Come to the Table 2019 Conference Workshops – BY TRACK


View workshops by track below…

Extended Workshops 
Addressing Hunger
Community Agriculture
Economic and Labor Justice
Environmental Justice
Faith, Food, and Justice
Food Policy Advocacy
Healing and Wellness
Movement Building
Racial Equity
Resources for Farmers
Working Together in Community
Youth-Led Change





These are three hour workshop sessions that dive deeper into issues related to our food, faith, and/or justice. All of the Extended Workshops will be held on Tuesday, March 12th from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

From Charity to Social Justice: Using a Story-based Strategy to Reframe the Dominant Narrative on Hunger and its Solutions
 Suzanne Babb, Alison Cohen, Debbie Grunbaum, Earline Middleton
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


The intention of this workshop is to challenge the dominant narrative that charitable contributions can end hunger and that the victims in this age-old story are those who are seeking assistance.

We have been conditioned by our beliefs, histories, and institutions to see the world through certain frames or “narrative glasses.” As communicators, our goal is to identify that framing – the underlying set of assumptions, perspectives and narratives that our audience is filtering information though. Our story of social justice must meaningfully challenge harmful underlying assumptions – taking care to avoid accidentally reinforcing them. It must uplift our underlying assumptions, rooted in justice, and reflect our values and the future we envision – one where those on the frontlines of hunger and food insecurity are leading their communities in defining and creating a food system that is nourishing and protects the right to food.

This introductory hands-on workshop will help participants explore narrative change work, framing, narrative power analysis and elements of campaign storytelling. Through presentations and interactive activities, participants will learn new techniques/tools and practice using a narrative power analysis to begin deconstructing dominant narratives around hunger and its solutions. They will contribute to a national process underway to develop a new shared framework to shift the narrative around US hunger and its solutions from a model based on charity towards social justice. The methods and training materials shared during this workshop are adapted from the Center For Story-Based Strategy (CSS).


Hunger: Root Causes and Beautiful Solutions  | David Ferris 
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation


Through interactive group exercises rooted in Highlander’s popular education methodology, participants will come up with a collective analysis of the problem of hunger and its root causes. We will examine the difference and connection between root causes, primary consequences and the more visible, immediate causes; build our understanding of systems of economics and governance and examine how we got here; and explore where we want to go. This session gives participants some tools to analyze problems and envision solutions, and asks: What would our utopian vision that eradicated hunger look like? What would that mean for the root causes? For the economy? For how we govern? And finally, how are we committed to bringing such a transformation about? What will it require of us?

  Reimagining Board Diversity  Fatimah Salleh, Edna Rodriguez, and Rick Moyers
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


Nationwide, 84% of people serving on organizational boards racially identify as White. But addressing diversity and equity onboards will not solely be solved by having more people of color serving on boards. Inspired by interviews with people of color who serve on food, farming, or agriculture boards, this workshop addresses some of the challenges of recruiting for diversity and inclusion while also offering skill-building techniques for constructing cultural competency.

North Carolina Farmers Market Manager Summit  | Lisa Misch  
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


Farmers market managers serve a critically important role in the success of any farmers market. However, managers can often find themselves with little job training, limited resources, and with little to no support network to help them achieve their goals. This can make the position overwhelming. But with over 250 operating farmers markets in North Carolina, there is collective capacity and expertise among managers. This workshop will serve as a gathering space for farmers market managers to learn, share, and collaborate. Managers will learn about newly released legal and risk assessment resources for farmers markets. There will also be open space for conversations about various farmers market management challenges like fundraising, vendor recruitment, and outreach. Lastly, managers will have the opportunity to collaborate on ways to collectively increase NC farmers markets’ success.

  (Re)Insecure: Food for Thought – A Simulation on Reentry  Nykke Ford and Shakia Washington
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


This simulation showcases the compounding effect of both poverty and food insecurity through the lens of reentry after incarceration. Depending on state law and the type of felony charge, formerly incarcerated people may have a probationary period or be denied food benefits for life. This leaves many ex-offenders homeless and hungry due to their lack of access.

This Reentry Simulation will illustrate the journey to self-sufficiency and the barriers that may contribute to feelings of helplessness and decreased self-efficacy. Participants will assume the identity of an ex-offender and perform tasks in four 15-minute sessions with each session representing a week. By the end of this hour-long, eye-opening activity, participants will have simulated a month in the life of someone who has been released from prison. Participants will encounter the same challenges faced by many ex-offenders as they try to complete their court ordered obligations as well as maintain their day to day life. Group discussion will follow the simulation.


Building Stronger Communities: A Community Organizing and Leadership Training  | Stephanie Terry 
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation


This workshop is for people interested in community empowerment who would like to enhance their skills in developing and implementing a concrete framework for approaching social and political change. The skills and methods you will learn in this workshop will help you build cohesiveness and cooperation within your organization whether it is neighborhood association, a social club, a church group, or a collection of individuals brought together by a desire to effect change in their community. In this workshop, participants will gain an understanding of what community organizing is and its processes that makes ways for collective liberating action. Participants will learn about the power in forming organized collective community networks that work together in the interest and for the benefit of their own community. Additionally, participants will discover strategies for building effective coalitions and the principles that guide them. We will also reexamine the definition of power, relationships of power, how power is yielded, and its vital importance to social campaigns and community organizing.

