Meet The Individuals Behind MFFC
Shavel'le Olivier, MS
Shavel'le has been a Mattapan resident for 15 years and is MFFC's first Executive Director of Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. She currently holds a master’s in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. Previous to this position she had been active in the organization and Mattapan community, volunteering her time as the Youth Program Director and overseeing 8-10 MFFC Vigorous Youth and the MFFC Youth Coordinator. Joining MFFC at the age of 17 in 2009, she has worked to bring biking to Mattapan through founding Mattapan on Wheels in 2011, a free youth-led biking event created to raise awareness that black and brown people do bike, providing an opportunity for young people to exercise their leadership skills, and utilizing green and open spaces for physical activity by bike. Among nonprofit administrative duties, she guides the organization in expanding our bike/transportation work through the Vigorous Youth.
Our Vigorous Youth are instrumental to the organization as they provide services to the Mattapam community. The Vigorous Youth lead MFFC's bike education and advocacy work, operate the farm stand in the summer, maintain a children's plot in Mattapan, and much more. Past projects of the Vigorous Youth include:
holding a community wide youth summit in 2009 to learn from area youth better ways to improve the greening of Mattapan as well as improve the food and fitness environments.
In response to the ongoing problems of violence in our community that affect all areas of life, the youth organized a series of anti-violence forums at the Mattapan Public Library in conjunction with several local groups. They hosted a film series aimed at raising the community’s level of awareness around food systems and ways to affect that system locally and nationally.
With support from the Center for Health Equity and Social Justice at the Boston Public Health Commission, the youth deepened their understanding of the impact of racism on health and how to dismantle racism. They met with youth from other parts of the state who were similarly engaged.
The Vigorous Youth have received many commendations for their good work, including the Community Service Award from the Boston Police Department, a leadership award from Brookwood Community Farm, the Alternative Transportation Award from the City of Boston, a citation from former Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and invitations to speak about their work at several national meetings.
Vivien Morris, MS, RD, MPH, LDN
Vivien received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, a masters degree in nutrition from Framingham State University, and a master of public health degree from Boston University. She is a registered dietitian and public health professional with extensive work in Boston’s communities. She chairs the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, and she coordinates the Kennedy Community Garden and Edgewater Neighborhood Association. Vivien is a founder of the Boston Organization of Nutritionists and Dietitians of Color, a professional organization devoted to increasing African American and Afro Caribbean nutritionists and dietitians and
providing nutrition education in the community.
Sonia Carter, MS, LDN
Sonia Carter, MS, LDN, has been a part of MFFC since 2007. She is currently the Nutrition and Wellness Program Manager at the Boston Public Health Commission and provides leadership and management for the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention. At BPHC she works to control nutrition education and policy/practice change to support healthy eating in diverse sectors. The primary focus is on obesity and chronic disease prevention, prioritizing racial, ethnic and other inequities in health outcomes through policy system and environment approaches. Sonia leads the division Boston Child Care Initiative Learning Collaborative and Healthy Eating Professional Development Opportunities for Center Based Child Care Centers, Family Day Care and Out of School Time Educators. Sonia holds a Master’s Degree in Management from Eastern Nazarene College, a Bachelor of Science in General Nutrition from Simmons College and a Maternal and Child Health Certificate from Boston University. Her professional memberships include the Boston Organization of Nutritionists and Dietitians of Color, (BOND of Color) and The Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. She is a board member of the John Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition. Sonia has an Early Care and Education Fellowship from the CAYL Institute. She is currently a faculty member at the Urban College of Boston. Additionally, she co-chairs our annual Mattapan Moving For Life event with Theresa Jordan.
Reann Gibson, MPH
Reann spent the first 18 years of her life living in Mattapan and still spends time there visiting family and of course participating in MFFC activities. She is a Boston University School of Public health graduate with a focus on building healthy communities and using data to inform solutions. She has played many different roles at MFFC since 2013, from organizing Woolson Street residents to create the Woolson Street Community Garden in 2013, to farmers market volunteer, to supporting the evaluation of MFFC's programming. When she's not serving on the leadership team, Reann can be found doing participatory action research related to gentrification at the Conservation Law Foundation, taking care of plants, or riding her bike around Boston.
Vickey Siggers, BS
Vickey Siggers first became involved in Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition 13 years ago. She met concerned men and women from the Mattapan community working to bring affordable, fresh produce to our corner stores. She became a Community Leader for Healthy on the Block Initiative. Successes of this project include recruiting four local stores to participate; in-store modifications to showcase and label healthy foods; training of store owners on selecting and handling produce; and connecting store owners to city and state resources for business improvements. In 2012, she was asked to manage the Mattapan Square Farmers Market. This was the very first project created under Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. The Mattapan Square Farmers Market goal is to bring fresh, local and affordable produce to the Mattapan community. She looks for creative ways to educate the community about having a healthy life style through creating events. During Kids Day children and families enjoy fun physical activities, shopping experience at the market, games, and lots of give a way that promote ways families can engage in healthy eating and physical activity. Other special events are Senior Day and Harvest Day. Vickey also coordinates two Summer Eats free meal sites for children under 18 years old at Mattapan Library and Mattapan Square Farmers Market. She is an activities member of Mayor’s Office of Food Accent, Mass Farmers Market Coalition, Healthy Incentive Program Steering Committee, and Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council. Lastly, she attended a Leader in Health Community Program at Harvard School of Public Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity focus.
Theresa Jordan, MPA
Theresa Jordan is Director of Children’s Facilities Finance for the Children’s Investment Fund, a state-wide technical assistance and finance organization serving early care and education and out-of-school time programs in Massachusetts. She has worked in the field of non-profit development for over thirty years, providing technical assistance, financing, and training to child care providers engaged in facility expansion and capital improvement projects. Theresa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Rhode Island College, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts and an Early Care and Education Fellowship from the CAYL Institute. Theresa has been a resident of Mattapan for over 15 years, she joined MFFC in 2006. Since 2007, Theresa has co-chaired the annual Mattapan Moving for Life (MML) event with Sonia Carter. MML is an annual family-friendly event promoting healthy eating and physical activity among Mattapan residents through cooking demonstrations, Yoga and Zumba activities, child-friendly physical activities for all ages, and food and fitness-related resource tables. The event is held at Mattapan’s Boston Nature Center.