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Race, Food and Justice Symposium





Race, Food & Justice:
Analyzing the Urban Food Movement
through a Social Justice Lens

This event is a collaboration between Environmental Health Watch, Growing Power, Rid-All Green Partnership and Case Western Reserve University's Social Justice Institute. The two - day conference will be held at Case Western Reserve University, April 25th-26th, 2013.

The Race, Food and Justice Conference will highlight and increase grassroots support for Growing Power’s Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative. Building on the momentum of the Rid-All Green Partnership Project and the robust local and national food movement, our goal is to create a space for dialog and discussion about social justice issues, how the history of farming, culture and race factor into economics, land use policies, land ownership, health, jobs, community programs, and decisions that impact our most vulnerable communities and communities of color.

We plan to engage policy makers, organizations, universities, and community residents in an ongoing dialog that addresses race and racism, which is one of the social determinants of health and a root cause of health disparities we see manifested within our communities.  By engaging multiple sectors of our society, we hope to expand the grassroots base promoting environmental justice. Through a film screening of Soul Food Junkies and having the opportunity to lift up and shine a light on the issues, we will begin to plant seeds that will create more equitable solutions, policy change and collaborative programming. We see this event as an introductory discussion and will host similar events, conferences and workshops in the near future.

Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative
The Growing Power Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative is a new initiative aimed at dismantling racism and empowering low-income and communities of color through sustainable and local agriculture. This comprehensive network views dismantling racism as a core principal which brings together social change agents from diverse sectors working to bring about new, healthy and sustainable food systems and supporting and building multicultural leadership in impoverished communities throughout the world.

History and Scope of the GFJI-The organizing of the GFJI reflects the need for innovative and genuine leadership in the development of a sustainable, community-based food systems movement. The founding members of the initiative are the practitioners of sustainable food systems work: mainly farmers, marketers and other workers who are building new, local systems. Some are familiar with coalition and advocacy work at the national and international levels, while others are new to large-scale initiatives. This initiative strives to outreach to other parallel social justice movements and build solidarity and multidisciplinary support, in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of building “Beloved Community”.

The principal objective of the GFJI Initiative network is to create support for the local work that is already underway throughout North America, employing a from-the-ground-up strategy to build power for broad food systems change across the world.

Vision-To work together with a shared vision of dismantling racism via network building, shared leadership, economic growth and community food systems :
  • ? Every neighborhood in low-income communities and communities of color has full access to fresh, healthy, local, affordable, culturally appropriate food every day through a variety of retail channels ranging from farmer’s markets to locally-owned small corner stores and supermarkets.
  • ? In every neighborhood in low-income communities and communities of color the residents of the neighborhood own and operate the small businesses that produce, distribute and sell the fresh, healthy food consumed in the neighborhood.
  • ? Through ownership and operation of the local food system, every neighborhood in low-income communities and communities of color provides opportunity for its children to develop business skills and leadership capacity offering hope that each child, every family and the community itself can achieve its self-determined destiny.
Race Food & Justice Itinerary
Thursday, April 25th, 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Film Screening-Soul Food Junkies
CWRU Strosacker Auditorium In Soul Food Junkies, Hurt sets out on a historical and culinary journey to learn more about the soul food tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity. Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians, and scholars, as well as with doctors, family members, and everyday people, the film puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its positive and negative consequences. Hurt also explores the socioeconomic conditions in predominantly black neighborhoods, where it can be difficult to find healthy options, and meets some pioneers in the emerging food justice movement who are challenging the food industry, encouraging communities to “go back to the land” by creating sustainable and eco-friendly gardens, advocating for healthier options in local supermarkets, supporting local farmers' markets, avoiding highly processed fast foods, and cooking healthier versions of traditional soul food.
Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, published writer, anti-sexism activist, and lecturer. Hurt is also the host of the Emmy-nominated series, Reel Works with Byron Hurt. The Independent named him one of the "Top 10 Filmmakers to Watch" in 2011. His most popular documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was later broadcast on Independent Lens.

Friday, April 26th, 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m
Race, Food, and Justice Conference
Allen Memorial Library Ford Auditorium
Keynote Speakers
Erika Allen – Growing Power Good Food Justice for All Initiative
Erika Allen is Chicago Projects Manager for Growing Power, a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization and land trust providing equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe, and affordable food, especially in disadvantaged communities. She helps food producers of limited resources strengthen their farm businesses and work in partnerships to create healthy and diverse food options in inner city and rural communities.

Mistinguette Smith-Black Land Project
When Mistinguette Smith began to notice that black people think and talk about their relationship to land and place quite differently from the ways mainstream institutions do, The Black/Land Project was born. As the founder and director of the Black/Land Project, she has traveled the country gathering black people’s stories about relationship to southern farmland, urban city-scapes, changing neighborhoods, and public green spaces since the fall of 2010.
RACE, FOOD & JUSTICE (Draft Program)
Analyzing the Urban Food Movement through a Social Justice Lens
April 26, 2012
5:30-6:00pm Dinner (Buffet Style)
6:00-6:05pm Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams – Director, Social Justice Institute
6:05-6:25 pm Mistinguette Smith- Black Land Project
History of Black Farming and National perspective
6:25-6:45 pm Malik Yakini- The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
Detroit Land Grab and Land Policy Issues
6:45-7:20 pm Erika Allen – Growing Power
Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative
7:20-7:40 pm Audience Discussion/Break
7:40-7:50 pm Sandy Chappelle – Saint Luke’s Foundation
Place Matters
7:50-8:00 pm Randy McShepard –PolicyBridge
True Wealth of Health
8:00-8:50 pm Q $ A /Open discussion - Moderated by Dr. Rhonda Williams
Erika Allen, Malik Yakini, Mistinguette Smith, Sandy Chappelle, Rev. Tony Minor
8:50-9:00 pm Closing Comments, Thank You, Announcement of Saturday Activities
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