  The Nuts and Bolts of a Healthy Food Pantry: From Solidarity to Action  Elizabeth Gerndt and Sam Hoeffler
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


This interactive workshop is comprised of three parts. First, we will spend time reframing how we see and interact with the people that we serve, setting a foundation for cross-class solidarity. Second, we will share aspects of our training curriculum for pantry staff and volunteers, entitled The Nuts and Bolts of a Healthy Food Pantry. The curriculum focuses on integrating principles of behavioral economics and sustainability into healthy food pantry work. Lastly, participants will take part in a food pantry assessment and begin an action planning activity.

From the Prophets to Jesus: Justice as a Biblical Imperative   | Rodney Sadler
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


The contemporary church has far too often lost sight of the biblical mandate for social justice; it has almost become routine to consider charity the only Christian response.  In this session, we will explore the biblical mandate for systemic change and recognize our involvement in manifesting the reign of God in the midst of this world. This conversation will be part lecture, part engagement with text, and part small group work.

  Revitalizing Catawba Foodways: History, Present, and Future of Food on Catawba Lands  DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren
Extended Workshop: Tuesday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.


In thinking about Justice, we can never forget about the ongoing dispossession of indigenous resources and erasure of indigenous voices. By having an honest conversation, led by Catawba voices, about this history and how it affects every aspect of our modern food system we can begin to think about how to heal injustice.

The landscape of the Carolina Piedmont has changed drastically over the last 500 years, transforming from a savannah to a patchwork of dense forests and farmlands. In this session we’ll talk about how those changes happened, what we can learn from those changes, and how the Catawba Nation is using those lessons to revitalize its community food system. The session will involve group conversation and lots of question-and-answer. Session attendees are invited to interact as they feel comfortable.
 

Since the reasons for hunger are varied, hunger solutions must also use various approaches. This track explores four different strategies to address and alleviate hunger in food insecure communities.

Rethinking Hunger by Rethinking Food Distribution: Gleaning for Refugee Communities
 Michael Binger and Marci Mroz
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***


Hunger is not an issue of food supply, but of food distribution. There is plenty of food produced to feed everyone, but our food system does not equally distribute that food to everyone. This session will talk about practical ways to solve this justice issue. Presenters will talk through the food system and where there is excess and waste. They will discuss ways that quality, healthy food – that would traditionally go to waste – can be rescued and redistributed to those experiencing hunger.

Oh SNAP! Building & Sustaining Farmers’ Market Incentive Programs at Any Scale  | Courtney Baines, Kelly Warnock, and Mary Yost
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


SNAP “Double Up Food Bucks” incentive programs are one strategy available to farmers markets to help increase local food access for all community members. In this workshop, participants will learn about how two different sized farmers markets, Durham Farmers’ Market and Boone Farmers Market, developed their own successful healthy food incentive programs. Using stories of how each market built an incentive program, participants will learn how strategic partnerships, diversified funding sources, and recordkeeping systems can increase the reach and effectiveness of a farmers market food access program. By highlighting both an urban and rural farmers market, this workshop will provide a realistic portrayal of the challenges and opportunities for farmers markets to increase food access. Participants will receive templates for marketing and record keeping materials that they can adapt for their own markets.

Summer Lunch Program in the Beatties Ford Road Corridor  | Quaneisha Payne
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


Childhood hunger is a growing issue in this country especially in low-income communities facing food insecurity. This issue is intensified during summer months when school is not in session. This presentation will provide insight to the importance of summer lunch programs into the Beatties Ford Road Corridor (a food insecure Charlotte neighborhood,) and the progression towards expanding the visibility of these programs. We will also discuss the need for the Charlotte community to establish a resource list of programs that can help families in need with school aged children.

Cooking Matters: Addressing Hunger through Practical, Hands-On Cooking Skills  | Cyril Murphy
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


Providing access to food is the first half of the battle ending hunger and injustice. The second is ensuring people can cook the food! All cultures have unique flavor profiles and use very similar cooking techniques. Take the dumpling, in Chinese food -wontons, Mexican food – empanadas, Italian – Ravioli. Most dishes can “boil” down to a handful of techniques! In this workshop participants will learn techniques like knife skills, sautéing, roasting and more. We will also provide information and tips about how you can teach these skills to others. Lastly, it’s always important to cook with the seasons – this helps your budget and your farming community – we’ll discuss how staple menus can transform with the seasons.
 

Places of food production are invaluable community gathering spaces. Whether in a garden or on a farm, this track examines how communal growing spaces can build capacity, relationships, and access.

