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Tracye McQuirter, MPH, is a writer, speaker, public health nutritionist, and 33-year vegan who has been teaching people how and why to live a healthy vegan lifestyle for the past 30 years. She is the recipient of multiple awards for her public health nutrition and vegan advocacy and was named a national food hero changing the way America eats for the better by Vegetarian Times. She's the author of the book Ageless Vegan, which Library Journal starred as “raising the standard of plant-based cuisine,” and the national best-seller By Any Greens Necessary, which established her as one of the most influential vegans in the country. She directed the nation’s first federally funded vegan nutrition program and was a nutrition advisor for the Black Women’s Health Imperative. Tracye recently created the first-of-its-kind, free African American Vegan Starter Guide in partnership with Farm Sanctuary and previously co-created one of the earliest vegan websites 20 years ago, which was also the first by and for African American vegans. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Essence, Bon Appetit, Ebony, VegNews, The Huffington Post, and many more.
Tracye is a graduate of Sidwell Friends School, Amherst College, and New York University, where she received a master’s degree in public health nutrition, was mentored by renowned nutritionist Marion Nestle, and graduated in the top of her class.
Tracye has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Google, USA Today, Ebony, Essence, Women's Health, Vegan Italy, The Huffington Post, VegNews, PBS, NPR, CBS News, NBC News, and many more. She was also featured on the covers of Barefoot Vegan and Natural Awakenings magazines.
DIRECTED FIRST FEDERALLY FUNDED VEGAN NUTRITION PROGRAM
Tracye directed the nation's first federally funded and community-based vegan nutrition program, the Vegetarian Society of DC Eat Smart Program, launched with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this innovative, hands-on course targeting low-income DC residents, Tracye taught participants about the health benefits of plant-based foods, and how to shop for and prepare healthy vegan meals. The popularity of the program resulted in a waiting list of more than 250 people—a remarkable achievement for a community-based course about eating vegan—and became a national model.
HELPED WIN LAWSUIT OVER BIASED U.S. DIETARY GUIDELINES
Tracye also helped create the strategy for a groundbreaking lawsuit proving food industry bias in the formation of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, while serving as a policy advisor for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The lawsuit proved that 6 out of 10 members of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines committee represented the meat and dairy industries, and biased the committee toward promoting these unhealthy foods.
NATIONAL AUTHORITY ON IMPROVING AFRICAN AMERICAN HEALTH WITH PLANT-BASED NUTRITION
As a former nutrition advisor for the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Tracye designed the nutrition curriculum for the national African American Healthy Lifestyles initiative to help prevent and reverse obesity among the country's 19.5 million black women.
Tracye was asked by Spelman College president Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum to serve as a keynote speaker and advisor for the launch of the College’s Wellness Revolution Summit, the first initiative of its kind at a major U.S. college or university to dramatically improve the health of its incoming first-year students, the majority of whom were pre-hypertensive, overweight, or obese.
Tracye is also a subject in several dissertations, master's thesis, and documentaries on African American health, veganism, and food justice.
CO-FOUNDED FIRST VEGAN WEBSITE BY AND FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS
Tracye co-founded the first vegan website by and for African Americans in 1997 with her sister, historian Marya McQuirter, PhD, and has been credited in part with increasing the number of black vegans and vegetarians to nearly 1.5 million people.
CO-FOUNDED EARLY ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR
Tracye co-founded Justice for All Species, an early animal rights group for people of color, with activists Tashee Meadows and Kristin Candour, and her sister, historian Marya McQuirter, PhD.
CO-CREATED FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND, FREE AFRICAN AMERICAN VEGAN STARTER GUIDE
Tracye co-created the first-of-its-kind, free African American Vegan Starter Guide in partnership with Farm Sanctuary, featuring 40 pages of information and inspiration from African American vegan experts on how to transition to a plant-based diet. To date, nearly 500,000 printed copies are in distribution, and tens of thousands of PDF downloads have been made.
ENDING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
As an adjunct professor at the University of the District of Columbia, Tracye designed and taught a plant-based nutrition curriculum for the District of Columbia Public Schools System to help prevent and reverse childhood obesity in Washington, DC, in funding partnership with the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move Campaign.
Tracye has spoken at hundreds of health conferences, colleges and universities, churches, corporations, and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, and in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, about the health benefits of plant-based foods for people, animals, and the planet; food as a social justice issue; African American health; the empowerment of women and girls, and more.
EDUCATING PHYSICIANS ABOUT PLANT-BASED NUTRITION
Tracye provides continuing education to physicians and other healthcare professionals about plant-based nutrition and strategies to help empower patients to change their food choices to improve their health.
CREATED FIRST VEGAN LECTURE SERIES AT WHOLE FOODS STORES IN DC AREA
In her hometown of Washington, DC, Tracye partnered with Whole Foods to create its first plant-based nutrition cooking and lecture series, “From Soul Food to Whole Food,” in stores throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan region, beginning 15 years ago.
AWARD-WINNING EDITOR AND WRITER
Tracye has been a professional editor and writer for more than 20 years. She received the prestigious Council of Foundations award for excellence in communications as a member of a three-person communications team for the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, one of the largest grant-making foundations in Washington, DC, established by the founders of The Washington Post.
She also served as senior editor and writer for Maryland University of Integrative Health, the leading academic institution for integrative health in the nation. Tracye was also a columnist and contributor for Heart and Soul, the country's largest health magazine for African American women, and Healthy You Now, an online women's health magazine.
Before changing careers to public health nutrition, Tracye directed the Mary McLeod Bethune Museum and National Archives for Black Women's History, National Historic Site, where she also served as an honorary delegate to the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in recognition of Mary McLeod Bethune's role as a co-founder of the United Nations.
Tracye is a co-founder of We Feed Our People, the Black Vegetarian Society of New York, and the Community Support Network, and an advisory board member of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, PlantPure Nation Foundation, Black Vegans Rock, and Hip Hop is Green.