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Food & Justice Events

  • Food and Climate Justice Events

  • flyer with title
    November 2, 2022
    From Emergency Food Assistance toward Food Justice: A Conversation with Andy Fisher

    Andy Fisher, author of Big Hunger, Executive Director of EcoFarm, and a leading force for social  and ecological justice in the anti-hunger and food movements in the U.S. shared his insights. Andy and colleagues discussed the charity-based emergency food system’s response to hunger exacerbated by COVID-19. The panel assessed the benefits and risks of the system’s rapid expansion, and persistent challenges from the system’s lack of long-term investment in community-organizing and policy change to address the root causes of hunger. This discussion also identified several positive examples of programmatic change, such as the universal school meals in California, student basic needs programs at some universities, and food bank partnerships with food justice groups, as well as longer term work to advance the human right to food and alleviate poverty.  The conversation was hosted by the South Bay Food Justice Collaborative; moderated by the Initiative’s Christopher Bacon; convened by Wei-ting Chen, Executive Director, Stanford Food for Health Equity Lab; and facilitated by Lucy Diekmann, Urban Agriculture/Food Systems Advisor, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

    >>watch the video

  • classroom full of family farmers
    August 16 and 17, 2022
    Food Security, Dietary Diversity and Climate Resilience

    The Initiative’s Chris Bacon and Maria Eugenia Flores, community partners Misael Rivas (PRODECOOP) and Raul Diaz (ASDENIC), and local cooperatives and research assistants met with more than 60 family farmers to present and discuss their participatory action research on diversification for food security, dietary diversity and climate resilience.  This report back to community participants was based on four years of research on smallholder coffee systems in Mesoamerica. Additional collaborators included Universidad Nacional Agraria in Nicaragua, Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas (CESMACH) and El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) in Chiapas, Mexico, and the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and The University of Vermont.

  • Decolonizing Food Justice Flier Image
    April 28, 2022, Santa Clara University
    Decolonizing the Food System - Keynote Address & Roundtable Discussion

    Raj Patel, a noted expert in the world food system, delivered the keynote talk in an event on  decolonizing the food system to address intertwined problems of hunger, climate change, racism, and food sovereignty. Emily Schweng (Veggielution), Fernando Fernandez Leiva (La Mesa Verde), Paola Felix (Environmental Studies ‘22), and moderator Chris Bacon offered responses from their perspectives as activists and researchers for local food justice. The Initiative co-sponsored this event with SCU’s Center for Arts and Humanities, and the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education’s Bannan Forum.

  • The Ants and the Grasshopper documentary film cover
    January 13, 2022, Santa Clara University
    Screening of The Ants and the Grasshopper and talk with Raj Patel

    Following a screening of The Ants and the Grasshopper, Professor Chris Bacon hosted a talkback with the film’s co-director Raj Patel, an author and expert on global food systems, about female small farmers and climate change. The film follows Anita Chitaya, a small farmer and local leader in the village of Bwabwa, Malawi, as she travels from her drought-stricken village to meet farmers and politicians in the US to share the impact of climate change on her life. The film explores how power and privilege shape climate justice and food justice from Africa to America. The Initiative co-sponsored this event with the SCU Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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    October 12, 2021, Santa Clara University
    Connecting Collective Actions for Food Justice

    The Initiative’s Chris Bacon and Lauren Ornelas of San Jose's Food Empowerment Project discussed how activists and academics engage with ethics, rights, sustainability, culture, and plant-based diets as food systems change during the climate crisis. The Food Empowerment Project presented their  many community programs from farmworker and food justice to grocery store campaigns with a special focus on vegan diets and chocolate. They mentioned how SCU campus researchers have analyzed the role of food in contributing to global warming, and the ways that social and environmental justice intermingle. They taught how to act and organize to access more culturally-relevant food offerings and environmental justice outcomes in school, community and the world.

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    April 19, 2021
    New Horizons in Conservation Conference Student Research Presentation

    During Earth Week, a group of Santa Clara University students presented their research at the New Horizons in Conservation Conference organized by the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Sustainability Initiative within Yale’s School of the Environment. Under the guidance of Professor Christopher Bacon (Environmental Studies & Sciences), Chloe Gentile-Montgomery ‘21 (Environmental Science and Ethnic Studies), Julia Jenak ‘21 (Environmental Science), and Ben Grundy ‘21 (Environmental Science and Political Science) are uncovering the reality of food and housing insecurity among students at SCU. Following the conference, the student’s reported that their research was well received by the poster judges and the other researchers in the session. One of the biggest takeaways for the student research group was how important it is to collaborate and share information with community members, other researchers, and the general public in order to address issues of environmental injustice. While expressing her satisfaction with the conference, Chloe Gentile-Montgomery said that she “appreciated how marginalized voices were highlighted and how open the discussion was.” The research team hopes that their research will help inform the University on the extent of needs insecurity among students, increase awareness of and access to resources for students dealing with food insecurity, and break down the stigma around food insecurity so that all students can move towards food sovereignty.

    >>watch the video

  • SCU Food Insecurity Image
    April 19, 2021, Santa Clara University
    Poster on Student Food Security and Sovereignty at Santa Clara University

    Under the guidance of Christopher Bacon, three undergraduate students Chloe Gentile-Montgomery '21 (Environmental Science and Ethnic Studies), Julia Jenak '21 (Environmental Science), and Ben Grundy '21 (Environmental Science and Political Science) presented their research on student food and housing insecurity as well as efforts to build food sovereignty at SCU.