How to Effectively Engage Black Men into the Food System
 Reggie Singleton
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Just as chronic, diet-related diseases impact Black communities from the consumer side of the Food System spectrum, so does rates of joblessness and unemployability relate to Black communities from the production, processing, and distribution side of the Food System. The Males Place works to expand how Black males can be involved in the food system through youth mentorship and hands-on agricultural production. This interactive and engaging workshop will explore and provide practical strategies and solutions for engaging Black Males into Food System work. Joined by the youth involved in The Males Place, Reggie will discuss the larger role Black men and Black communities can play in agricultural work and how that involvement reclaims human dignity and self-reliance.

Successful Community Gardens from the Roots Up  | Adam Bigelow and Don Boekelheide
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


This workshop empowers you to help create, lead, and sustain effective community gardens. Although community gardening is highly diverse and there isn’t “one right way”, all gardens can benefit from the best practices and practical lessons from decades of experience that this workshop shares. Community garden benefits go beyond organic collards and yummy homegrown tomatoes (though community gardens celebrate the joys of gardening – no doubt about that!). They also cultivate community and inclusion, strengthen grassroots empowerment, encourage consensus­-based problem­-solving, and protect the Earth through wise soil stewardship and resisting environmental exploitation. This session emphasizes the multiple dimensions of effective community gardening, from growing food to community organizing. This session includes examples from the faith community, an invaluable partner in the community gardening movement. Collard Greens and Common Ground, North Carolina’s comprehensive community gardening handbook published by NC Cooperative Extension, serves as our basic reference.

 
Community-based Impact Unlocked #1: Leveraging Partnership for the Benefit of All  | Diana McCall
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


The work of community gardening and partnership building is a key approach to addressing hunger and building just communities. Using the model of Asset Based Community Development, and the experiences of the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden, participants will consider what assets lie in their own communities and how building reciprocal relationships can benefit all and build strong programs and even stronger communities.

Farming on the County Line: Food as a Tool for Community Development Across All Lines  | Eva Moss
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


This session will be a case study exploration of how community agriculture can bring together seemingly disparate groups of people, crossing political, social, and cultural lines, through shared love and connection to land, farm, food, and, as result, each other. This approach to food justice will be juxtaposed and compared alongside the citizen engagement avenues offered through our federal regulatory system by government agencies, including the USDA, FDA, and EPA.

 

Institutional policies and structures can lead to economic and labor injustices in the food system. This track reveals some of the ways labor and economic policies create economic, health, and human rights inequities that can lead to hunger.

Retail Redlining: Exploring the Intersection Between Food Security and Healthy Equity
 Raven King Edwards
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


This workshop will dive deeper into the connection between food security and health equity by highlighting the role retail groceries play in creating a sustainable food system. Defining food deserts and food swamps will help shape the conversation as we look to identify the disparities that exists among all populations. The link between chronic disease and food insecurity is evident, yet policies, programs, and interventions fail to address the urgency needed to uplift health equity and food justice. Adverse outcomes will contribute to a cycle of generational inequalities among population groups if we do not advocate for the opportunity for all to experience good health and wellness. This workshop will map out retail outlets (grocery stores, convenient/corner stores, dollar stores etc.) and their role within urban and rural community food systems. Practical examples and resources relevant to addressing food insecurity in your own communities will also be discussed.

At a Stranger’s Table: An Introduction to the East Coast Migrant Farmworker Community  | Misun Hur, Sally Jacobs, Juvencio Rocha-Peralta, & Scott Temple
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***


The goal of this workshop is to make visible the experiences and voices of migrant farmworkers who are often invisible to the general public, and to foster dialogue on critical issues in the current local and national discussion regarding immigration, labor, mental health, and inclusivity. The workshop will feature three components:

1) Excerpts from the documentary At a Stranger’s Table. This documentary highlights the Latino H-2A/migrant farm workers’ plight and tracks them in their isolated, rural environments. The demanding work schedule contributes to the farm workers’ struggles and isolation. This film provides a deeper look at their lives and their contributions to the U.S food supply. (co-directors Sally Jacobs and Scott Temple).
2) Exhibit artwork including portraits of migrant workers, drawings, paintings, and artifacts left behind at labor camps. The artwork is another media used to create conversations about the migrant worker communities. (artist Sally Jacobs)
3) Presentation of a research study titled “Migrant Farmworkers’ Labor Camp Locations and the Relationship with Health and Well-Being in Eastern North Carolina” (Participatory Action Research with Drs. Misun Hur and Katharine Didericksen (ECU), and Juvencio Rocha Peralta (AMEXCAN)).

The three components of the workshop will be the catalyst for dialogue and creative expression from which the audience can engage with the panel.
 



Lives on the Line: An Update of Issues Affecting Poultry Processing Workers  | Bacilio Castro, Juan Monroy and Hunter Ogletree
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***


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 campaigns to demand justice within the industry give audience members the opportunity to take action in solidarity with poultry workers in NC.

