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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Food Literacy For All course will bring national leaders to Michigan for lecture series

Posted By on Wed, Dec 26, 2018 at 11:22 AM

click to enlarge Dara Cooper, co-director of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FOOD LITERACY FOR ALL
  • Photo courtesy of Food Literacy for All
  • Dara Cooper, co-director of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance.

A free lecture course featuring notable food leaders seeks to bring knowledge to improve and build a more equitable, fair, and ecologically sustainable food system in Michigan.

The University Of Michigan's Food Literacy For All course is designed to get students discussing and addressing the "diverse challenges and opportunities of both domestic and global food systems." It's co-hosted by Lily Fink Shapiro of the U-M Sustainable Food Systems Initiative; U-M professor Lesli Hoey, and Jerry Hebron, director of Detroit's North End neighborhood's Oakland Avenue Urban Farm.

Included in the list of guest speakers are critically acclaimed author and Sioux chef Sean Sherman; James Beard Award-winning author Paul Greenberg; author and Puerto Rican climate justice activist Elizabeth Yeampierre; James Beard Award-winning author Anna Lappé; Stanford professor of medicine and nutrition studies, Christopher Gardner; 2018 James Beard Leadership Award-winning activist Shirley Sherrod; Samina Raja, a University of Buffalo professor whose research focuses on planning and design for sustainable food systems and healthy communities; and Dara Cooper, co-director of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance.

click to enlarge Critically acclaimed author and Sioux chef Sean Sherman. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FOOD LITERACY FOR ALL
  • Photo courtesy of Food Literacy for All
  • Critically acclaimed author and Sioux chef Sean Sherman.

The organizers describe the course as follows:

"Concurrent food, energy, water, and climate crises, and a global rise in obesity amidst widespread hunger and undernutrition, have re-focused public attention on the deficiencies and complexities of the global food system. Yet, a diversity of ‘alternative’ food systems demonstrates that food systems can be nutrition sensitive, socially just, and conserve natural resources. Transforming food systems will require coordinated effort across scales, drawing upon diverse disciplinary and practical perspectives, and understanding how value systems shape food and agriculture. Linking theory and practice is also essential, involving the full range of actors moving food from farm to fork.

"This course offers a unique opportunity for students to gain an interdisciplinary introduction to food system issues through a seminar series bringing high profile speakers to campus from diverse sectors: policy, academia, grassroots movements, public health, conservation, and more. Students will integrate theory and practice through this partnership course that connects campus and community, led by a UM faculty member together with a co-instructor working to develop urban agriculture and enhance food justice and food sovereignty in Detroit. Students will develop competencies and cognitive skills in the area of food system sustainability including critical and systems thinking, community engagement, creativity, and analytical ability."

Classes are held each Tuesday starting on January 15 in Ann Arbor. The Detroit Food Policy Council is organizing free shuttles for Detroiters for several class sessions, and many of the course's guest speakers are also participating in events in Detroit.

Find more information here.

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