Jillian Hishaw, Esq., MacArthur Foundation Awardee is the Author of “Don’t Bet the Farm on Medicaid” and “Systematic Land Theft,” and the Founder & CEO of Hishaw Law LLC., Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.), an international non-profit that works to protect land ownership for rural small farmers while reducing hunger in the farmer’s community.
Hishaw has donated nearly two million pounds of produce in five countries and have saved millions in land assets. In 2017, Hishaw was recognized as a “Food Changemaker” by CLIF Bar Co. and has been interviewed by O (Oprah) Magazine, the Atlantic, Vice News, the Washington Post and more. Hishaw has 20 years of professional experience and was voted by Food Tank to be 1 out of 15 women changing food systems in the world.
As a philanthropist, Hishaw has raised thousands of dollars for charitable food programs and has been interviewed by various academic, newspaper and podcast outlets. Additionally, Hishaw has published several law review and American Bar Association newsletter articles published in outlets such as Politco, the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law, the Journal of Food Law & Policy, the Atlantic and more. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Tuskegee University, Law Degree and Legal Masters in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
Hishaw’s recent advocacy work for Black farmers in the hemp and cannabis space has led to published op-ed articles in Civil Eats, The Counter, and HempLand U.S.A. In 2017, Hishaw was recognized as a Food Changemaker by the Clif Bar Foundation and has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, The Atlantic, Vice News, The Washington Post, and more. In 2019, the Food Tank organization voted Hishaw 1 of 15 women in the World Impacting the Food Industry.
Hishaw has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tuskegee University, plus a Juris Doctorate and Legal Masters in agricultural law from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville Law school. Hishaw’s own land loss experience has influenced her commitment to law and advocacy work in agriculture and asset protection. To learn more, please visit www.jillianhishaw.com
Director of Legal Oversight
Mac Arthur Funded position
An experienced law professor and leader in legal education for more than twenty years, Director Bernier has significant administrative experience in establishing several nascent law schools and accreditation. She brings program development, implementation and legal expertise to the F.A.R.M.S organization. While her law teaching is comprehensive, social justice is her primary focus in the areas of property and constitutional law. Her most recent course Social Justice and the Supreme Court is currently offered at the University of Illinois School of Law. Director Bernier continues to invest in the future through summer outreach programs where she introduces younger students to law and social policy.
Director Bernier earned her law degree from Howard University and thereafter earned an L.L.M. from Temple University Law School. Additionally, she holds a certificate from the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France and a Diploma from the University of Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France. She has published extensively in legal periodicals such as: The Harvard Women’s Law Review, Dickinson Journal of International Law, The International Lawyer, Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal, Washington and Lee Journal of Race and Ethnicity, William and Mary Women’s Law Journal, Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy and others. Selected Bar Association Memberships include: The Supreme Court of the United States, United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, The United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Bar.
Caribbean Program Manager
Pete Charlerie is an Agriculture and Natural Resource Economic professional with 10 years of experience in sustainable agriculture, urban farming, conservation, energy management, business management, as well as community outreach/education.
He currently provides independent consultancy services for agricultural and energy conservation projects in the United States and Latin America. Pete Charlerie is a 2009 graduate from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC) at the University of Maryland. In 2011, Charlerie started SunSplash Farm LLC where he grew vegetables and cut flowers on five acres in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He sold his products at several farmers markets in Prince George’s County and to various wholesale customers through the Washington DC area. During this time, Mr. Charlerie was active in local agriculture initiatives as a member and speaker at several committees and associations such as the Prince Georges County Food Equity Council and the Caribbean Agriculture Network.
He also worked as a Farm Management specialist for the University of Maryland Small Farm program providing education to farmers. He sold his farm was sold in 2017 and subsequently moved to south Florida where he continues to be involved in agricultural production.
Asaud Frazier is from Columbus, Ohio and attended Tuskegee University in 2011, where he received a bachelors in Environmental Science with a specialization in horticulture. Upon graduating he started working with a non-profit, providing technical assistance to farmers in the Black belt region of Alabama.
In 2018 he returned to Tuskegee for his masters in Plant & Soil Science, thus gaining a better knowledge of agriculture. In 2019 he took on a consulting position while still in school, helping a family grow industrial hemp. After graduating, Asaud decided to start Ella Bea’s Farm on his family’s property in Alabama. Currently, Asaud manages nearly 200 acres, with nearly 15 being cultivated. Asaud, will be assisting us with research, writing, and program management. F.A.R.M.S., is happy to have Asaud on our team!
Mr. Geinda Smith of Blacksburg, Virginia is a rising 3L at the University of Illinois College of Law. Mr. Smith’s focus in law is in the areas of environmental advocacy, housing, land use planning, and education. From 2017-2020, he worked as a middle school and high school math educator in Louisiana and North Carolina.
In parnership with F.A.R.M.S., this summer Mr. Smith will be working alongside the Environmental Defense Fund to develop relationships within the community of Pembroke, Illinois, a rural community of color, in order to assist efforts to prevent an oil pipeline from being routed near homes in the city. Mr. Smith will be focusing his efforts on helping Black landowners in Pembroke, IL retain their property due to an anticipated taking under eminent domain. Special thanks to the MacArthur Foundation for providing us with the funding to sponsor Mr. Smith’s position.
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