Beyond the Headlines: An Introduction to Sex and Labor Trafficking in Rural Communities in North Carolina  | Nancy Hagan
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***


Human trafficking is a worldwide phenomenon, and it is occurring in communities of all types across North Carolina. It is a business enterprise that takes advantage of individual and societal vulnerabilities, including economic imbalance, poverty, and gender and ethnic inequities. Human traffickers force, fool, or frighten others into performing labor or sex acts for profit; they exploit individuals’ vulnerabilities and commodify human beings for their own gain. This session provides an introduction to human trafficking, both sex and labor, with a particular emphasis on the forms of labor trafficking that may exist in rural and agricultural communities within the state. The presentation will include a discussion of current strategies being used to address human trafficking in North Carolina, and will offer participants the opportunity to discuss local and state-level actions that they can take in their own communities to increase their capacity to confront trafficking and better serve survivors.



Issues of land, energy, waste, and water affect the communities we all live in and the environments that sustain us. This track explores how community members are addressing issues of environmental justice within their communities.

Resilience, Environmental Justice, and Equitable Allyship in African American Communities of Faith
 | Rev Dele
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Join Rev Dele as she takes you on their journey of shaping community-based resilience from Chester, South Carolina to Cuba to Charlotte, NC. Using story, song and contemplative activities, she will share the tools and strategies being used to launch Soil & Souls as a national mission enterprise. Specific focus will include faith leaders and ally relationships that work. Soil & Souls’ educational component is a 9 month process including three phases and four disciplines. Education begins with a mission conference, includes a Cuba immersion experience and ends with a cluster of faith communities who initiate and maintain sustainability projects for their neighborhoods. Leaders from those communities are assisted in establishing food sovereignty, water security, solar energy and ecosystem repair initiatives. She will share lessons learned in forming a worker owned cooperative that will embed 10 mission leaders in 30 communities in the United States.

The Social, Racial, Environmental, and Economic Impacts of Contract Livestock Production  | Devon Hall, Sr., Naeema Muhammad, Carlton Sanders, Craig Watts, Ayo Wilson
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


In North Carolina, we have more livestock than people. Panelists will discuss the social, racial, environmental, and economic effects of contract livestock production at this scale has on rural communities, farmers, and farm families. Using community-participatory research, public records, and first-hand experiences, the panelists will dispel misinformation presented by industry leaders. Representing their unique experiences, panelists will explore the multifaceted ways that Confined Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs) impact communities in North Carolina.
 



Just Transition: Our Stories, Our Needs, Our Future  | KD Brown, Elijah Brunson, Sarah Rhodes, Katherine Shor
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


Mindfully accounting for the impacts of environmental injustices in NC, we aim to explore the concept of “A Just Transition”, review it’s history of being developed, and determine what we will gain from seeking a Just Transition in our own communities. Here, we will deconstruct the way “we be” and create the ways in which we will be through an interactive, popular education, and theatre of the Oppressed (TO) inspired workshop. We will deconstruct our oppressive stories and refine our story-telling skills as a person and a community aiming for a sustainable and JUST future. We aim to cultivate a more comprehensive strategic lens for approaching environmental issues, building solidarity, and using valuation systems to determine the most appropriate arguments to capture our intended audiences. The most pressing goal of this workshop is to reveal from our stories and needs and demands we plan to make to chart our course to the Just Transition. Participants will improve in communication/storytelling skills, planning skills, and improved relationship/community building skills. As a reminder we plan to use aspects of popular education to engage the above process, so come comfortable enough for movement for all levels of ability. We will be reminding ourselves that we are embodied beings.

The Sacred Foodscape of eastern North Carolina: Controlled Animal Feeding Operations, Environmental Justice, and Adaptation toward Climate Resiliency  | Naemma Muhammad, Sarah Ogletree, and Susannah Tuttle
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


Sacred Foodscapes for All Creation is a program of NC Interfaith Power & Light that aids faith communities in forming sustainable and just relationships to food and land as a means of achieving carbon neutrality. Our presentation will provide an overview of the Sacred Foodscapes for All Creation program, thus making clear the connections between food production, consumption, and waste and carbon emissions/global climate change. We will then consider the particular foodscape of eastern North Carolina, with an emphasis on Controlled Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), through a discussion with Naemma Muhammad of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN). Our discussion will focus on the response of North Carolina communities surrounding CAFOs to environmental degradation, potential solutions to the problems posed by North Carolina’s hog lagoons, and the connection between these environmental and environmental justice concerns to the concerns of climate justice.
 

Communities of faith have an important role to play in addressing hunger and creating more just food systems. Learn how theology is shaping the way ministries are responding to injustice.

Eating Together Faithfully
 Stephanie Campbell and Grace Hackney
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Join us for an interactive conversation about what it means to eat with God’s intention for all creation in mind. We will explore how being people of the Table can deeply shape the way we eat and invite others to eat in our churches, our homes, and our world. What do the ways we address hunger and justice say about the God we worship? Explore the theological and practical implications of “food that laughs” and what that can mean for the work we do in our communities: Local / incarnation, Affordable / grace, Uncomplicated / ordinary made holy, Good / justice, Healthy / flourishing, Seasonal / time and liturgy. Reconnect with the biblical wisdom of flourishing and consider how that impacts the ways we build a more just food system.

