The Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council welcomes Nicole Townsend as our new Food Policy Coordinator! Nicole was previously serving as the Regional Organizer at Southerners On New Ground (SONG), an organization that is organizing across the Southeast to end the system of money bail and dismantle the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement institution (ICE). It was through her work at SONG that Nicole was able to sharpen her political analysis, and cultivate deeper relationships with movement elders.
After a few family transitions and an increase in local responsibilities, Nicole transitioned out of her role so that she could spend more time in Western North Carolina. It is here that she found her grounding as an organizer, organizing around LQBTQ+ issues, police accountability, racial justice, municipal budget transparency, and resource redistribution.
She has worked with several WNC organizations such as Green Opportunities, The Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County, Asheville Greenworks, and Dogwood Alliance. Currently, she serves as board member of Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community and the Human Relations Commision of Asheville. Nicole is also a member of CoThinkk and The Racial Justice Coalition.
While new to The Food Policy Council, Nicole is not new to food access and environmental justice. She is the proud granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers, and comes from a family that has relied heavily on agriculture work as a way to make a living. Spending the first half of her life in Rural Missouri, Nicole was taught how to honor the land, and she is now feeling the deep ancestral calling to come back to the land and grow food.
Nicole is excited to merge her passion for policy change, mama earth, social justice, and people as she steps into the role of Food Policy Coordinator with The Food Policy Council.