Calvin Okunoye is the High Road Coordinator of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Philadelphia. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu North America where he studied French cuisine and gained an AS in the Culinary Arts. He has been working as a professional chef and musician 10+ years, working with many established chefs across French and northern Italian cuisines. In early 2012, he joined ROC-United, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving the industry and career opportunities for restaurant workers through research, training and advocacy. ROC’s research has been instrumental in passing earned sick leave bill for more than 120k hospitality workers and creating stronger wage theft protections for all of Philadelphia’s workforce. In 2013, through a collaboration of restaurant owners, workers, government agencies, city officials, Calvin and ROC’s High Road staff launched R.A.I.S.E. (Restaurants Advancing Industry Standards in Employment), an alternative restaurant association whose mission is to support small- and medium- size businesses to succeed on the High Road towards profitability. RAISE offers owners access to critical information, an invaluable support network, and problem-solving opportunities. RAISE has grown to 100 employers spanning the United States. Calvin is leading the thoughtful shift in mindsets around workplace sustainability.
Since 2007, Calvin has traveled to bring his hip-hop jazz projects to communities in Europe and Africa. Also in 2014, Mr. Okunoye was approached to cultivate a soundtrack and create original music for “Horse Day” a film by Paris based artist Mohamed Bourouissa.