PSE 101


Participants will:

  • Increase your understanding of Policies, Systems, and Environmental Changes.
  • Identify examples of policies, systems, and environmental changes that lead to increased access to and utilization of healthy food and active lifestyles.
  • Understand how community engagement plays a critical role in successful PSE work.
  • Share resources and best practices to successfully implement PSE.


Laura Vollmer, MPH, is a Community Nutrition and Health Advisor at the University of California Cooperative Extension serving San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. She provides oversight to two federally funded nutrition education programs, CalFresh Healthy Living and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), and conducts locally relevant evaluation and research work, primarily focused on food and nutrition security and diet quality for children and families. Prior to joining UC Cooperative Extension, Laura was a staff researcher at the Nutrition Policy Institute. She has long pursued an interest in food and nutrition: from running a summer camp kitchen in the Pocono mountains in Pennsylvania, to teaching at an elementary school garden program in Mountain View, CA, to fighting hunger at City Harvest, an emergency food provider in New York City, Laura has diverse experience working towards a better food system. Laura is a registered dietitian and holds a Masters in Public Health in Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in English from Wesleyan University. Laura co-leads PSEAT.


Anthony Khalil, Food Sovereignty Director at Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, will tell the story of developing a food distribution model as a systems change and how it has impacted and will continue to impact the community. Spouse, Father, Mentor, Ecologist, Outdoorsman, Culture Bearer, and Environmental Justice Activist, Anthony Khalil earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice from SFSU. A son of first-generation immigrants, born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and SF, he has extensive experience working with and mentoring youth and communities of color to foster deeper connections with and commitment to our collective natural heritage. For two decades, he conducted environmental education and habitat restoration programs at Literacy for Environmental Justice and other local organizations, supporting community and youth stewardship of natural areas in Southeast SF. Khalil currently serves as an Environmental Justice Advisor to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. In 2019, he received the Local Hero Environmental Education Award from Bay Nature magazine. In 2020, through the Advocates, he launched Bayview Bounty Boxes, a free produce distribution program which is the first phase of the establishment of a Bayview Community Grocery Co-op which aims to connect BIPOC farmers directly with community organizations and residents to expand neighborhood food access and develop food sovereignty in Bayview Hunters Point.

Angelica Cabande, Director at SOMCAN, will highlight the history of SOMCAN’s advocacy for open/green space in SOMA and how the efforts led to the reinstatement of the slow street.  Born in the Philippines and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eight, Angelica Cabande has been an organizer for over 23 years combining art, education and organizing. She has supported the development of SF immigrant residents to become engaged in issues of social justice, equity, and community planning; and has organized and mobilized residents in local and national issues. She started with SOMCAN in 2004 as a Community Organizer and became SOMCAN‘s Organizational Director in 2010.

Dr. Jalal Alabsi is a resident of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. He is a Food Justice Leader with the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), working in the Tenderloin Community Benefit District. He is passionate about helping his community and all residents of the Tenderloin with food resources, health services and more. Jalal earned his bachelor’s, masters, and doctorate degree and is a physician. He graduated from the Community Health Worker Program at City College in SF. 

John McCormick is the Healthy Retail program manager manager at the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation where he has worked since 2018.  John and Dr. Alabsi will highlight how their work started with a Community Action Model and how your community-driven work continues to evolve. Prior to joining TNDC John worked for ten years in the restaurant industry, spent time traveling, and received a bachelors degree in International Studies. In his free time John likes to spend time outdoors gardening, playing basketball, reading and exploring the San Francisco Bay Area. John also holds a Masters degree in Non-Profit Administration from the University of San Francisco.


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