Sacred Practices of Food and Land: A Panel Discussion with Ministry Practitioners LaShauna Austria, Jarrod Davis, Sarah Horton-Campbell, & Matt Gundlach
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Join us for a panel discussion about ministries that practice connection with the land, creation care, and the spiritual practice of growing and eating food together. How does caring for the land help us also care for one another and our community? Join a conversation with experienced practitioners sharing their experiences of ministry at these intersections: Sarah Horton-Campbell, Common Life Church and Farm; LaShauna Austria, Benevolence Farm; Jarrod Davis, Selah Community Garden; and Matt Gundlach, Beatitude Gardens.
Bread & Wine in the World  | Andrew Hudgins, Maggie Kane, Jessica Stokes
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


Many of us know about communion, and even practice it regularly, but why do we confine this sacred meal within the walls of the church? We will explore how communion is happening all around us, throughout our day, inviting us to participate in something much larger. This workshop will look at how communion can happen outside the church- including at a pay-what-you-can restaurant in Raleigh or a food pantry. We will learn about the inherent theological importance of unity, dignity, and thanksgiving given by this sacrament. Join us for a panel and discussion about what all this means for organic and healthy relationship-building in a way that addresses injustice within our food system.

Innovative Food Ministries in Rural Places  | Justine Post and a panel of faith leaders
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


Thinking beyond community gardens? In this workshop, you will hear from a panel of pastors and practitioners from rural North Carolina who are actively engaging in or promoting their local food system. From eggs to bread to beef, come to hear stories, ask questions, and learn successful strategies for engaging with your local food system. Panelists include: Casting Bread Bakery, a social enterprise committed to a triple bottom line approach; My Father’s Cows, a ministry that raises grass-fed cattle on local farms; and The First Ladies of First UMC Hickory, 24 hens that provide eggs, education, and meaning to the greater Hickory community.
 

Opportunities exist at the local, state, and federal level to advocate for just food system policies. Hear from speakers who are taking grassroots action on food issues and gain skills for how you can do the same.

Creating a Framework for Using Food Policy Councils to Address Root Causes of Inequity
 LaShauna Austria and Ann Meletzke
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***


Alamance Food Collaborative is a food policy council in transition, identifying food insecurity as the catalyst for restructuring the way we function together to create effective strategies to address inequities. Join us as we illustrate our journey towards a council whose individuals share a common lens regarding food justice issues and its correlation to poverty in Alamance County. Learn our process as we share the challenges and successes inherent to making structural change.

Boots on the Ground: A Panel Discussion on Food Access and Charlotte’s West Side  | Erin Hostetler (Moderator) and Alisha Pruett (Panelist), 2-3 other panelists
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


The mission of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy Council is to serve as a forum for discussing food issues, building relationships in the local food system as well as educating, advocating for and communicating policy issues.

One of the greatest policy efforts of the Char-Meck Food Policy Council is improving food access on the West Side of Charlotte. Home to some of the city’s greatest food access needs, the West Side is the focus of many non-profit organizations, individuals, farms, businesses and universities, striving to make change in their communities.

During this panel discussion, we will host leaders from the West Side’s food community to share their stories, their work, their ideas on local food, the role they see development having, how local government is and can best engage with their work and what we, as a larger food community, can do to support better food access.

Circles of Influence and Circles of Concern: How Local Food Councils Collaboratively Opposed Negative SNAP Changes  | Jared Cates and food council members
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


In 2018, a network of local food councils in North Carolina activated to ensure support of SNAP in the Farm Bill. Recognizing their individual strengths, connections, and needs, this group strategized together to leverage the policy expertise of some groups with the relationships and influence of others to make a difference for their respective and collective communities. In this session, we will share policy and advocacy organizing tools for communities. We also will share principles for racial equity practice that were at play in this first collective policy effort of our North Carolina network of local food councils. We will invite other stories and lessons of advocacy and organizing mind, and discuss the potential for North Carolinians involved in food and equity work to connect and collaborate for change on other important issues for our collective community.

Advocacy for Busy People: Getting Heard in a Noisy World  | Sarah Hackney
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


You’ve already got your hands full on the farm, with your family, or on the job: how are you supposed to make time to advocate for a better food and farm system too? How can you connect with policy makers who control regulations and programs that are key to building that better future? This session provides busy people – farmers, community leaders, and beginners alike – with key insights into how to organize at the grassroots and be heard on food and farm policy issues that matter to you. We’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of how to be impactful with limited time and resources, and share the secrets of what types of actions actually move the needle.


Addressing systems of injustice in our world, communities, and selves is taxing. To sustain the work, it must also be healing. This track examines how we can personally and collectively heal and stay well while working for justice.

Nurturing Self-Care Practices through the Arts, Movement, and Reflection
 Lani Sol
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Self care is a critical aspect of keeping our momentum in our justice activism. We cannot pour from an empty cup – this workshop is an opportunity for us to learn ways to fight for causes while maintaining mind, body, and soul wellness. This workshop experience is created for those interested in learning more about how to create a self care plan that is useful, creative, and meets the needs of your personal goals. The session includes time to discuss self care topics as a large group and in smaller groups for a more intimate conversation. This is an opportunity to take time out of your busy schedule and focus on what you want and need to live your best life!

