish-American and white British descent. They have spent their life navigating these identities by moving often and in all directions across lines of geography and class, seeing the world through an increasingly queer lens. Morgan has long circled and is now rooted in the occupied lands of the Abenaki people, aka South-Eastern Vermont. As a playworker, their focus is on facilitating the transformative and liberatory processes of play in the lives of individuals and communities locally and internationally.
Amy is a queer farmer, gleaner and wildcrafting witch born in so called Guilford, Vermont. Their ancestors hail, almost entirely from Ireland. The beauty, tenacity and the struggles and priviledges of their people are deeply rooted in the justice work they are called on to do. Amy was raised by parents who moved to Vermont to garden, do social work, and befriend the old timer farmers of their neighborhood. Raised up in the 80s and 90s, they connected with anarcho socialist punk culture and are fiercely dedicated to collective liberation. They have been growing vegetables, herbs and sometimes flowers on family land since the birth of their child in 2004. Amy is motivated and inspired by mutual aid projects that strengthen frontline resilience, collaborative solidarity work, joy and survival/thrival. They have always worked alongside lovingly supportive and powerfully vulnerable comrades at the farm, gleaning on other farms and gathering from wild spaces.