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Food for Thought Speaker Series

These 20-minute Ted Talk style speeches take place at the beginning of each Board meeting and highlight presenters from diverse and marginalized groups within the Frederick community.  Our hope is to center different voices in order to learn about the joys, struggles, and experiences within Frederick and emphasizes our co-op principles of education and concern for community. In order to make these conversations available to everyone, they are presented with an ASL translator.

Have questions or want more information or resources? Email Ownerservices@commonmarket.coop !

This Food for Thought speaker is Sherry Ayers.  Sherry is a microbiologist for the Food and Drug Administration and member of the Native American Community.  She currently serves as a Commissioner for the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs and chairs the Education committee.  Sherry is a past board member of the Baltimore American Indian Center and served as Chairperson for the North Carolina Native American Youth Organization.  She has also served on the North Carolina Board of Commission of Indian Affairs as a Student Representative.  Sherry is a member of the Lumbee and Cohaire Tribes.


The December 2020 speaker is Lavon Sajona!  Lavon describes herself as a black, female, Air Force veteran who is in service to her community.


November 2020’s Food for Thought presenter is Román Diaz, Common Market General Manager and member of the Latin American Immigrant community!


The February 2021 Food for Thought presenter is Adam Wieser, Common Market Grocery Lead and member of the Deaf community.


Kimberly Scott, is the President and Founder of Moving Us Forward Incorporated. Moving Us Forward Incorporated is a nonprofit focused on being an advocate for disadvantaged minority communities and supports them moving forward to a better future and legacy through education awareness, economic empowerment, health wellness and social justice consciousness.  Moving Us Forward Incorporated offers a variety of resources like workshops, forums, conferences, partnerships, and scholarships to equip individuals moving forward.

Kimberly Scott is 2nd Vice President of the League of Women Voters Frederick. She served on Maryland’s League of Women Voters State board as Action Co-Chair. She has been a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for 30 years and serves in sorority’s Frederick County Alumnae chapter.

Kimberly’s professional background is as a Human Resource manager for Sodexo Marriott for 17 years. She is committed to being active and engaged in her civic responsibility to her community of Frederick, Maryland.  She has served on the Education ministry for 6 years at Hope Christian Fellowship Church in Adamstown, Maryland where she is a dedicated member. She has been married to her husband, Astley for 18 years and they have two children, Astley Henry Scott II, 16 and Ashley Margaret Scott, 15 and her baby Shi Tzu, Pepper Scott, 7 years old. Kimberly loves spending time with her family and extended family, planning events, travelling, cooking, collecting stamps and playing golf.


This month’s Food for Thought speaker is Elizabeth Chung,  founder and Director of the Asian American Center of Frederick, whose mission is to support immigrants with essential skills to be independent and successful contributors to the community.  Under her leadership, AACF is a leading entity in addressing health disparities through partnership with collective impact.  Her primary focus has been health equity through cultural competency and language access for the Limited English Proficiency population.  She also served as a federal consultant on substance abuse prevention for the API community.  Mrs. Chung’s most recent accomplishment is the development of the Community Health Worker Program in western Maryland, expanding public / community health workforce development to address health disparities for the most vulnerable populations in the community.

Mrs. Elizabeth Chung is a native of Hong Kong, China and immigrated to the United States since 1970.  She has been a strong advocate for minority health for the past 50 years.  Mrs. Chung completed her graduate study in public health from the Pennsylvania State University in 1981 and has dedicated her professional work to issues surrounding health equity.


January 2022’s Food for Thought Speaker is Aaron Stephens, Special Projects Director with The Arc of Frederick County! Aaron Stephens serves as the Special Projects Director with The Arc of Frederick County. He has worked with The Arc for more than 20 years. Aaron enjoys using creative habits to create enviable lives for people with developmental disabilities. Aaron has worked to support an author with autism to publish books, established inclusive college opportunities, and directs the day-to-day operation of The Arc’s employment supports. Aaron is currently collaborating with wonderful co-workers who have opened a coffee shop, large event space, and culinary training program to bring the community together at The Arc at Market Street.


February 2022’s Food for Thought speaker is Hongwei Xu, Site Director of Partners In Care, Maryland!


April 2022’s Food for Thought Speaker was Davin Faris, student activist with the Sunrise Frederick Movement!  Davin Faris is a homeschooled junior, writer, and climate justice activist living on his family’s eco-farm in Frederick County, MD. In 2020, he helped co-found Sunrise Frederick, a hub of the national Sunrise Movement. He has continued to organize extensively through Sunrise and other local groups, fighting for political, social, and environmental progress.


This month’s Food for Thought Speaker was Atiya Wells! Atiya is a registered nurse, outdoor educator, and the Founder/Executive Director of Backyard Basecamp,Inc. – a nonprofit with a mission to (re)connect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to land and nature. While learning more about our natural world, she often noticed that she was one of the few, if not the only, Person of Color in the room. By diving into research and history, she learned that ancestral wounding and historical trauma are key players in the lack of diversity in nature-based programming. She has since dedicated her time to slowly (re)introducing her community to nature by starting in their own backyards and eventually embarking on a journey into the many wild spaces across Baltimore. Atiya Wells is the Founder and Executive Director of Backyard Basecamp, Inc. – a nonprofit with a mission to (re)connect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to land and nature. By diving into research and history, Atiya learned that historical trauma is a key player in the lack of diversity in environmental programming. She has since dedicated her time to (re)introducing her community to nature by starting in their own backyards and eventually embarking on a journey into the many wild spaces across Baltimore.


June 2021’s Food for Thought speakers are Clare Madrigal & Nina Carr, Co-chairs of the Community Services Committee of The Frederick Center. They will be talking about programs the Center offers and what it does in the Frederick community!


July 2021’s Food for Thought speaker was Shanna Knight, founder of SOUL Street.


August 2021 Food for Thought speaker was Sara Varga from the Phoenix Recovery Academy.


October 2021’s Food for Thought presenter was Michael Hughes, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Frederick County Government! Long before what has now become “fashionable,” Michael Hughes, Frederick County’s first Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, was instituting racial and social justice initiatives at several large community serving institutions, committing decades toward advancing equity and creating welcoming workplaces and communities.