The Necessity of Healing in Uprooting Oppression and Social Justice Work  | Kim Pevia
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


There is a hunger in each of us to heal that also must be addressed in order for us to have enough room on our plate to do our best work. In this interactive, experiential workshop we will explore what we hold and what we carry. We will witness and share the collective wounding that happens as we work to uproot oppressions. And we will cultivate and practice the methods of healing that are available to us. This workshop will include interactive conversation and discussion and story circles as a way of sharing experience and stories and healing.

Journey to Wholeness: Restoration and Rejuvenation Practices  | Vivette Jeffries-Logan and Fatimah Salleh
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


Anyone involved in the work of social justice also needs to make time for self-care, and especially for marginalized people—the act of taking care of oneself is a revolutionary act. This workshop will explore ways in which the the busyness of our lives can take us away from our whole selves. We will discuss practices aimed at restoration and rejuvenation. We will offer time for small group discussion.

“You OK, Fam?”: Centering Healing Justice within Food Movement-Building  | Tavia Benjamin
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


With the state of our society, and the onslaught of injustices and oppressions played out within food, health and land, it can be difficult to stay grounded and centered. Trying to stay on the path of change, despite the fatigue, and to plant the seeds of transformation that this moment needs is a daily practice of choosing to embody something different which may not be supported in our current reality. In this workshop, we will discuss tenets of healing justice, and the pathway to transformation it provides; as well as the opportunities available to us to integrate healing into the work we do to create the food system we need to feed and nourish all beings and the Earth itself. The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) is a healing justice organization that works to transform mental health for queer and trans people of color, one of the most vulnerable communities of our lifetime. Queer and Trans communities of Color in North America have long been resilient and able to survive in political and societal environments that continue to deny their humanity. We believe that the values of healing justice that help focus and tap into human resilience and transform trauma are necessary themes to be integrated into Food Movement-Building moving forward. What lessons from Healing Justice initiatives led by Black, Indigenous, and other queer and trans People of Color can North Carolina communities adapt and integrate into their local food movement building? Come find out!

Issues like economic and food inequity are complex problems that require communities to come together. Learn and engage in conversation around how to build community momentum, power, and collaboration to address shared challenges.

Art Imitating Justice Ways of Community Gardens
 Cassey Mapp-Ahmed and Crystal Rook
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


What are the ways Art can be used as a teaching tool for communities to learn the ways of community gardens? In this workshop, we will discuss how art has been the medium chosen by marginalized communities to express their oppression and receive liberation and joy into their lives. Art is a way of activism and a mechanism for hidden politics to navigate the waves of change in spaces that can be relegated by “red tape”. Yet, these marginalized communities used art to lift their voices for access to healthy foods and to learn the skills to gardening so they may be sufficient and sustainable to feed themselves. Art is Justice. Art is Activism. Diverse groups of people bonded together to create a community garden. They used their art to speak truth to power about their own right to healthy eating and access to foods. This workshop will be interactive and fun. Participants will use art to express their own justice ways of foods.

Reinventing the Wheel: Imagining Food Security as an Inalienable Right  | Deborah H. Barnes
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***


Faith communities, government agencies, nonprofits, civic leaders, university professors, and concerned citizens have worked assiduously to mediate the problem of food insecurity in North Carolina. Community gardens, food reclamation and redistribution efforts, feeding programs, nutritional and cooking instruction, among many other initiatives have been successful in supporting those in need. And yet, too many of our neighbors continue to go hungry or are forced to rely upon non-nutritious, calorie-dense, industrial foods–the only options that are available in the food deserts and food swamps where they live. Food giveaways on which the poor may rely provide mostly “shelf stable” foods, that are filling, but also constitute poor nutrition. Thus, many strategies deployed to fill the hunger gap offer unhealthy options to stave off hunger, which may cause negative health impacts. Poor nutrition not only leads to obesity, malnutrition and disease, it also impedes the consumer’s life chances and longevity. Thus, our current strategies to thwart hunger are not the panacea we intend. This session asks hunger relief professionals and advocates to “come back to the table” to reimagine healthy visions for food security that can be deployed at local and state levels. Not satisfied to trade the problem of hunger for the problem of malnutrition, we will design a system that will provide healthy, fresh, affordable foods for all. We will ask creative and critical thinkers to pose new questions and offer new strategies for designing a new sustainable, local food system that considers food an inalienable right.
 
Building Resilience is Not a Zero Sum Game: When Communities Look Within  | Nicole Johnson and Josie Walker
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***

While most communities could use extra funding to support their initiatives, funds are not always available at the time needed. And if funds exist, communities are pressured to compete both internally and externally with other worthy initiatives. The good news is that building resiliency is not a zero sum game. Communities can look in and around their communities to identify what they already possess, move forward with their vision, and in so doing, build resiliency. Being resilient means being resourceful. This takes planning, focus, and an attitude of optimism. If we believe we can achieve our goal, finding solutions to our problems is an easier task. Communities who approach building resiliency with a clear idea of the resources they have are better able to identify what’s missing, what’s present, who’s missing and why. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16) With knowledge we gain power and with power comes responsibility. We all have the power to make the food system more equitable and more just and it is each of our duty to do all that we can to make it so. In this workshop, we will work through real-life community issues in order to demonstrate a process of building resilience from start to finish. We hope that participants will leave the workshop with a sense of how to address issues and how to explore unconventional means to solve problems.



