FEEST Staff

Arista Burwell-Chen

Organizing Director, arista@feestseattle.org

Arista Burwell-Chen is a proud Seattle local, born and raised in the Central District (CD) on Duwamish/Coast Salish land. Her experiences growing up in the CD drive her to build power with communities of color for transformative systemic change, particularly for more just and equitable education, food, and housing systems.

 

Arista is passionate about organizing sustainably, and loves to bring a strong ethic of social generosity and light-heartedness to organizing spaces. She deeply believes in youth power and decision making, and feels lucky to get to support FEEST youth leaders’ creative brilliance and joyful movement building. Collective visioning and strategizing with youth, staff, board, and community are some of her favorite parts of the job.
 
Outside of her work with FEEST, you can find Arista coaching friends and family in the art of decluttering and tidying, extending her streak on Duolingo, and rollerblading around Jefferson Park in the sun.
Cilia Jurdy

Cilia Jurdy

Development & Operations Director, cilia@feestseattle.org

Cilia Jurdy was born and raised in Seattle; she has a deep love for her communities here. She comes to FEEST with over five years of development/fundraising experience and recently graduated with a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University. She is dedicated to centering diverse communities in fundraising and dismantling systems of oppression in development work.

Cilia was drawn to FEEST’s focus on healthy equity and youth organizing, especially school food. She knew she had to be involved after seeing how FEEST centered radical joy in all aspects of their work.

She is passionate about health equity, housing justice, food, cats (especially her cat, Matilda), art, and building community. In her personal life, Cilia is an avid reader, recently took up running, enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and loves a good afternoon nap.

Cilia Jurdy

Jude Knife

Youth Organizer, jude@feestseattle.org

Jude (they/them/theirs) cares deeply about food/land sovereignty, living fully in their dignity, being in awe of the outdoors, and being in sweet community with the people around them. They believe that all liberation happens on land and is related to food and our wellness. We are all connected in the struggle.

Before FEEST Jude was a farmer who worked in community with folks with disabilities. They deepened their understanding of Disability Justice here, and it has shaped the way they understand liberation and the world they dream of. In school, Jude studied Psychology and Comparative Ethnic studies with focus on Black Feminist theories, and Queer theory. All of these ways of knowing have given Jude language for their experience as a Black Queer nonbinary Zimbabwean immigrant. Our connection to the lands we are from and the lands we occupy shape our understanding of our conception of the world we exist in.

Jude is excited to join the FEEST team because they have had an interest in working with young people for a while. Additionally, FEEST is a place where wellness, community, and collective power is being built. Jude feels strongly that their lived experience as a farmer and community member has prepared them for working with young people to change the landscape of schools so that it serves their needs. Hopefully, as a collective, we can make school a vibrant learning center where people feel empowered to learn and grow alongside one another where their wholeness and wellness are prioritized.

When Jude is not at work you can find them going on dance walks around their neighborhood, eating seasonally to the best of their ability, thinking about the brilliance of Octavie E. Butler, spending time with loved ones, or having ice cream.

Jaimée Marsh

Executive Director, jaimee@feestseattle.org

Jaimée found their happy place at FEEST — the place where joy, community, justice, and cheese intersect! They first tasted FEEST’s irresistible “Special Sauce” at Make Food Make Fam in 2017.  Since then, they transformed from volunteer to Board Member to Executive Director. Jaimée is a Seattle transplant from Spokane, WA, who specializes in community organizing, organizational leadership and development, and participatory evaluation methods. For over 15 years, they have applied this skillset to build community and shift power, particularly with trans and queer people of color. Jaimée is passionate about cultivating creative spaces that center radical joy and healing, and fostering sustained partnerships between schools and the community at large. Jaimée describes their most salient identities as black, multiracial, adopted, queer, and gender fluid. They are also a first-generation graduate of the University of Michigan (MSW) and University of Washington (BASW) Schools of Social Work. In their personal life, Jaimée is a curious home cook, a travel enthusiast, a decent iPhone photographer, and a former athlete turned fierce recreational sports competitor.

Devan Rogers

Communications & Development Manager, devan@feestseattle.org

Devan Rogers (They/He)  is a local Black, Fat, Trans & Queer, Self-Taught Artist. Dev was born and raised in Skyway, and grew up going to schools in South Seattle. They are an Anti-Racist Community Organizer, starting off organizing with YUIR Seattle, (Youth Undoing Institutional Racism), EPIC (Ending the Prison Industrial Complex.), and the No New Youth Jail Campaign.