  • Global Food Security Conference Logo
    December 7,2020
    Poster presentation during the 4th International Conference on Global Food Security

    Assessing Diversification, Food Security, and Dietary Diversity with Organized Smallholders in Nicaragua

    Christopher Bacon and Gabriella Ballardo ‘21 (Environmental Studies and Italian Studies) presented the poster “Assessing Diversification, Food Security, and Dietary Diversity with Organized Smallholders in Nicaragua” at the Fourth International (Online) Conference on Global Food Security based in Montpellier France. Co-authors of this research include Maria Eugenia Flore Gomez, Skyler Kriese (‘20), Erica Martinez (‘20), Emma McCurry (‘21), Gabriela Hamm (‘20),  and Annalicia Anaya (‘20) as well as colleagues from the National Agricultural University and the PRODECOOP Cooperative in Nicaragua. Although increasing evidence suggests that agroecology-based farm diversification can generate multiple benefits little is known about what types of diversification work for whom and how it correlates with key livelihood outcomes. The poster summarized four years of community- based participatory action research and identified diversification as a key strategy for improving household dietary diversity with potential to also support gender equity and climate resilience.  For those of us in California, it was a lively 6:30 am conversation with participants from different parts of the world and diverse backgrounds.

    12.07.2020 Poster: Nicaragua AgroecologyFoodSecurityGlobal Conference

  • Gather Film
    November 16, 2020
    Gather: A film screening and talkback with the Director of the film, Sanjay Rawal

    Gather: A film screening in honor of Native American Heritage Month, followed by a talkback with the Director of the film, Sanjay Rawal.  Gather examines Native American reclaiming their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty. This event was cohosted by OML, ODI, The Forge Garden and The Environmental Justice and Common Good Initiative.


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    September 15, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Food Justice Program Congratulates Pauline Phuong Nguyen - Nancy Keil Service Excellence Award Winner in 2020!

    The Environmental Justice and Common Good Initiative congratulates Pauline Phuong Nguyen for her award given by the College of Arts and Sciences for her service. While her primary services have been to the Ethnic Studies Department, other Departments, Initiatives and so many students, have also benefited from her generosity.  In May 2020, Pauline responded to our Food Justice Program's call for help to serve Vietnamese gardeners in San Jose as part of a collective response to Covid 19, volunteering her translation services to help Valley Verde reach Vietnamise speaking communities in San Jose.  She translated multiple documents and a video, which is dedicated to building healthy and resilient communities by providing low-income families educational programs, edible gardens, and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities that create food security and lead to self-sufficiency.


  • Hand up holding a beet
    September 1st, 2020
    Testimony on the Food Systems and Public Comment Relating to Item 10: Food, Restaurants, Agriculture, and Health Access Initiative

    The South Bay Food Justice Collaborative's  submitted a comment to  contribute to SCC board of supervisors meeting agenda item #10 regarding the Food, Agriculture and Health Access Initiative (FAHAI) Referral and a report back that took place online on september 1st, part of this agenda packet.  Christopher Bacon worked with an intern Katherine Omalley on this policy doc, and also collaborated with colleagues from La Mesa Verde, Second Harvest Food Bank, Stanford and others with the goal to build more equity into the emergency food security response and also try to build back a more sustainable food system


  • real food challenge logo
    April 23, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Real Food Challenge: A Case Study

    In this online panel organized by the tUrn Project, SCU Food System Fellows Emma McCurry and Tyler Whittaker, advised by the Initiative’s Chris Bacon and Center for Sustainability Director Lindsey Kalkbrenner, shared their findings after analyzing 11,000 lines of data to assess the sustainability of SCU’s food sourcing and discussed plans to draw down global warming emissions one meal plan at a time


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    April 23, 2020, Santa Clara University
    Transformative Leadership In Agriculture, Education & Science Research

    Iris Stewart-Frey participated in an online panel organized by the SCU tUrn Project with Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Winegrowers, and Nitzan Pelman, CEO and Founder of Climb Hire, an inclusive talent development firm.


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    March 6, 2020
    Jahi Chappell - Food Justice

    Jahi Chappell, author of Beginning to End Hunger (UC Press), and recently-appointed Executive Director of Food First, presented recent research and future prospects for food systems change at scales ranging from cities to international policy fora convened by the United Nations, drawing on his study in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He also shared lessons for how university researchers can collaborate productively and respectfully with communities, which helped to inform the Initiative’s ongoing work with the emerging South Bay Food Justice Collaborative. Chappell’s talk was co-sponsored by SCU’s Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Leavey School of Business.
    Image: Jahi Chappell

    >>watch the video

  • South Bay Food Justice half day worshop on March 6 2020
    March 6, 2020
    Food Justice in the South Bay Half Day Workshop

    The EJ and Common Good Initiative's emerging food justice program collaborated with the University of California Cooperative Extension and community-based food justice groups, including Fresh Approach, La Mesa Verde, Valle Verde, and Veggielution, to organize a half-day workshop at SCU. The workshop brought together 38 South Bay organizations working on food justice, farming, and public health issues for learning, dialogue, and exploration of potential research and social change partnerships to leverage collective impact. Participants shared their work and learned from food justice leaders in the wider Bay Area.

    Photo Credit: Isabel Medina, Fresh Approach

    >> read the South Bay Food Justice Workshop Agenda
    >> read the South Bay Food Justice workshop Executive Summary


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    October 18, 2019, Santa Clara University
    Who Pays? Environmental In/Justice

    Alumnae and former research assistant Déjà Thomas (‘16) discussed environmental justice in California, including Thomas’ action-oriented research on food justice, race, and transformative climate adaptation in Southern California. Like her SCU faculty mentor Christopher Bacon, Thomas was recently awarded a Switzer Fellowship. She is completing a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, as well as a Food Studies Certificate, at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.