Activist of the Month
There are so many amazing dedicated advocates who volunteer their time to making the world a kinder place. Please join the Columbus Veg Community in recognizing the remarkable efforts of these featured activists who fight for animals, the environment, and human health :-)
Zara Holderman -- March 2018
Zara is one of the sweetest and selfless behind-the-scenes animal protection activists you’ll ever meet! She is a long time ethical vegan who uses her talent in photography and her knowledge of a wide range of topics from grammar & English, women’s health & pregnancy, animal protection & veganism, different cultures, and more, to engage in stellar stealth activism that would impress the most crafty ninjas! Zara is often behind-the-scenes working tirelessly to make veganism fun, friendly and accessible to all people. Zara is a co-owner of Alma Images and has donated hundreds upon hundreds of hours in photography and editing services in the name of making fun vegan events more visible to allow veg-curious people to get a sense of what is available in Columbus and then join in! Zara was an integral part of planning the Veganism & Religion Speaker Series which is documented by Zara and Alma Images. Thanks to Zara and Jen from Alma Images, the inspiring lectures from spiritual leaders who feel that veganism is an expression of their faith will be available for all people to see and be inspired by! Zara also recently took on the Veganism & Plant Powered Athlete photo shoot in which she spent hours photographing local vegan athletes and then weeks editing the photos (which totaled over 3,000!) which will be used to spotlight the benefits of a plant-powered lifestyle. Zara is a passionate feminist who in the future plans to work on projects including highlights of vegan kiddos, and a video project about the similarities between the mother-child relationships in both the human species and cow species in an effort to show why human mothers may want to choose to purchase plant-dairy instead of cow-dairy products. Zara's passion for motherhood and women's health extends into taking a leadership role in moderating social media groups on these issues and providing support to mothers and their children who are interested in learning about veganism. In addition to using her incredible and creative skill set, Zara also engages in many behind-the-scenes activism projects that keep the nonprofit moving forward and helping animals including coordinating a mass pumpkin pick up and donation for Sunrise Sanctuary, deciding vegan pizza toppings for events, proofreading the newest literature the nonprofit is working on, engaging in restaurant outreach, and working to get more vegan options into high schools among many other things! Outside of her creative stealth activism, you’ll find Zara at activist events including vegan food sampling, potluck/vegan food share events, and social breakfast/dinner events! Our hearts are overwhelmed with joy every time we see Zara and we are so thankful she’s a force for good in Columbus who uses her talents so selflessly to protect animals! Please join us in congratulating Zara on being the March activist of the month!
Shirley Held -- February 2018
Shirley is a pillar of the Columbus Veg Community (CVC)’s mission to make veganism friendly, fun and accessible! Shirley is a teacher by day who cultivates growth and confidence in students through her uplifting and positive approach to education, and she takes those same super powers into her activism! At public events you can always catch Shirley connecting with kiddos and sharing education and fun with them! Whether it is supporting young people to enjoy the craft packets Shirley lovingly creates for them at events, walking veg-curious kiddos through the vegan options at the monthly potlucks, or hosting storytimes at events- Shirley is sure to be inspiring young people to cultivate their compassion and motivation to touch the world around them in positive ways. Outside of the public events Shirley is busier than ever! Shirley has been a leader in driving the Restaurant Outreach Initiative in which the CVC is striving to clearly identify vegan-friendly restaurants as well as work with restaurants to revamp their menus to offer excellent vegan options! Shirley has also flexed her creativity in the name of activism and hand crafted jewelry and painted canvas magnets to fundraise for the printing costs of educational literature that the CVC distributes for free at events. We also have Shirley to thank for so many of the special finishing touches that take CVC events to the next level. While sharing a favorite memory of Shirley is tough with so many beautiful moments to choose from- one of our favorites has to be when Shirley took the time to edit one of the unexpectedly graphic children’s storybooks before it was read at the ThanksLiving Fundraiser last November. Shirley so carefully and creatively added to the storybook pages to cover up words and images that were shocking to make the storybook the best one in the CVC library! Shirley is selfless, driven, passionate, and never enters the spotlight to take a pinch of credit for all of her dedication to the cause of cultivating compassion for animals, the environment, and human health, so we are thrilled to be able to do that with her feature as February Activist of the Month! Please congratulate Shirley with us on being an incredible force in the name of a kinder world, and as the February Activist of the Month!
