Reverend Brandon Rencher, Duke Divinity School Susan Sachs, Starfire Consulting Are you connected to the community you serve in a significant way? In this interactive workshop you’ll learn why community engagement is important as well as strategies to assess and engage with your community in meaningful ways that will help your organization have a greater impact.
Session 1 10 am to 11:30 am
Diana McCall, John Wilson Community Garden Using Technology of Participation Methods to create small group, focused discussions, each participant will have an opportunity to learn how to develop an Asset Based Community Development Map targeted around a particular goal or vision they have for their community.
John Parker Justine Post, Resourceful Communities This workshop will provide a theological framing, scriptural grounding, and communal understanding of our relationship with food and food ministries. A variety of food ministries will be illustrated as well as practical connections to community development theory and practice. Participants will share their ideas and identify ways to design or strengthen their food-related vocations, ministries, and projects.
Jeremiah Jones, NC Natural Hog Growers Association Shawn Hatley, Sun-Raised Farms Chad Jacobs, American Prawn Cooperative Often in the food system we think of farmers being in constant competition, but historically and currently farmers have collaborated with each other to build vibrant markets and successful cooperative organizations. Learn about the collaborative process from farmers working together in various realms of production agriculture as they share key skills and lessons learned.
Power on Your Plate: Deconstructing the Agricultural Food System and Empowering Workers Anna Jensen & Farmworkers, NC Farmworkers Project Susan Alan, National Farmworker Ministry The living and working conditions of most farmworkers—the people who labor on America’s farms and ranches to produce food—are inadequate. Wages are low; agriculture is among the most dangerous jobs in the country; the health status of farmworkers and their family members is disproportionately poor; decent housing is in short supply; many labor and occupational safety laws exclude farmworkers; most public benefits programs exclude many farmworker families due to immigration status; and many social services for which they are eligible do not reach farmworkers. In this workshop, you will learn more about how Americans get their food and how workers fit into that system, the challenges many workers face, and you will hear directly from workers who will speak to their experiences in the fields of North Carolina.
Gathering Roots Part 1: Looking at Inequities in the Food System Camryn Smith, Communities in Partnership How do we build sustainable relationships across divides of race, class, and privilege in urban and rural communities to sustain our work together? How might we increase equality and access to resources for everyone in the food system?
Joy Williams, NC Council of Churches This interactive workshop starts off with a short review of scripture looking at the ways the body incorporated within worship provokes social change. Participants will see a demonstration of movement exercises for worship and, if desired, explore movement that encourages social reflection. This workshop will also include performance.
Scott Marlow, RAFI What are the long-term mental health impacts of disaster on rural people and communities? Where can people find support when crisis disaster relief resources have run out but recovery is not complete? This workshop will examine the role of clergy, church, and faith in supporting resilience and healing in the wake of disaster.
Fairness in Contract Poultry Production: Partial Screening of Under Contract documentary and Farmer Panel Genell Pridgen, NC Farmer Craig Watts, NC Farmer Sally Lee, RAFI Join former poultry farmers Genell Pridgen and Craig Watts for a screening of RAFI’s new documentary film. Contract farmers tell their stories, and industry experts reveal how the corporate production model pits farmer against farmer. Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print takes audiences across the American South and to Southern India to understand what’s happening to farmers living under contract and what we can do to change our food system for the better. Film is followed by a panel discussion with featured farmers.
Christina Theodorou, American Indian Center at UNC Chapel Hill Randi Byrd, American Indian Center at UNC Chapel Hill The American Indian Center at UNC Chapel Hill will share insight into strategies used to engage with Native nations and tribal communities on culturally-based philanthropy and giving. This is based on the work of the NC Native Asset Coalition and the Healthy Native North Carolinians Network. The UNC American Indian Center is a public service center with the mission of bridging the strengths of Carolina with the richness of Native cultures. Their work is driven by indigenous values of Respect, Responsibility, Reciprocity, and Balance and achieved through four areas of engagement—Native Community Engagement, Campus Community Engagement, Student Engagement, and Engaged Scholarship.
