2020 Long Island Vegan Living Program Postponed

The health and safety of our participants and attendees is our highest priority, and given the developing news regarding the COVID-19 we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Long Island Vegan Living Program until later this year. We have begun to explore options to reschedule the program at Molloy College in the fall. 


Additional details, including new dates, will be announced when they become available and will be shared with the public. 


Warm regards,

Robin, Demo and Erin

Organizers, Long Island Vegan Living Program

New Dates TBA

Want to go vegan, but need some help and support? Be a Vegan Pledge in the 2020 Long Island Vegan Living Program! The Vegan Living Program (VLP) is a FREE educational program that covers the how’s and why’s of living vegan, including the ethical and environmental considerations of veganism, nutrition, cooking, meal planning, and living vegan in a not-yet-vegan world. Participants pledge to live vegan for the duration of the program, with the help of volunteer Vegan Coaches and our educational program. Pledges receive a binder full of resources and recipes, and a goody bag of free vegan stuff to make the transition easier and more fun!

It’s clear that more and more of us are interested in addressing animal exploitation, tackling climate change, and concerned about our own health. In fact, according to search engine giant Google, the search interest for “vegan” is on the rise, increasing 32% in recent years. Whatever your motivation, the Vegan Living Program is designed to provide you with the support you need, and to build a community of like-minded individuals.


The Vegan Living Program has been held with overwhelming success since 2011, helping more than 1000 people to live vegan. This will be the seventh year we have offered the VLP on Long Island, along with co-organizers, the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. Join us for this life-changing program!

Our 2020 Long Island VLP will be held on Saturdays from May 30-June 27. May 30, June 6, 13, and 27, 2-5pm in the Hays Theater at the Wilbur Arts Center of Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY, with a day trip to Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue in Wantage, NJ on June 20. 

Sponsored By:
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Are you interested in becoming a sponsor of the Vegan Living Program? Contact Erin at erin@veganlivingprogram.org for details!

Registration and Ways to get Involved
Not yet vegan? Be a Vegan Pledge.
Vegan-curious, but not ready to pledge? 

Come to the first 3 public educational sessions!


Help us promote the VLP, or lend a hand at the program itself. Contact us at info@veganlivingprogram.org.

The 2020 Long Island VLP Schedule:

The Vegan Living Program sessions are 100% required attendance for Vegan Pledges and Coaches. The first 3 educational sessions are free and open to everyone, but to be a Pledge or Coach you must attend all five sessions.


The first three sessions on May 30, June 6, 13, 2-5pm and last session on June 27, 2-5pm will be held in the Hays Theater at the Wilbur Arts Center of Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY. June 20 (Session Four) we'll meet at Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue, 50 Compton Road, Wantage NJ 07461. Carpooling on June 20th is encouraged, and we try our best to facilitate finding rides for those who need one. 

SESSION ONE - May 30, 2:00 - 5:00pm: 
Intro to Veganism, Cooking Demo & Coach-Pledge Intros (Open to the public) 

Held in the Hays Theater at the Wilbur Arts Center of Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY

Vegan Living Program Founding Directors, Robin Helfritch and Erin Marcus will discuss the reasons for living a joyful, vegan life, followed by a cooking demo by renowned and award-winning vegan cookbook author Terry Hope Romero. Vegan Pledges and Coaches will also have some time to get acquainted.

SESSION TWO - June 6, 2:00 - 5:00pm: 
Vegan Nutrition (Open to the public)

Held in the Hays Theater at the Wilbur Arts Center of Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY

Where do you get your protein? Is soy bad for you? Learn about healthy, vegan nutrition and get your questions answered by Registered Dietitian, Kerri Foxhill. Kerri Foxhill, MA RD CSO LDN is a Clinical Dietitian for the University of Pennsylvania Health System, and an Adjunct at Immaculata University in Philadelphia. 

Kerri will follow an opening presentation by Certified Health Coach (certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell), Christopher Settino, who will discuss vegan health and fitness.

