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.
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.
Jess Salvas (They/she)
Jess grew up in a small working class town in Rhode Island that was for several generations an oasis of immigration. Most of their ancestors immigrated to the town in the mid 1900’s to work in factories or as farm workers. For almost a decade Jess worked as a chef at various restaurants in Rhode Island. Their love for food led them to explore gardening, herbalism, and food justice. After relocating to Boston they operated a food pantry and soup kitchen for several years, while also fundraising and writing grants to support the programs. Jess holds the traditions of their great grandmother’s indigenous roots and the teachings of their mentor and teacher Chief Three Bears of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe close to their heart. It is their hope to be able to use ancestral principles and guidance to manifest and engage with fundraising and development opportunities for SUSU.
Ashlei Milligan (they/she)
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.
Botanica Manager/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.
Lu RadeTzki (they/them)
Originally from South America, Lu's grandmother and father are farmers and herbalists in Misiones, Argentina and their ancestors used to have wine fields and care for animals, before they were exiled. Lu has lived for 10 years in Chiapas, Mexico, learning from farmers and permaculture eco villages to be autonomous and look for food sovereignty and natural medicines.
Lu is also a Reiki teacher, organic farmer and herbalist and since they were little Lu has been committed to taking care of Mother Earth and honor their ancestors' spiritual lineage.
Ricardo Alberto Ramírez García-Rojas (he/him)
Ricardo Alberto Ramírez García-Rojas was born and raised in the McAllen/Reynosa border region of Texas/Tamaulipas. Ricardo has ancestral roots with the Huichol, Sephardi Jews, Carrizos, and Cristeros. Ricardo built gardens for and taught food cultivation for Rio Grande Valley Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs. Ricardo is bananas about his banana trees, and if he’s not on the farm, you’ll find him in the water. In addition to delicious vegetable and fruit crops, Ricardo looks forward to bringing aquaculture fish and crustacean production to SUSU.
CSA Volunteer Coordinator
Hana saydek (they/them)
Hana is deeply their mother's daughter, is steadied when near a body of water, can be found sliding down mountains on skis during snow seasons, and is currently building a joyful relationship with mountain biking. They enjoy rest and afternoon naps in summer months. They are trans, non-binary, queer, Japanese-American, multiracial, and have known so-called cavendish, Vermont as home their whole life. This is the unceded land of the Abenaki peoples and they are grateful to be spending time in Wantastegok, making more relation with their southern community, land, and kin.
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.