Jayma Temple -- January 2018
Jayma is a straight shooting activist who will always tell it like it is in an endearing, humor-filled way. Jayma’s natural approach to activism involves a delightful twist of frankness, humor, intelligence and energy and we adore her for it! Jayma is a pro at providing vegan education at outreach events and can easily navigate resources to help veg-curious folks find the information that they are most interested in, and will benefit from the most. Jayma is such a seasoned force for good, that it isn’t unusual to find her rocking outreach events without backup while her fellow activists scout out the nearby best vegan options on shift breaks. In addition to being a tabling pro, Jayma can always be found effortlessly connecting with a myriad of people. If you come to an event where Jayma is, you can be sure you’ll quickly feel at ease because Jayma will spot you and strike up a conversation in which you’ll feel comfortable, entertained and at home. In addition to bringing humor to events and making sure people are at ease, Jayma has also played an essential role working behind the scenes to ensure that events run smoothly. One example in a sea of rock star moments is Jayma jumping into action at 5am the day of the ThanksLiving Fundraiser to prepare for the event despite the fact that by 10am she had to head out of town on a trip and miss the actual event! And all those adorable and educational videos shared on CVC Facebook? Jayma is responsible for making you smile with those as part of the CVC Facebook team! Other fun examples include Jayma fanning an overheating Santa and ensuring another activist didn’t fall while carefully balancing on a chair to get the perfect vegan food photo! While photos of Jayma herself are rarities, you can always find her at events taking care of small details and jumping into action before attendees even realize there could have been a major hiccup! Please join us in congratulating Jayma on being the January activist of the month at the next Vegan Potluck on February 11th! You’ll easily spot her doing what she does best: making people feel comfortable and engaged with her natural charm, frankness, intelligence and good humor.
Raven Morgan & Dustin Weatherby--Dec 2017
Raven and Dustin are a true power couple and a force for good! They bring to activism an energy, dedication and selflessness that is truly inspirational. Raven and Dustin are MMA fighters and true role models for how strong and healthy plant-powered athletes can be! In addition to tabling at events where they take a compassionate approach to sharing a wealth of knowledge about health and wellness, they also regular mentor and counsel people interested in learning more about making vegan choices. Raven and Dustin don’t skip a beat when it comes to jumping in to help anyone who is curious about trying veg. They provide one-on-one mentoring and even take people grocery shopping to help them learn about all the plentiful, healthful vegan choices there are! In addition to rocking the health piece of activism, Raven and Dustin are always behind the scenes doing the hard work it takes to make events possible. From heavy lifting at Sunrise clean-up days, setting up/tearing down events, social media postings, flyer design, buying supplies for events, food sampling prep, tabling, debriefing at Paid-Per-Views, and much more, these two are always not only being the change they want to see in the world, but also actively working to make the changes they want to see in the world possible. They even volunteered on their wedding anniversary and worked in the pouring icy rain to tear down an event! Columbus is definitely a kinder place because of these two amazing activists! Stop by the Grandview Winter Hop this Saturday where Dustin will be carving an ice sculpture from 4pm-8pm to congratulate Raven & Dustin on being the December Dynamic Duo activists of the month!
Tina Hysell-- November 2017
Tina is a lifelong animal lover and long-time vegan. Tina is one of the most soft-spoken people at events but don’t let her quiet demeanor fool you- Tina is a dedicated activist ninja behind the scenes! The Columbus Veg Community (CVC) events run smoothly because of behind-the-scenes-activist-ninjas like Tina. When events run smoothly it’s because of careful attention to detail and loving preparation. Tina has ensured that literature is prepared, displays are immaculate, and rough edges of planning are smoothed out in order to ensure a great time at every event. Tina is always the first to offer to lend a hand and is a selfless, loving person to animals and people. Additionally, Tina was responsible for raising the money the CVC donated to the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio through her creative fundraising strategy, and is again helping raise money at November 12th’s Race for Hope which benefits Colorectal Cancer Awareness. In addition to fundraising to help fight Colorectal Cancer, Tina will be representing No-Meat Athletes with her plant-powered-prowess while running the 5K! We are so thankful for the positive influence Tina has on animals, on activist events, and on cancer awareness! Please help us celebrate Tina as the November activist of the Month by congratulating her at any CVC upcoming event, or running alongside her at the Race for Hope!
