Food Sovereignty Workshop Program is Finalized

September 1, 2022

Food Sovereignty Workshop Program is Finalized

A "bostan" or community garden in Istanbul.  Photo by Melinda McClimans. All rights reserved.

Food Sovereignty Workshop: Community-Centered Approaches for Food Systems Transformation

October 13 - October 14, 2022

9:00AM - 4:00PM

Locations: OSU Thompson Library (Day 1) and the STEAM Factory (Day 2)

Brought to you by the Middle East Studies Center, Global Water Institute, and University Libraries

Event Page:

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 will be framed around 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 will focus on the cultural contexts of local food systems and will look at cases in the U.S., the Middle East, and other regions. We will examine a variety of practices, including historic food production, projects in urban areas, and others. Food sovereignty is especially urgent for Native American communities, many of whom continue to bear the burdens of displacement from their native lands. 

Headlining the workshop is Dr. Brandy Phipps, Research Assistant Professor of Food, Nutrition, and Health – Agriculture Research Development Program, Central State University who will serve as the keynote speaker, focusing on the SUSHI food sovereignty project she is leading in partnership with the Menominee Tribal College of Wisconsin. Her keynote will be followed by a roundtable conversation between experienced researchers doing work in food systems in the U.S., Belize, and Yemen. They will shed light on research and grassroots projects that address this urgent crisis, highlighting the work currently being done by communities around the world to produce nutrient-dense, culturally relevant cuisine. 

The workshop will take place over the course of two days and will be an opportunity for participants to deepen their understanding, form partnerships, and begin taking action right away. The conversations from day 1 will continue on day 2, which is geared towards turning all of this information and discussion into new activities by facilitating new collaborations. Some outcomes we might achieve by 3:00 on Friday include: new course development, teams formed around aspects of current programs, new grant/funded project proposal teams formed, institutional pathways for more equitable research, and whatever the assets and creativity each person brings to the table can achieve. To continue the discussion after the workshop, we are partnering with Columbus’ Growing and Growth Collective on a film series focused on food sovereignty projects locally and around the world. 


Day 1 - Thursday, October 13th at the Thompson Library, 11th floor

9:00 Welcome Remarks and Coffee

9:15 Keynote Address - Dr. Brandy Phipps, Research Assistant Professor of Food, Nutrition, and Health – Agriculture Research Development Program, Central State University will present the SUSHI food sovereignty project she is leading in partnership with the Menominee Tribal College of Wisconsin. Learn more about her work in this short video

10:15 Q & A with Dr. Phipps and her partner on the project, Mr. Brian Kowalkowski, Dean of Continuing Education, College of Menominee Nation

11:00 Breakout on the question: "How Might Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice goals be advanced through food sovereignty?"

12:00 Lunch

1:00 Roundtable Discussion 

Roundtable speakers:

Brian Kowalkowski
Dean, Department of Continuing Education
College of Menominee Nation

Daniel Varisco
President, American Institute for Yemeni Studies
Anthropologist, Historian

Kareem M. Usher, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
College of Engineering / Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture City and Regional Planning Section


Mary Rodriguez
Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership

2:30 Speaker stories and community-engaged research practices

3:30 Resources for grants, research, outreach

4:00 wrap up


Day 2 - Friday, October 14th at the STEAM Factory

9:00 Welcome

9:15 Ice breaker

9:45 "Imagine food sovereignty work as a community-university partnership. What would that look like?"

10:00 Outcomes visioning process in breakouts

12:00 Break

1:00 Team-building

2:00 Wrap-up Share out projects.

3:00 Program is concluded


This food sovereignty workshop is brought to you by a partnership between University Libraries, the Global Water Institute, and the Middle East Studies Center. Our partnership with the Growing and Growth Collective supports this workshop and the film series on Food Sovereignty we will be co-hosting (More details coming!). Co-sponsors include: the Newark Earthworks Center with a grant from the OSU Indigenous Arts & Humanities (IAH) / Global Arts & Humanities (GAH) Discovery Theme,  the STEAM Factory, the Department of Near Eastern and South Asian Languages and CulturesCFAES AgroEcosystems Management Program (AMP), the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Comparative Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the CFAES Rattan Lal Center for the Study of Carbon Management and Sequestration (C-MASC). If you or your organization would like to support the workshop or related programming please get in contact:




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