SESSION THREE - June 13, 2:00 - 5:00pm: 
The Environment & Living Vegan In a Not-Yet-Vegan World (Open to the public)

Held in the Hays Theater at the Wilbur Arts Center of Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY

This session will begin with a presentation titled "Veganism is Environmentalism" by Demosthenes Maratos. Demosthenes is the Communications Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College and was featured in the film Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (streaming on Netflix). He will speak about the environmental impact animal agriculture has on our planet, and discuss the ethical reasons for living vegan.


Demosthenes will then join Vegan Living Program Founding Directors Robin Helfritch and Erin Marcus, plus panelists (TBA) to discuss obstacles faced during transitioning to veganism, and vegan myths and misconceptions.

SESSION FOUR - June 20, day trip (tour at 2:00pm): 
Field Trip to Skylands Animal Sanctuary
 (Not open to the public) 

Held at Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue, 50 Compton Road, Wantage NJ 07461

Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue rescues, rehabilitates, advocates on behalf of, and provides lifelong homes for farmed animals. We will meet there for a tour, get acquainted with the resident animals, and learn about their lives before rescue by our guide and sanctuary founder, Mike Stura.

Carpooling is strongly suggested. Not open to the public, but registered VLP Coaches, Pledges and volunteers may bring family and friends. Please RSVP to info@veganlivingprogram.org for everyone other than Pledges, Coaches or volunteers, so that we may let the sanctuary team know how many to expect. Allow enough time and plan to arrive early, as the tour is scheduled to begin promptly at 2:00pm.


SESSION FIVE - June 27, 2:00 - 5:00pm: 
Graduation Celebration (Not open to the public)

Held in the Hays Theater at the Wilbur Arts Center of Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY

A celebratory vegan meal for Vegan Pledges and Coaches, with certificates of completion presented to Vegan Pledges!

Not open to the public, but registered VLP Coaches, Pledges and volunteers may bring family and friends. Please RSVP to info@veganlivingprogram.org for everyone other than Pledges, Coaches or volunteers, so that we know how many to expect.


Sessions held at Molloy College are free. However, a $10 per person donation to Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue is requested for the tour. Donations go directly towards feeding and care for the sanctuary animals.

Please Note:


Vegan Living Program educational content is not meant to be construed as health advice, or take the place of a consultation with a medical professional. All Vegan Pledges will be given a release form indicating as much at the first meeting on May 30, which MUST be signed in order to participate in the program.​

All educational sessions will be documented with video and/or photography, which will be posted online and/or used in promotional materials for the program. Media may be invited to some sessions. Submitting a registration form for the VLP and/or attending any VLP sessions indicates your acceptance of these terms. 

"I recommend this excellent program to anyone who is interested in learning more about the vegan perspective. The presentations are informative and practical. Myths are dispelled here. Yes, it is possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, and vegan food can be delicious! More importantly, people who care about the impact they have on their fellow beings, and on the environment, come together to explore the possibilities for change."


~ Pamela Kenley-Meschino

Vegan Living Program participant, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Speaker Bios:

Robin Helfritch  
Speaker Sessions 1 & 3, Program Co-founder and Organizer

Vegan Living Program Founding Director, Robin Helfritch Maratos has been vegan for 2 decades and organizing for animals and leading events for the past 15 years. She co-founded and has been a board member of grassroots animal rights non-profit organizations as well as working for national organizations. She's organized animal rights and vegan education campaigns, conferences, festivals, protests and programs on both the grassroots and national levels.

With childhood and early adult roots in local animal rescue, and many years spent campaigning against fur, foie gras, circuses, rodeos and vivisection, Robin now focuses her main efforts on all-encompassing vegan education, community-building and support. She is co-founder of the Vegan Living Program non-profit organization, and it's signature program, which is now in it's 10th year, 6th city, and 20th program. The Vegan Living Program has helped more than 1,300 people go vegan and stay vegan (and planted seeds in countless others) and has facilitated the building and growth of supportive vegan communities.