Demystifying Runaway Inequality for Social Justice Activists  | Sarah Fletcher Daniels
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.
***This workshop is available for Spanish interpretation***


It’s no secret that the rich are getting richer while the rest of us are finding it harder to make ends meet. Why do the wealthy get all the breaks while so many others struggle to pay the bills, live in fear of a major health crisis, and get buried under debt? Many of our country’s problems are getting worse because of a major underlying issue: inequality.

According to author and labor activist Les Leopold, Runaway Inequality is the “ever-increasing gap in income and wealth between the super-rich and the rest of us.” This economic inequality has been growing at an unprecedented rate since the 1970s, but most people don’t know that the primary reason is something you’ve probably never heard of: financialization. For those of us who aren’t economists, demystifying the causes of Runaway Inequality is essential to empowering and coordinating social justice activism.

Reversing inequality will be necessary to alleviate economic insecurity, racial injustice, the decline of democracy, defunding of public services, environmental degradation, and numerous other social problems. This workshop will provide the knowledge and inspiration needed to bring regular people together in a broad-based movement for lasting, fundamental change.

  These workshops discuss ways race impacts food production, distribution and access and how communities build resilience as they work to transform systems toward food security, sovereignty, equity, and justice.

Racial Wealth Gap Simulation  | Michelle Osborne and Laketa Smith
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 – 12:30 p.m.
and Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


The Racial Wealth Gap simulation is an interactive tool that helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. It is a good first step for people unaware of structural inequality, a support tool for those who want a deeper understanding of structural inequality, and a source of information for experts who want to know the quantifiable economic impact of each policy that has widened today’s racial hunger, income, and wealth divides.




Creating the Catawba Trail Farm  | Lucille Patterson and Delphine Sellars
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


Developing a partnership and collaborative relationship with Land Conservation Organizations to address equity in agricultural acquisition can lead to opportunities to increase food security and better community health. Learn how Urban Community AgriNomics (UCAN) was able to acquire access to 53 acres of conservation property and their efforts to reclaim an old farmstead that was once part of a plantation system covering several thousand miles. UCAN will take participants through the entire two year process leading to the establishment of the Catawba Trail Farm. Come explore with UCAN the many lessons learned, pitfalls, and setbacks experienced by a small minority nonprofit.

Building a Community of Practice Through Dialogue on Racial Equity and Food  | Shorlette Ammons and Abbey Piner
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


Improving our ability to apply a racial equity analysis takes practice. Come hear one method that the Committee on Racial Equity (CORE) team and their allies at the Center for Environmental Farming Services (CEFS) are using to do just that, and share your own experiences and tools for intentional practice. We will share an overview of the process that has developed among CEFS employees and our community of practice in equitable food systems in the Triangle, experience a quick version of this practice, and share your own wisdom, insights, and reactions. Leave with a copy of the toolkit for implementing this practice in your own communities.


Just, local, sustainable farms are key players in our collective food sovereignty. This track has informational sessions for farmers and those interested in issues of land and access to learn about available resources and programs.

Navigating Disaster Recovery for Direct Market & Organic Farmers
 Scott Marlow
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Finding support for your farm following a disaster can be an overwhelming and confusing task – especially for direct market and organic producers – 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 farmers can turn with questions for themselves or others.

Nurturing a Community-Based Food Safety Culture  | Trish Tripp
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


Consumers of fresh produce are interested in learning more about how you mitigate food safety risks within your farm or community gardens. Managing small-scale production areas often encompass the need for volunteers and community support making it difficult to identify necessary food safety practices to ensure proper handling of fresh produce. During this session, you will learn about the top food safety risks and be provided tools to identify and mitigate the risks within your operation. CFSA’s Local Produce Safety Initiative staff will share with you ideas on how to cultivate relationships within your community and how to maintain a consistent food safety culture.



Standing on a Lot of Love: Land Justice in Connection with Food Justice  | Mavis Gragg
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


This session will discuss the importance of land ownership as a means of food equity; the history of land ownership in the United States with particular emphasis on inequities and the continuing impact of those inequities; current legal challenges that impact land ownership; and how to address these challenges.




Cultivating Land Justice: Wealth Retention Strategies for Families and Communities | Omari Wilson (Land Loss Prevention Project), Tahz Walker (RAFI-USA), and Farmers from RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

In this workshop, we will learn and hear stories from RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network as they discuss strategies to protect land & home, agricultural business ownership, and ways to stabilize and grow wealth within families and communities. “Land is legacy and promise, its retention and utilization essential to community economic development and environmental sustainability.”


Community-based solutions to hunger or other social issues are best achieved through strong community engagement. This track explores tools and strategies that create opportunities for communities to be actively engaged in the development of solutions.

