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Born and, for the most part, raised in Los Angeles, Toni Tipton-Martin traces her family to Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. She works as a journalist and community activist and was inspired, after three decades spent teaching cooking and nutrition, to found the SANDE Youth Project, a nonprofit that employs organic gardening techniques, cooking skills, and nutrition education to teach at-risk families and youth about healthy eating and cultural heritage.
In addition to SANDE, Tipton-Martin began Peace Through Pie, which encourages community members to share pie and stories on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and she publishes the blogThe Jemima Code, which seeks to explore the meaning and reality behind the image of black cooks as Aunt Jemima-esque characters. The second president of the SFA board of directors, she was a founder of Foodways Texas. Tipton-Martin lives in Austin, Texas.