Session 2 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm
Building Livelihoods: Self-Sustaining Faith and Food Projects Donna Poe, Garden of Concord Andrew Hammond, Garden of Concord Julia Sendor, Anathoth Community Garden & Farm Cyril Murphy, Chestnut Ridge Camp & Retreat Center Representatives from different faith-based food and farming projects will share their knowledge on maintaining and building programs that are both financially sustainable and support their communities. Attendees will hear best practices and lessons learned within frameworks that can be used to strengthen your own community projects.
“Bread from the Earth”: Creating Sacred and Community Spaces with Food Noah Rubin-Blose, Chef, Community Organizer, and Educator Beginning with Jewish frameworks and drawing from the faith traditions of workshop participants, we will explore how we decolonize our relationships to food, and how food can help create sacred space to bring people together. What foods are “ours”? What do the traditions we come from teach us about relationship to land and each other, about growing food and sharing food in just ways? This interactive workshop will explore these questions and more to envision creating sacred and community spaces with food.
Cooperatives: Lessons for Community Development Mo Kessler, Renaissance Community Coop Eleanor Graves, Renaissance Community Coop, Zulayka Santiago, Earthseed Land Coop
Bacilio Castro, Western NC Workers Center This eye-opening presentation by poultry worker members and organizers of Western North Carolina Workers’ Center, an organization that has organized poultry workers since 2002, will provide an overview of the issues faced by poultry workers in NC and across the country. Current and former poultry workers will share their experiences working in egregious conditions. Workers will also talk about the worker-led campaign to demand access to bathroom breaks in one poultry plant in WNC and give audience members the opportunity to take action in solidarity with poultry workers in NC. Esta presentación reveladora por parte de miembros y organizadores del Centro de Trabajadores del Oeste de Carolina del Norte, un grupo que ha organizado a trabajadores de la industria avícola desde 2002, ofrecerá un resumen de los problemas que enfrentan los trabajadores en esta área por todo el país. Personas que trabajaron anteriormente y que trabajan actualmente en la industria avícola compartirán sus experiencias laborando bajo condiciones indignantes. También se hablará sobre la campaña dirigida por trabajadores para exigir descansos para ir al baño en una pollería en el oeste de Carolina del Norte. Los participantes tendrán la oportunidad de actuar en solidaridad con trabajadores de pollería en Carolina del Norte.
Camryn Smith How do we build sustainable relationships across divides of race, class, and privilege in urban and rural communities to sustain our work together? How might we increase equality and access to resources for everyone in the food system?
Sharing our Experiences Through Visual Storytelling Laxmi Haynes, Student Action with Farmworkers This interactive workshop will use a portable mural and physical activities to spark discussion about issues affecting North Carolina’s migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Barry Ryan, NC Rural Economic Development Center Scott Marlow, RAFI Finding support for your farm or community following a disaster can be an overwhelming and confusing task, and continues long after the immediate relief has ended. This workshop will walk participants through options available to help with disaster relief and the disaster recovery process. The session will cover resources specifically for farmers, more general resources for community members, and where community members can turn with questions for themselves and others.
Abbey Piner, Center for Environmental Farming Systems Gini Knight, Center for Environmental Farming Systems Megan Bolejack, Care Share Health Alliance Jared Cates, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association A network of local food policy councils is growing across North Carolina and the country. Why? In this session, the Community Food Strategies team and members of local food policy councils will engage workshop participants in a dialogue about food councils. We will discuss ways local food councils can make an impact on community food systems, review what food councils are doing, and consider what’s working and what’s not working as this network of councils develops.
Working Towards Equitable Partnerships Bridgette Burge, NC Center for Nonprofits Susan Sachs, Starfire Consulting Partnerships are crucial to successful projects and sustainable organizations. But what makes a good partnership? What does an equitable partnership look like, and what happens when partnerships start to feel challenging? In this session, we will discuss what “partnership” truly means, different levels of partnerships, what makes them work – and what can knock them off balance. We’ll also discuss tools to help make partnerships truly equitable.