Consent-based Decision Making: A Cornerstone for Collaboration
 Megan Bolejack and Gini Knight
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Community Food Strategies uses a consent-based decision making process as a core tool for building trust, ownership, relationship, and shared responsibility among our project team. We are excited to share the Circle Forward method as a tool useful for teams of any sort – community groups, organizations, and collaboratives. We will share the basic principles of this practice, offer reflections on our experiences in the benefits of consent-based decision making (different from consensus), and practice the method with participants. You will leave with tools reviewing the basic principles and steps for the Circle Forward Decision Process, and information for where to find more tools and skills in this approach.

Being a Better Ally: Strategies, Challenges, and Common Pitfalls for Community Engagement  | Alicia McDaniel and Renai Wisley
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


This workshop will explore the impacts that traditional community engagement practices have on community allies and stakeholders. Attendees will be guided through a discussion and activities that highlight more equitable and inclusive community engagement strategies. Common challenges like community member exhaustion, exclusion, and “tokenism” will be explored and problem solved. The workshop aims to highlight that even with the best intentions of community engagement, injustices do occur, but can be avoided given sincere consideration to the internal dynamics of the communities served.

Mobilizing a Community Around Just, Local Food Access  | Jordyn Appel
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


This session explores how Feast Down East mobilized efforts to address inequalities in accessing healthy and local foods in low-income neighborhoods in Wilmington, NC. The Local Motive Mobile Farmers Market program was designed based on intentional and honest conversations through roundtable sessions and door-to-door surveying in ten Wilmington Housing Authority neighborhoods, with the goal of creating an inclusive mobile farmers market representing the needs expressed by the communities. With food sourced from the Feast Down East Food Hub, the Local Motive Mobile Farmers Market accepts SNAP/EBT, offers ‘Double-Up’ incentives, and includes a Community Advocate program at each market, creating a stronger sense of ownership among residents. The market also highlights existing health-based educational resources through collaborations with the Cape Fear Food Council, to address healthy food access barriers. This discussion will outline the road blocks and speedpasses experienced in starting a mobile farmers market and share feedback from public housing residents and partners.



Hear the stories of youth who are working toward a just and sustainable food system.

Engaging Black Youth in Agriculture: The Story of Sankofa Farms
 Kamal Bell and the Sankofa Youth Program
Session #1: Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


Agriculture serves as an abundant source of inspiration, education, and a cultural setting for youth. Join Kamal Bell and the Sankofa Youth Program, as we discuss how food, culture, and education can be used as a tool to uplift, and inspire youth leadership. In this workshop we will explore the history and origin story of Sankofa Farms, the educational methodology (Why and How we learn what we learn), and lastly how we use the cultural principles of Sankofa as a guiding principle in how we grow food, build relationships, and create a learning environment.

Making Sustainable Ag Cool for Young People 101  | Chester Williams and the ABC2 Youth Program
Session #2: Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.


The signature program, at ABC2, the World Changers is a program for disadvantaged young people ages 10-24 of various academic levels, demographics, who are living in economic deprived rural communities. These areas also suffer from disproportionate health disparities and access to systems of care & resources. Learn how to empower young people by, providing a life skills program that promotes: positive values, healthy habits, and education through community development, culture, and awareness– resulting in real life power. ABC2 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth empowerment in rural Halifax County, North Carolina. As part of their Healthy Foods Initiative, ABC2 is developing a community farm known as the Garden of Hope, Prosperity, and Change. Our overall health outcomes have become a focal point in our rural communities of Halifax County. ABC2 goal is to continue empowering young people to become Community Leaders/Advocates by creating a sustainable youth-led agriculture model of a Community Farm of Hope, Prosperity, Change to support youth led projects around health, economic development, and education.

Food Youth Initiative and Theory of Change Model: Youth Change-Makers in the Food System  | The Food Youth Initiative
Session #3: Wednesday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.


The Food Youth Initiative is a network of youth that envision and support the advancement of a just food system. The network focuses on issues from immigration, (migrant) farm labor rights, community ownership, and awareness raising around school to prison pipeline. They work creatively through all of these issues with food and justice as their platform. Attendees are welcome to engage youth on their experiences, challenges and uniques opportunities in their advocacy, policy and justice work.

Youth Ambassadors for a Better Community  | Randolph Keaton and Youth Ambassadors for  a Better Community
Session #4: Wednesday, 3:00 – 4:15 p.m.


Founded in 2015, Youth Ambassadors for a Better Community (YABC) is a Youth Leadership Group located in Delco, NC. Our mission is to “ increase the quantity, quality and sustainability of community gardens throughout B.E.S.T. (Bolton, East Arcadia, Sandyfield Towns). Our group prides itself as the first youth lead food policy council in the State with a focus of instilling leadership, entrepreneurship and social skills in teens across the Tri-County areas of Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus Counties.  Our goals are:
  • Increasing garden activity opportunity
  • Increasing food stability
  • Bringing communities together
  • Promoting environmental, social, and economic awareness