Lisa Gottlieb

Co founder of Selma Cafe, and Nonviolent Communication Certified Trainer, Lisa Gottlieb spent her childhood in Flint, Michigan, raised in a family that gathered round the dinner table each night to share lively conversations and delicious meals made from fresh, simple ingredients. This continues to inform her approach to food, and her love of sharing meals with family and friends. Lisa was influenced by her mother, who was an artist and wonderful cook, and her dad, who taught her that equality and social justice are always worth a good fight. With a passion for making art work, thinking creatively to problem solve, and continually looking for ways to build and support affiliation and connection, Lisa is deeply invested in joining people together in projects that teach them new skills, are valuable to our community, and build opportunities for inclusion, fun, and lots of joy.

In addition to being the President of the non-profit organization Selma Cafe, Lisa is a school social worker for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. Her interest in supporting local food, farm, and garden initiatives motivated her to start a vegetable garden in the Washtenaw County Youth Center, where Lisa worked as the school social worker since 2000. The youth in the program help plant, tend and harvest the vegetables, and the produce is used in meals prepared for all to eat. Lisa is also worked directly with County administration to create a healthier model for food purchase and preparation in the Juvenile Jail while reducing their overall carbon footprint. Lisa is a certified Kripalu yoga teacher, and uses the Kripalu traditions of compassion and loving kindness as the foundation for her life and work.

Most recently, Lisa is passionate about sharing Nonviolent-Compassionate Communication (NVC) at work, in the community, and in SE Michigan. Check out more about NVC at