Robin's work in the Vegan Living Program organization includes coordinating and co-organizing VLPs in current programs' cities and aiding expansion in new cities, giving vegan education presentations, graphic design of printed and online materials, website and social media, advertising, marketing, and serving as the group's President. 

In addition, Robin uses her 25-year experience in graphic design to create print and web materials for other animal rights, vegan, environmental, and animal rescue organizations, helping them further their message for animals and the earth in an eye-catching, professional way.

Erin Marcus  
Speaker Session 1 & 3, Program Co-founder and Organizer

Vegan Living Program Founding Director, Erin Marcus began participating in Washington, DC area animal rights events as a teenager. She led street actions for animals in Baltimore from 2003 to 2017, conducting vegan outreach events and participating in campaigns including Close HLS, KFC Cruelty, and campaigns for fur-bearers and animals used in entertainment. During that time, she also volunteered with labor union UNITE HERE Local 7, human rights organization United Workers, and other social justice groups. In 2011 and 2012, Erin co-organized the Vegtoberfest vegan festival in south Baltimore.

Erin's activist experience also includes co-founding a vegan event venue and food production collective, organizing conferences, nonprofit bookkeeping, developing vegan recipes for foodservice, and writing educational materials for new vegans. She also worked in animal care for seven years. Erin co-organized the Baltimore Vegan Living Program, an education, mentorship, and community-building program for new and aspiring vegans, from the VLP's founding in 2011 through 2017. 

In 2016, Erin completed the Changing Our Story Cultural Transformation Course with the Center for Partnership Studies, a cultural change organization rooted in the work of social systems scientist Riane Eisler. Erin counts authors Riane Eisler, Alice Walker, Anna C. Briggs, Jean Houston, Jean Shinoda Bolen and Karen Davis as people whose work has informed and inspired her activism. She credits her rescued canine companion, Endymion, with putting it all in perspective. 

Today, Erin is a core member of the Long Island Vegan Living Program organizing team, and she works in conjunction with organizers in other cities to present Vegan Living Programs in their communities.

Terry Hope Romero  
Speaker Session 1

Terry Hope Romero, author and co-author of many bestselling vegan cookbooks such as Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and Viva Vegan!: Authentic Vegan Latina American Recipes, Vegan Eats World, Protein Ninja, Salad Samurai and Show Up for Salad. She’s presented lively cooking demonstrations and vegan food talks to hungry crowds at food festivals and conferences the world over including Paris, London, Amsterdam, Australia, and across the U.S.

Terry writes for BUST, has contributed to VegNews and has been featured in Latina magazine, and has been a guest on countless radio talk shows. She also holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University and was the former Food Outreach Lead for Kickstarter. Terry lives, cooks and eats in NYC.


Website: veganlatina.com

Instagram: instagram.com/terryhope

Facebook: facebook.com/terryhopecooks

Anchor: anchor.fm/s/2835174

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/terryhoperomero

Christopher Settino  
Speaker Session 2

Chris Settino is a Certified Health Coach with the American Council on Exercise and holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University. He also completed the Personal Trainer/Health Fitness Instructor Certification Program at Hofstra University and has been a health coach and personal trainer for over 19 years.


Chris specializes in helping his client’s transition to a vegan diet and lifestyle, as well as helping them reach their overall health and fitness goals. He is a board member of the not-for-profit organization Karuna For Animals and is a passionate advocate for the animals, the environment, and human health.

Kerri Foxhill  
Speaker Session 2

Kerri Foxhill, MA RD LDN is a plant-based/vegan dietitian based in Philadelphia, PA. She completed her RD internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and received an MA in Nutrition from Immaculata University (2010). She has been working as a Clinical Oncology Dietitian for over 8 years in the University of Pennsylvania Health System.


