Adult Opportunities

Toward Resilient and Equitable Food Systems (online)

Learn actionable steps to transform our food systems in this online course.

Content Detail

Throughout this five-session online workshop, participants will delve into the interconnected web of environmental, social, and political factors shaping our food systems. From understanding the impacts of climate change on agriculture to dissecting the inequities embedded within current practices, we’ll uncover pathways for change that prioritize sustainability and justice.

Attendees will gain insights into practical strategies for effecting change at various levels – from small-scale initiatives in their own backyards to advocacy efforts at the federal level. Through engaging discussions, interactive activities, and real-world case studies, participants will leave equipped with actionable steps to drive positive transformation within their communities and beyond.

As a highlight of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to join an optional site visit to a local grain farm that is starting the transition to organic practices. Attendees will be able to meet with an organic farmer and see how different practices on the farm can help build up a more resilient and equitable food system from the ground up.

This program meets live online with an optional site visit to Maple Park, Illinois.

Instructors: Rozina Kanchwala, executive director, Eco.Logic

Guest speakers: Gina Roxas, executive director, Trickster Cultural Center; Ranjani Prabhakar, legislative director, Earthjustice; and Mark Harbecke, organic farmer

Age: 16 and older

Course number: H905

Instructor

Rozina Kanchwala, executive director, Eco.Logic

Rozina Kanchwala serves as a director of programs at the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) and is the founding executive director of Eco.Logic, an organization that uses the power of art, fosters meaningful connections, and provides education to make environmental action accessible and personal. As a Fulbright scholar, Kanchwala spent a year in India studying agrarian distress and then completed her master’s degree in environment and sustainable development at University College London. Kanchwala is currently spearheading a land restoration project to transform an ecologically problematic corn farm into a climate solution in Kane County, Illinois.

Guest Speakers

Ranjani Prabhakar, legislative director, Earthjustice

Ranjani Prabhakar is the legislative director at Earthjustice, where she leads a team of advocates dedicated to defending and improving federal safeguards for clean air, clean water, and against toxics exposure. Prabhakar has focused on sustainable food and farming issues, including leading the Earthjustice policy platform on the 2023 Farm Bill and developing legislative and partnership strategies to support a just, equitable, and climate-focused agriculture system. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Prabhakar served on the mayor’s policy team for mayors Rahm Emanuel and Lori Lightfoot for the City of Chicago, where she worked on policy initiatives and programs in the clean energy and mobility spaces.

Gina Roxas, executive director, Trickster Cultural Center

Gina Roxas is an ethnobotanist and a prairie expert who serves as the executive director of the Trickster Cultural Center, where she works to connect people with Native American teachings and traditions.

Mark Harbecke, organic farmer

Mark Harbecke comes from a family of farmers. In 2018, he began transitioning his land to organic farming. For attendees who join the optional in-person session, you will have the chance to meet him and learn about the actual steps it takes to transition from conventional to organic grain farming.

What to Know

This program takes place on Zoom with one field session in Maple Park, Illinois. Driving directions will be provided at the first class meeting. The field session is optional but recommended. Students may self-arrange carpools.

A link to the Zoom sessions will be provided upon registration.

Program Schedule

This program includes the following five meeting dates and times: four live online sessions and one in-person field session.

Wednesday, July 31, 2024, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Online
Thursday, August 1, 2024, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Online
Saturday, August 3, 2024, 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Maple Park, Illinois
Wednesday, August 7, 2024, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Online
Thursday, August 8, 2024, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Online

Zoom; optional field session in Maple Park, Illinois

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