Dara Cooper

Based in Philadelphia, PA, Dara Cooper is a national organizer with the National Black Food and Justice Alliance, an alliance of Black led organizations working towards national Black food and land justice.  She is also an organizer with the HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture and Labor) Food Alliance and has just completed a southern tour interviewing Black farmers, co-ops and food hubs throughout the south with the Center for Social Inclusion.  Dara is the former director of the WK Kellogg funded NYC Food and Fitness Partnership in Brooklyn, NY where she worked on creating and strengthening Black farmers markets, developing a community based local food hub and creating a farm to headstart program in Brooklyn partnering with Corbin Hill Food Project, a local foodhub. Prior to this work, Dara led the launch and expansion of Fresh Moves (Chicago), an award winning mobile produce market with community health programming, which quickly became a nationally recognized model for healthy food distribution and community based self determination and empowerment. A former Uganda Bold Food Fellow (exchange program between professionals in the U.S. and East Africa), Kalamazoo Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership Food Justice Fellow, National Alliance Against Racist Political Repression Human Rights Awardee, and a member of Black Farmers Urban Gardeners, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Friends of Cooperation Jackson (MS), she believes in the power of people organizing and investing in self-determining, sustainable communities worldwide. 

Judge Jaribu Hill

Judge Jaribu Hill is Founder and Executive Director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights. Jaribu Hill serves as Municipal Judge for the City of Hollandale and is a Special Master for Mental Commitment Cases in Washington County Chancery Court. She is a human rights attorney and a veteran community organizer. Hill is an international human rights pokesperson and a frequent writer and commentator on human rights themes. Jaribu Hill has served as key note speaker and cultural presenter at numerous international convenings, including the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa and the 1998 Human Rights Defenders’ Summit in Paris, France, in honor of the 50 th Anniversary of the UDHR. At the Front Line Conference in Nantes, France in June 2007, Hill was the featured cultural artist, where she presented a musical and spoken word tribute to Rosa Parks, for whom the event was dedicated. Hill was resident poet and legal observer for the 2000 Women in War Crimes Tribunal in Tokyo, Japan. For this occasion, she penned the acclaimed poem: “Haunting Mirrors,” which was made part of the Tribunal’s final judgment. Hill was a principal commentator during the acclaimed documentary: Murder in Black and White, which aired on TV One cable. She is coauthor of The Black College Guide and author of Knowledge is Power– A Know Your Rights Manual.

Jaribu Hill is the first alum to receive the Dean’s Medal from CUNY Law School and is featured in a special issue of the law school’s magazine as one of the 25 most notable graduates. She is the founding convener of the Southern Human Rights Organizers’ Conference (SHROC). She is the founder of the Fannie Lou Hamer Roundtable and CUNY Law School’s Mississippi Project. After Katrina, Jaribu and the Workers’ Center established the Southern Relief Fund/Witness Delegation, to provide support for victims of Katrina. As former director of the Southern Regional Office of the Center for Constitutional Rights, hill won an important judgment against the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. She has coordinated cutting edge litigation in the areas of housing as a human right and racially hostile work environments. 

Hill’s scholarly works are featured in numerous publications including: Black Scholar; National Black Law Journal; Southern University Law Review; Associated Trial Lawyers of America Faculty Series and Harvard Law School Civil Rights Journal. She is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the coveted “Gloria” Award, and the R. Jess Brown Award (the highest award given to a lawyer by Mississippi’s Magnolia Bar Assoc.). Hill serves on the Access to Justice Commission, appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court and is admitted to the United States Supreme Court. Hill also is a former Skadden Fellow and a former Thurgood Marshall Fellow.