Focusing on Food Sovereignty — April 23

As part of Green Week, on April 23 there will be an afternoon/evening event called Focusing on Food Sovereignty: The Global to Local Struggle for Food Freedom. The event aims to address the emerging global grassroots movement seeking to promote the human condition by helping to give communities from Bangladesh to Wisconsin the ability to determine their own food systems.The event includes an afternoon of speakers, and a dinner celebrating our own local food system and unveiling the exciting plans for food in the new sustainable south campus union. For more information, download the event flyer or visit the Green Week website.

The event will host a diverse lineup of speakers throughout the day, each of whom will address the issue from the unique perspective of their expertise, which ranges from local efforts to promote family farms in Wisconsin to the global campaign to unite peasant agricultural efforts. Speakers will all be hosted in the UW Law School, and the dinner will be held in Smith Hall.

The second part of the event will bring the day’s speakers together for a dinner in Smith Hall featuring food from the Union’s newest (and most popular) food operation, the Capitol Cafe, made with additional local ingredients procured from area farmers. The dinner will also feature side items from Porchlight, a Madison-based non-profit that works to help homeless individuals get back on their feet. The dinner program will include a presentation of the new union’s food service operations and a panel discussion will all the day’s speakers and representatives from the Union about the importance of local food and how it can be increasingly incorporated into campus food operations.

While the speaker lineup and conference format is unique in itself, this event breaks new ground by connecting this pivotal issue to the campus community by integrating the event into both the programing of one of the university’s newest residential communities and the Wisconsin Union’s transformational building project. By heavily marketing this event to and reserving dinner tickets for Smith Hall residents, “Focusing on Food Sovereignty” will give the residence community’s students an excellent opportunity to learn more about both food sovereignty and the new union in a way that would otherwise be unavailable. It will also give campus community members an opportunity to visit this brand new residence hall.