Cassie Clifford-- October 2017
Cassie Clifford is of the hardest working activists anyone in Columbus has had the pleasure of working with. Cassie is a tireless community activist leader. She also is serving her second year as the President of OSU student group Reaching Out For Animal Rights (ROAR). In addition to being a tireless activist, Cassie is, without a doubt, the kindest person many of us have ever met. Cassie’s dedication to helping people try, and choose, cruelty-free products in order to ease animal suffering and promote environmental sustainability is nothing less than admirable and inspiring. Cassie is remarkable because despite the demands of being a full-time college student, holding down three jobs, and keeping up with family & personal life, she always find time to serve as a voice for the voiceless. A small sample of the multitude of activism Cassie engages in on an on-going basis are: free vegan food/drink samples on OSU’s campus, hosting Paid-Per-Views, pulling off a massive vegan Thanksgiving dinner for an OSU dorm, and always being the first one to cook for, and share, vegan food with veg-curious folks (including for large community events!). Cassie is so selfless and it is undeniably clear that her heart is huge and in the right place. The Columbus Veg Community is so thankful for Cassie because we know that animals, the environment, and people are all better off because of her impact on the world. Please join us in celebrating Cassie as the October Activist of the Month! You can catch her at any OSU-based or ROAR event, or find her working on the Sobremesa food truck!
Brooke Turner-- September 2017
Brooke is a social media master, cow selfie connoisseur, cat mama, and an amazing animal protection activist! She has been engaging in a myriad of animal protection events with the Columbus Veg Community (CVC) since February 2017 and has quickly won many hearts in Columbus with her passion for veganism and Instagram expertise. Brook is dedicated to helping make trying veg, going veg, and staying veg as fun and easy as possible. She vividly answers the question of "what on Earth do vegans eat besides salad and ice chips?" with vibrant photos and descriptions of the delicious vegan foods she makes at home and finds around the city. Behind the scenes, Brooke provides one-on-one support and mentorship to her Instagram and Facebook followers who are veg-curious and newly vegan and we can't admire her enough for her daily actions that make the world a kinder place for animals, and a more delicious and healthful place for people! Be sure to say hello to Brooke at the upcoming Open Barn Day and congratulate her with us on being a truly inspirational advocate and the September Animal Activist of the Month!
Atticus Bradford-- August 2017
Atticus is an artistic animal hero who got his start protecting animals at an early age with the support of his superwoman veg mom Kami! At age 11 Atticus and his friends chose to highlight Vegetarianism as their Destination Imagination school project focus. As part of that project he leafleted with the local Mercy For Animals team on OSU's campus and also hosted a community Veg Food Tasting event which was a slam dunk success. At only 11 years old, Atticus and his friends raised all of the money needed to purchase the three tablets used by the Columbus Veg Community (CVC) at Paid-Per-View events by selling their homemade art and jewelry. Since then, Atticus has regularly worked to help animals and promote veg choices with creative ventures such as: selling handcrafted animal pencils at his school's craft fair (where his proceeds benefited Sunrise Sanctuary), serving hot and healthful vegan meals to community members in need at Christmas, and then making vegan valentines for them, and fundraising for printing the Veg Resource Guides with his artistic creations! Most recently, Atticus served on the panel of judges who declared the top 3 best vegan mac 'n cheezes in the city of Columbus! Finally, if you love the new CVC piglet meme posted that debuted at the Mac Down event, you can thank Atticus and Kami for that too! The CVC is so inspired by all of Atticus' activism at such a young age and is excited to join in his efforts to help animals. We look forward to all the great things Atticus will continue to do for animals and are delighted to announce him as the Activist of the Month for August!
Sean Hennessy-- July 2017
Sean is a dedicated animal advocate and long-time animal lover. He has been engaging in veg advocacy for over 2 years and has made great strides in making choosing veg easier and easier! In addition to helping with Columbus Veg Community (CVC) outreach, Sean works for Vegan Outreach as the Greater Ohio Outreach Coordinator. Sean works for animals by leafleting across Ohio and surrounding states, educating the community with humane education presentations about plant-based eating at high schools, and assisting on corporate campaigns. He is also the lead organizer of the upcoming dinner event: Vegan Mac Down Columbus, which is happening on July 15th (check it out here)! The CVC is so thankful for all of Sean’s hard work to make the world a kinder place and is thrilled to highlight him as Activist of the Month for July!