Melana is a community advocate and federal and municipal food policy strategist based in Toronto. Committed to building more diverse leadership, her work has focused on improving anti-racist approaches in food work addressing equity, diversity and inclusion through increasing access to opportunities, and advancing food systems governance and community food sovereignty initiatives focused on Black and Indigenous communities. Working across social justice, politics and policy, Melana prioritizes community-driven approaches to address complex food challenges as Chair of Food Secure Canada, a pan-Canadian policy alliance working to create more healthy, just and sustainable food systems. She is also Project Manager of the Power Lab, a leadership learning space working at the intersections of climate policy, local economic development and racial justice to cultivate place-based economies rooted in equitable development principles. Melana currently serves on the Board of Directors of Carrot Cache, a philanthropic foundation supporting regional food work in Ontario, as Vice Chair of Cycle Toronto, and as a Grants Advisor to the Ivey Foundation. She is also a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council, FoodShare Toronto’s Advisory Committee and an Advisor to the Food Communities Network and the Agritecture Xchange. In 2020, Melana was recognized as a Next-10 Leader by CBC Metro Morning- shaping the next decade of food in Canada; and was elected Canada’s United Nations Delegate for the CPD53, providing expert advice on Global emergency food responses during COVID-19. Recently selected as a 2020-21 Action Canada Fellow, Melana is undertaking policy research exploring opportunities to advance sustainability, equity and diversity in Canada’s agricultural workforce, post-COVID.