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'Food justice' focus of Local to Global Justice Festival

Local to Global Justice 2014 poster
February 26, 2014

Rain or shine, the 13th annual Local to Global Justice Forum and Festival at ASU’s Tempe campus kicks off this weekend and promises to be the biggest yet.

“The community and campus response to this year’s theme of food justice is unprecedented,” says faculty organizer Beth Blue Swadener, professor of justice and social inquiry and associate director of the School of Social Transformation. “The cross-section of topics, the number of organizations participating and the many opportunities for participants to get directly involved will make it our best effort yet. The terrific catering and the addition of a Farmers Market at this year’s event will also be quite something!”

The festival kicks off at 5 p.m., Feb. 28, outside Neeb Hall, with refreshments catered by Pomegranate Café. Beginning at 6 p.m., there will be entertainment by The Cyphers hip-hop dance collective, as well as performance artists Kate Saunders, Jade Catron and Joy Young.

March 1-2 are full days of workshops, panel discussions, youth activities and film screenings in the Farmer Building that explore the complex connections between race, class and food; health, nutrition and food; and global food systems.

Breaks throughout the festival give participants the chance to enjoy music and performances from a number of groups from the Southwest, as well as vegan and vegetarian refreshments from local caterers.

Organizers have invited speakers working locally and regionally on an array of food justice issues – from urban gardens, to GMO and nutrition issues, to faculty doing research on regional food politics in the global South.

Saturday’s keynote speaker is Darren Chapman, CEO of the Tigermountain Foundation, a Phoenix organization that is using community gardens to bridge social barriers to attack tough problems, from gangs and recidivism to poor health and under- and unemployment.

Sunday’s schedule features two keynote events: a youth keynote by Anna Rose Mohr-Almeida, an 11-year-old activist, college student and founder of Kids Climate Action Network (Kids CAN!); and a keynote by Keith McHenry – artist, author, chef and organizer – who helped found Food Not Bombs and has recovered, cooked and shared food with the hungry for more than 30 years.

All events are free and open to the public, and provisions have been made for indoor space in case of rain. Participants are encouraged to bring fruit or non-perishables for St. Mary's Food Bank to share at the event.

Explore the full schedule of Local to Global Justice 2014 events.