Session 3 3 pm to 4:30 pm
Ashton Tippins, TABLE TABLE will share best practices and lessons learned from their organization’s experience, including how to involve people as participants rather than recipients, and the nuts and bolts of incorporating fresh produce into a backpack program. We will discuss the impact of hunger on child development and educational success, examine the causes of child hunger, and ask participants to share lessons they’ve learned in their own work.
Fatima Salleh, Duke Divinity School Casey Stanton, Duke Divinity School This workshop will explore the spiritual practice of both speaking our stories and hearing the stories of our neighbors. We will venture into the ideas of how our experiences with land, food, and the divine have shaped our physical and spiritual selves.
Bevelyn Ukah, Center for Environmental Farming Systems Youth from the CEFS Food Youth Initiative Youth from all over NC actively engage in local food systems work, in their schools, faith communities, local organizations, and across their communities. Four youth groups – Conetoe Family Life Center, Growing Change, Poder Juvenil Campesino, and Transplanting Traditions – and their youth organizers together make up the Food Youth Initiative (a program of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems), which is a network of youth working in food justice. This network of youth focuses on many issues from immigration, (migrant) farm labor rights, community ownership, and awareness-raising on issues such as the school to prison pipeline. They work creatively, focusing on storytelling as advocacy, with food and justice as their platform. Attendees are welcome to engage these youth on their experiences, challenges and unique opportunities in their advocacy, policy, and justice work.
Speaker from Fight for 15 (TBA) Fast food is a $200 billion industry, yet many service workers across the country earn minimum wage or near it and are forced to rely on public assistance programs to provide for their families and get healthcare for their children. Each year, their labor brings billions of dollars into stores and restaurants nationwide, but almost all of these profits go to make executives and investors even richer, while workers struggle to provide their families with basic necessities like food, rent, healthcare, and transportation. Learn more about the Fight for 15 movement in North Carolina and learn how you can support service workers who demand a fair wage of $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation so that they can support their families, strengthen our economy, and improve our communities.
Kylie Foley, Institute for Emerging Issues Identifying your faith community’s core values will help focus your emerging food ministries. Understanding the motives behind local food systems allows faith communities to find the best match for partnerships based on shared values.
Together in Harmony: Bridging Divides Through Music Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble The Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble was born out of the struggle of organizing African American workers in the “Black Belt” region of North Carolina and the South. More than twenty-two workers, at various times, have participated in this dynamic cultural workers’ organization. Recruited from workplaces and communities, they have captured in music the struggles of oppressed peoples and a history of the working class. Join these talented musicians and get ready to raise your voice in an energetic, participatory workshop!
Cliff Harvell, NC Conference of the United Methodist Church Disaster Response Team Steve Davis, Greene County Health Department Carter Crain, Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC Organizations working on disaster relief efforts will share their experiences and lessons learned in a panel discussion. What are current needs in North Carolina after flooding and wildfires? What can you do now to help relief efforts succeed during the next disaster? What are the best ways for faith communities to engage? Attendees will also be invited to share and to ask questions.
Land Loss and Food Sovereignty Savonala Horne, Land Loss Prevention Project African-American, American-Indian, Women, and Latino farmers and ranchers have survived the brunt of USDA discrimination, and some of these legacy farmers are now poised to participate in emerging opportunities for producers in their local food economy. This workshop will provide an overview of the historic USDA discrimination class action lawsuits and land loss within the Black Belt of North Carolina. Federal Farm Bill measures to address equity and access to resources will be reviewed. The rising movement of small, new, and beginning producers is ushering in a new era of food democracy across the state. New tools are needed to ensure the robustness and resilience of the local food movement. There are many tools that the Land Loss Prevention Project has utilized that can serve the needs of those who are producing our food and imagining an alternative food system.