Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

UVA Symposium – Our Evolving Food System: From Slavery to Sovereignty

The University of Virginia Sustainable Food Strategy Task Force (SFSTF) hosted a Bicentennial Symposium event -- Our Evolving Food System: from Slavery to Sovereignty, on October 17 and 18, 2018.

UVA’s food system was shaped by slavery and segregation, and it continues to bear the impacts of this legacy of exploitation. What would it take for us to build a radically changed system predicated on “sovereignty,” in which historically marginalized communities take the lead in shaping the production, distribution, preparation, and enjoyment of healthy, culturally reflective food? 

During this Symposium an interdisciplinary group of activists and scholars discussed our history and a new vision for UVA’s food system. Participants learned from local and national leaders such as Malik Yakini of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and contributed ideas towards an action plan for the University.

The symposium received support from the University of Virginia Bicentennial with funding provided by the Alumni Board of Trustees, UVA Committee on Sustainability, UVA Office for Sustainability, Aramark Dining Services, President's Commission on Slavery and the University, UVA School of Architecture, Virginia Humanities, and UVA School of Nursing.