Organization: La Semilla Food Center
Rubi is a community-rooted poet, scholar, and educator - the granddaughter of Mexican janitors and migrant farmworkers who were also musicians and poets. She is a lifelong student of elders and writers in both the US and Mexico, and holds a graduate degree from UC Berkeley. As Director of Storytelling and Development at La Semilla Food Center, she contributes to the revitalization of heritage foodways rooted in community-based wisdoms and processes in the Paso del Norte region. Rubi navigates the intersection of foodways, culture, and social justice, making connections between foodways and wordways: the manner in which food is grown and shared, as well as the narratives that accompany land and heritage foods. She has prepared numerous scholarly works and community assessments that contribute to on the ground organizing and wellbeing and is also a creative and environmental narrative writer challenging harmful dominant narratives. She co-created the zine Food, Land, and Us: A Look at the Farm Bill from the Paso del Norte Region (August, 2021) with La Semilla's Policy Director V Quevedo and illustrator/editor Zeke Peña. Her most recent publication with La Semilla is “Snapshots of Resilience: Tending Land, Sharing Traditions, and Feeding Our Families Before and Amidst COVID-19 Disruptions” (March, 2022). Her documentary poetry book, Inventos Míos, received the 2019 Tejas Poetry Book Award from the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies. Her work has been featured in podcasts and public radio programs including Proof (from America’s Test Kitchen), Toasted Sister, Words on a Wire, and State of the Arts.