Food Sovereignty Workshop

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Globally, 27% of people faced moderate or severe food insecurity in 2019, representing more than 2 billion people. Community-Centered Approaches for Food Systems Transformation discussed the question: "How we might reprioritize research and teaching based on community partnership rather than "expertise?" In other words, how might learning from communities take precedence over learning about them. The workshop began with a call to action as we discussed the cultural contexts of local food systems locally and around the world. In her keynote, Dr. Phipps shed light on research and grassroots projects that address this urgent crisis, highlighting the work currently being done by communities to produce nutrient-dense, culturally relevant cuisine. Dr. Phipps' keynote was followed by examples of community food systems work being done in the U.S., Belize, and Yemen. The conversation was moderated by culturally-relevant food systems expert, Associate Professor Mary Rodriguez, who has done work in the Middle East and with diaspora communities in Columbus. Conversations that followed centered on the types of actions that might be taken, and were continued at Ohio State's STEAM Factory the next day, including representatives of local non-profit organizations such Ohio Food Banks, South Side Family Farms, Bronzeville Growers Market. A special thanks to our sponsors and to the speakers, consultants, hosts, and facilitators who helped us make the workshop a success. Thanks to the participants who came to the workshop and joined us in lively conversations. We are so grateful to all of you for sharing your expertise, experiences, and energy with us.


The materials you will find here were produced for the Food Sovereignty Workshop held at the Ohio State University on October 13th and 14th 2022. "Community-Centered Approaches for Food Systems Transformation" focused on university-community partnerships and the importance of learning from communities about their local food systems, both historically and in the present moment while conducting research. Several communities involved in food sovereignty efforts were represented at the workshop in addition to 27 different units at Ohio State University. Speakers also represented Historically Black University, Central State, and Menominee Tribal College. Five government offices and 6 non-profit organizations were also represented. The food sovereignty workshop resulted in new connections between practitioner, government, and university networks. Contacts were made between urban farming and gardening organizations such as Growing and Growth Collective and Southside Family Farms, Bronzeville Growers Market, city and county agencies such as the Center for Public Health and the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. A team formed at the food sovereignty workshop that is doing work directly relevant to Goal B-10 of the City's Food System's Plan, "Engaging cultural communities in Columbus". The purpose of Goal B-10 is to engage cultural communities in Columbus and address inequities. The team is creating "A Cultural Heritage Learning Place" focused on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. The workshop opened with an acknowledgment that Ohio State University owes the many tribal communities impacted by its land grant establishment and continued benefits from tribal lands. The workshop served as a call to action to right those historic wrongs and the ongoing harms from disrupted native food systems. We emphasized community-partnered research that puts local communities in the forefront of research and that includes local practitioners. Presentations showed that this approach offers paths forward in various areas of food systems research and university outreach that are both ethical and sustainable. Food sovereignty served as a lens for exploring how these types of research can work and how they can impact our knowledge and mindsets. A full report is included among the items here.


food security, food sovereignty, subsistence agriculture, diversity, equity, equity-mindedness, ethnicity, inclusion, equality, cultural humility