posted September 22, 2010

Symposium to Address “Good Food for the Common Good”

Multiple topics related to food, from justice to nutrition to the environment to politics, will be addressed during this year's Critical Issues Symposium at Hope College, titled "Good Food for the Common Good" and scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 5-6.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The college's annual Critical Issues Symposium provides an intensive look at a single topic. This year's symposium will feature two keynote addresses; two blocks of concurrent focus sessions; and several department-sponsored sessions before, during and following the symposium.

The symposium events open on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel with a keynote address by Bryant Terry, who is an eco-chef and food justice activist.  For the past nine years, Bryant has worked to build a more just and sustainable food system, using cooking as a tool to illuminate the intersections among poverty, structural racism and food insecurity.  He is a fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program, and author of publications including the 2009 book "Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine."   A reception and book-signing will follow the address.

The symposium will continue on Wednesday, Oct. 6, beginning at 9 a.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel with a keynote address by Joel Salatin, an American farmer, lecturer and author who has been honored as a Heinz Award recipient for creating alternative, environmentally friendly farming techniques, spawning a movement towards local, sustainable agriculture that has been replicated by family farms around the country.  His books include "You Can Farm:  The Entrepreneur's Guide to Star and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise," "Salad Bar Beef" and "Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal:  War Stories from the Local Food Front."

The morning concurrent focus sessions on Wednesday, Oct. 6, will begin at 10:30 a.m. Topics will include will include a cooking demonstration by Bryant Terry; the panel discussion "The CSA Farm Experience," featuring Anja Mast of Trillium Haven, Lee Arboreal of Eaters' Guild, and CSA members Kristen and Noah Livingstone; "Why Christians Should Care about Eating" by Dr. Norman Wirzba; "Nutritional Intake, Physical Activity and Energy Balance: Cornerstones of Obesity Epidemic?" by Kyle Morrison; and "Thriving Despite Embargoes: What Havana, Cuba and Detroit, Michigan Can Teach Us about Food Politics and Food Justice" by Dr. Tracy E. Ore.

There will be screenings of the documentary film "Eating in Place," which examines the local food movement in the Grand Rapids area, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 11:30 a.m. at 3:30 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The afternoon concurrent focus sessions on Wednesday, Oct. 6, will begin at 1 p.m. Topics will include "Local Food to the Rescue" by Joel Salatin; "When Faith Meets Social Justice Advocacy: Happy Marriage or Messy Divorce?" by Larry Hollar; "Christianity and the Good Diet" by Dr. Stephen Webb; "Cooking Up Change: Transforming the School Food and Fitness Environment in Chicago" by Rosa Ramirez; and food safety by Rebecca Rasdall.

The department-sponsored sessions scheduled in conjunction with the symposium will allow speakers to focus on a more specific area.  The first session, sponsored by sociology and social work, will be on Tuesday, Oct. 5, at 5:30 p.m.  A total of eight concurrent sessions are scheduled on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 2:15 p.m., sponsored by chemistry/nursing, education/psychology/encounter with cultures, dance, history/modern and classical languages, the Phelps Scholars Program/international education, religion, sociology and social work, and women's studies.

Nursing will sponsor an additional session on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 3:15 p.m.; philosophy on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 4 p.m.; and biology, economics, management and accounting, and geological and environmental sciences on Friday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m. 

In addition, the Distinguished Lecture Series in Sports Medicine will feature nutritionist Susan Kundrat on Monday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

The college's Critical Issues Symposium, first held in 1980, was established to stimulate serious thinking about current issues, and to provide a forum in which the Holland community, students and faculty may all engage in discussion with experts. The college cancels classes for a day to provide an opportunity for the event.

Past topics have included "Genocide," "The Middle East," "World Hunger," "The Family," "Energy," "Civil Rights," "The Quest for Justice: Christian Voices," "Lifeboat Earth: Decisions for Tomorrow," "The Columbus Legacy, 1492-1992," "Race and Social Change in America," "What Future Is in our Genes: Freedom from Disease, Good Investment, Manufactured Humans?," "Sport and American Life," "Feminism and Faith: Implications for Life," "Gold Rush and Ghost Towns: Living with the Internet," "Earth Matters: Daily Decisions, Environmental Echoes," "Putting Science in Its Place: Discovery and Responsibility," "Race and Opportunity: Echoes of Brown v. Board of Education," "Immigration: Shaping and Reshaping America," "Global Health:  From Catastrophe to Cure" and "At Water's Edge:  Complacency, Thirst, Action."

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., at College Avenue and 12th Street.  Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.

Additional information about the symposium, including locations and other details concerning the blocks of concurrent focus sessions and departmental sessions, will be available in the printed program distributed during the symposium, and may also be found through the college's website at www.hope.edu/cis