Being a part of this community was foundational for their development, and they are honored to say that they are a Prison Abolitionist thanks to the community who invested in their growth. Everything they do for the liberation of Black people. Devan is committed to accountability, and transformative justice, seeing it as a foundational principle in their organizing. 

Previous to their role @ FEEST, Dev managed & supported several youth-led programs, focused on advocacy, undoing racism, food access, mental wellness, and suicide prevention. They are deeply rooted in the truth that we will not see liberation if youth are not at the forefront of the movement, supported and protected by our elders, (and Yelders!)

Dev’s organizing and art is grounded in Spirit and the Legacy of their Ancestors. Much of their art is about representing Fat, Queer & Trans Black people, experiencing joy, rest, and love. They are a future children’s book illustrator, a freelance graphic designer, and all around creative, always down to learn something new! They are inspired by Black Queer Youth, the clouds, the ocean, and the rain. In their personal life, you can find Dev playing The Sims, cooking meals for their loved ones, crackin jokes with their friends, hiking, and taking naps. Devan is also a Virgo, and a caretaker to a sweet & mischievous cat, Koda. #NNJY

CiCi Schneider

CiCi Schneider

Operations and Finance Manager, cici@feestseattle.org

CiCi was born and raised in South Dakota, where their deep love of food, family, politics, and community led them to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.  CiCi joins FEEST with three years of finance and operation experience from an international nonprofit focused on school meal programs. CiCi is very excited to shift their focus to more local efforts to serve the community around them. 

They are a firm believer that it takes a village to shape a person. Dozens of people have poured into CiCi and helped them become the person they are today. CiCi is passionate about paying it forward and supporting the next generation of youth leaders. Knowledge is power, CiCi loves the way FEEST gathers around food to work towards systems change. 

When CiCi is not working in Quickbooks or dreaming up a spreadsheet, CiCi enjoys soccer, disc golf, and spending quality time with friends. CiCi is an avid breakfast connoisseur and environmentally conscious consumer. 

Belina Seare

Community Organizing and Training Manager, belina@feestseattle.org

Belina was raised in a home with family members who had recently arrived in the United States after experiencing living under a dictatorship, being human trafficked, and as they navigated seeking asylum in the West, which informed her understanding of the world and the structural barriers that she and her communities experience.

As a Black-Afrikan student navigating college while holding the experiences of her family and during the trials of Travyon Martin and Rekia Boyds’ murderer’s and in a period where Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, and Freddie Gray were all killed at the hands of police, Belina committed herself to building a world where her communities, both domestically and abroad, no longer experience state-sanctioned violence. While navigating grief and coming into consciousness about who she was and how her own body was interpreted in this world, Belina continued to build on her analysis during her undergraduate studies where she found herself both inspired and deeply challenged while working on important equity initiatives.

Belina worked as an organizer in the labor movement with the UAW at the University of Washington before switching gears to support more community-based work with young Black and Afrikan people in Rainier Vista. As a Youth Organizer with FEEST, Belina is excited to bring her passion and commitment for community-based organizing and imagining to her work. She also occupies space as an artist who is invested in telling stories about the continuity of her people and forging more spaces for us to feel. Belina believes there is nothing more important than using art to actualize our collectives’ deepest yearnings & imaginings.

image is of Ammara

Ammara Touch

Youth Organizer, ammara@feestseattle.org

Ammara (she/they) is driven by deep love and care for life. A queer neurodivergent Khmer femme and child of genocide survivors raised in South King County, Ammara understands the importance of telling our own stories, building a politically activated collective consciousness, and embodying love as a practice.  

To them, love is action; love is resisting the violence of disconnection instilled by colonial-imperial systems. Love is violence prevention. Love is healing trauma and generational wounds. Love is recognizing that our struggles and freedom are intertwined. Love is feeling our feelings, honoring our wholeness, witnessing our rage and grief as sacred. Relationships are central places of radical transformation, and Ammara values them as a frontline where we can practice justice, liberation, and alignment with ourselves, each other, and the land (thank you adrienne maree brown). This commitment to love is what inspires their work to nurture a world where every life is honored as sacred, and able to thrive; where everyone’s dignity and humanity is honored in its fullness.  

They move through the world grounded in lineage, guided by indigenous ancestral wisdoms and healing justice principles, and are excited to continue cultivating ecosystems of care and building youth power with FEEST. As a space holder, a student of abolition, a witch-poet, Ammara finds joy in collective dreaming, and believes movements are most powerful when integrating wisdom from across all generations, informed and led by those most impacted, with community care at the forefront.

Outside of organizing work, you can find Ammara communing with plants and the water, making digital art at a cafe, binge-reading YA fantasy books, or spending time with their loved ones over a warm meal, tarot cards, and tea.

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