Eugene Cooke is an American-born father of four descended from Indigenous farmers and African refugees. His unique perspective is based on 20 years of growing food in urban areas, as well as work-study abroad in Africa, Jamaica, and Haiti.


Eugene is a founding member of Grow Where You Are (GWYA), a dynamic full-service social enterprise developing local food systems in urban areas. GWYA partners with organizations and individuals to bring food abundance to communities that value real food. They design, install, and maintain multiple public and private spaces where food is produced using natural principles. As a consultant, Eugene works with institutions and individuals to plant fruit orchards, develop farms and assist in ecological restoration.

Bethanie grew up and graduated from high school in Brussels, Belgium. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) in Accounting from Georgia State University (GSU) Robinson School of Business in December of 2008. After graduation, Bethanie continued her education at GSU at Robinson School of Business where she earned her Master of Taxation (MTax) in 2010.


Bethanie sits on the Board of Awali as the Treasurer to build and manage the organiza- tion's accounting systems and internal fiscal controls. In addition to her duties as Treasur- er, Bethanie is the Director of Operations & Administration for SisterLove, Inc., a 31 year old Atlanta based not-for-profit that works to eradicate HIV-AIDS and advocates for repro- ductive justice globally.

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Bethanie Nikoue



With a BA in Mass Media arts, with a concentration in film, Renay Nailion is a professional freelance graphic artist in Atlanta, Ga. She has a focus on refurbishment and original design. Renay Nailon also specializes in advertising through webpage design and development, product development, and enterprise branding. She has also worked in film production as a location scout, manager and coordinator, and director for over 10 years.

Renay Nailon