She has been involved in outreach and plant-based/vegan nutrition education since 2014, initially with an NYC based animal advocacy group. Since 2015 she has been volunteering with PAN, the Peace Advocacy Network in Philadelphia with their 30-Day Vegan Pledge Program as a mentor and speaker. She has also facilitated the 30-Day Vegan Pledge for two summers in Manhattan. In 2016, she joined the Vegan Living Program in Long Island as a volunteer speaker. She is also a contributing member of Woodstock Animal Sanctuary. 

Demosthenes Maratos  
Speaker Session 3, Program Organizer

Demosthenes serves as the Communications Director at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY, where he has been employed since 2009. Demosthenes has worked in the field of environmental and public policy since 1989. He began his career with the Long Island Neighborhood Network, the New York region’s largest and most active environmental advocacy organization. There, in addition to many successful efforts, he campaigned for the two most significant pieces of pesticide legislation in New York State history - the Neighbor Notification of Pesticide Spraying law and the Safe School Grounds law.


With the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Demosthenes is part of a team that provides community education and fosters informed debate on key issues related to sustainability. His work also includes integrating concepts of sustainability, environmental ethics, and veganism into the curriculum, operations and culture at Molloy College and the larger Long Island community. He is the Sustainability Institute’s lead organizer of the annual Long Island Vegan Living Program, and is on the Vegan Living Program's Board of Directors. In addition, he hosts the Sustainability Institute's Sustainable Living Film Series that boasts an entirely vegan menu at each screening, and makes the ethics and environmental benefits of veganism a central focus of each event. He is featured in the 2014 documentary film, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret that is streaming worldwide on Netflix.

Mike Stura  
Speaker Session 4

Mike Stura is the president and founder of Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue in Wantage, NJ, home to over two hundred fifty rescued farm animals. The residents come from a wide range of backgrounds including slaughterhouses, live markets, farms, and abusive owners. Remarkably, Stura has even driven long-distance to search for abandoned animals in Hurricanes Harvey and Florence. Skylands is now home to multiple cows that were pulled by boat to safety from drowning in floods.

Stura stays committed to Skylands thanks to a small team of volunteers and donors that make it possible to save and support so many animals. In an interview with CBS New York, he acknowledges the importance of respecting animals’ autonomy by stating that they “are not my pets” nor are “they're here to make me happy…they’re here to live life on their own terms.” Both his actions and his words truly show his heart of gold.

Thank You To Our Sponsors:
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Silver Sponsor

A Well-Fed World is a vegan hunger relief, food justice, and animal protection organization. We chip away at two of the world’s most immense, unnecessary, and unconscionable forms of suffering... the suffering of people hungry from lack of food, and the suffering of animals used and abused for food.

We do this by connecting the hunger-meat issues and partnering with groups to:

  • distribute vegan food to people in need

  • support innovative food and farming projects

  • strengthen farm animal care and rescue efforts

  • develop original research and targeted outreach

  • sponsor pro-vegan and animal advocacy campaigns

Learn more at: www.awfw.org

Partner Sponsor

Creations Magazine has been "Inspiring the Soul" for over twenty five years. With a circulation of 38,000, Creations is distributed bi-monthly to 1,300 locations throughout New York City and Long Island. An additional 42,000 readers visit creationsmagazine.com, bringing our total readership to nearly 150,000. We serve the Holistic-Minded, Health-Conscious, Spiritually-Centered and Creative Communities. Creations Magazine is found at health food stores, wellness, spiritual and cultural art centers, libraries, universities, supermarkets, coffee shops, music and book stores, yoga studios, gyms and wellness/green expos. Each issue features seasonal topics including Personal/Spiritual Growth, Holistic Health, Nutrition, Relationships, Yoga/Meditation, Lessons, Transitions and the Earth/Environment. www.creationsmagazine.com

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Partner Sponsor

Long Island Vegan Extravaganza is an event based group, created to assist the Vegan community of Long Island in getting together and growing. The Long Island Vegan Extravaganza Earth Day Fest will take place on April 25 from 11am-5pm at Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, NY, 1725 Brentwood Rd, Brentwood, New York 11717. Click here for more info!


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