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Agroecology for food system change: A dialogue series on land, life, and livelihood

29 October 2020

Ecojesuit and the Initiative on Environmental Justice (EJ) and the Common Good of Santa Clara University (SCU) in California, USA, are organizing an online dialogue series on Agroecology for food system change to promote food and agricultural systems for the common good.

The first session, to be held on 18 November at 6:30 pm PST (California time), focuses on the topic Using agroecology to drive food system change in North and Central America: Responses and collaborations to address the present economic-ecological crisis,in partnership with the Jesuit Conference of South Asia. 

The agroecology dialogue seeks to bring together community practitioners, experts, young Jesuits, students, entrepreneurs, and those interested to encourage learning and collaboration, at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is exposing the deeper economic and ecological crisis.

The role of community-based participatory research is critical in this process as it bridges theory and praxis and can guide the needed agroecology transitions and food system changes that respect local practices, wisdom, and culture. This is especially true in the broad marginalized regions where accompaniment and leadership are critical.

Globally renowned environmental expert and advocate, Dr. Vandana Shiva, director of Navdanya International and a panelist in the ecology webinar Protecting Earth-Our Common Home: Reviving Agroecology in July 2020, will join the discussions and present a global overview of agroecology as a response to the pandemic and food systems change.

Dr. Chris Bacon, Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at SCU, and who launched the Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative with Associate Professor Iris Stewart-Frey, will focus on community-based research on local and regional scales towards greater food justice and building back better. 

Testimonials and insights from the field will enrich the session with clear examples of action from La Mesa Verde (Sacred Heart Community Service), a network of urban gardeners in San José, California, Valley Verde, a community food system and urban agriculture model in the San Jose/Silicon Valley area that promotes healthy eating and provides food access and micro-entrepreneurship, and Fresh Approach whose mission is to improve healthy food access in the Bay Area communities, also in California.

Moderated by Ecojesuit Global Coordinator Pedro Walpole, this activity emerged from the Ecojesuit dialogues with the six Jesuit conferences of which connecting agroecology and entrepreneurship was identified as one of the six Ecojesuit lead actions to contribute to build a better normal. Future sessions will give focus to South American and African contexts. For those interested to participate, please register here.

For further information and questions, please email Brex Arevalo at [email protected] or Maria Eugenia Gomez at [email protected]

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