The iconic turkey dinner at Thanksgiving. The classic birthday cake. A warm bowl of chicken noodle soup when you’re under the weather. These are just some of the ways great food has come to symbolize the many events of our lives. But for many peoples across Minnesota, America, and the world, food does not have these luxurious attachments. Every day, over half a million people in Minnesota are unsure when or where they will have their next meal. That’s where Food Day comes in.
Food Day is a national initiative that was created in 2010 in response animal cruelty and the growing number of people affected by obesity, diabetes, heart disease, environmental degradation, and unfair working conditions. Food Day prompts Americans to look at these problems and their relation to food in order to inspire solution-driven action. Specifically considering the recent deepening of socioeconomic gaps, Food Day 2014 will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.
You are invited to this year’s Food Day UMN-TC event on October 24th at the University Recreation and Wellness Center. An artfully blended vinaigrette of education, advocacy, and free samples, UMN’s Food Day is a great opportunity to learn about delicious local food options and the privilege that is often required to have access to many of them.
Here at the Sustainability Studies office, although our main issue is sustainability, many of us in the office have been closely following the events of Ferguson and are deeply saddened and frustrated with the acts of violence. There is a heavy intersection of the issues of race relations and sustainability, and we have been pushing ourselves to think about that intersection more critically and how we can use our standing at a world-class institution to further exploit that intersection and create a deeper dialogue on the issue. Although we desire for that conversation to be held, we also understand that the issue of Ferguson is an issue of racial profiling and police brutality. We do not wish to turn this struggle into something for our own personal gain, nor wish to coerce the brilliant efforts being led by activists on the grounds in Ferguson, activists doing remote work (or police brutality work in their own communities), or activists on social media. We as the Sustainability Education Communications team would like to stand in solidarity with all of the aforementioned activists and all those affected by racial profiling and police brutality by bringing this issue into our sustainability and environmental based spaces, where topics of race are far too often ignored. We have compiled a list of resources, to educate ourselves and our peers on the issue in our communities and in Ferguson, and to also help our communities and the people of Ferguson.
To start off, we realize that a lot of this conversation has been happening on social media and not as largely in mainstream media and not everyone has access to that conversation. So here is a quick synopsis of what is happening, and what has led up to this point: http://www.vox.com/cards/mike-brown-protests-ferguson-missouri/mike-brown-ferguson-MO-protests
To add to that, here are some ways in which a white person(s), who hasn’t experienced police brutality and isn’t a part of the black community, can start to meaningfully engage in that conversation.
These two links are to ‘Lists’ made in twitter of activists, residents, and reporters who are on the grounds in Ferguson. There is a lot going on in the Twitter world right now, but these are the people who will be giving you moment-by-moment, first-hand accounts of what is happening in Ferguson. Lists are via twitter user @SoulRevision.
-Residents/activists tweeting from Ferguson: http://bit.ly/VzSbTp
-Journalists tweeting from Ferguson: http://bit.ly/1pAy6ba
This next link is to a nightly livestream of Ferguson. There are many different news outlets and individuals who are livestreaming, so a quick google search could easily pull up more.
There are also a lot of links going around to send donations and help to Ferguson. Just as with anything that is requesting money, make sure to check the credentials before donating. Here are a few links that have been proven valid.
If you want to contribute to local organizing efforts, donate to The Organization for Black Struggle: http://obs-onthemove.org/
If you want to help with the donation of supplies, these folks will be taking testimonies from protesters while also providing basic needs, including food, water, gas masks, and school supplies: http://www.gofundme.com/
The NLG needs help providing legal back up to the Ferguson protesters: https://www.nlg.org/civicrm/
With this link you can donate to feed the students of Ferguson: https://fundly.com/feed-the-
Additionally, not all of us have money to donate, so this is a link to a White House petition that would require police officers to wear cameras on their uniforms: https://petitions.whitehouse.
This link highlights five ways in which white folk can show support against police brutality in their own community: http://changefromwithin.org/
And for Minneapolis folk, check our Communities United Against Police Brutality, and organization that has been working on the frontline of police brutality issues in Minneapolis: http://www.cuapb.org
And if while reading this, you realize that we did not include a resource that you think is beneficial, email email@example.com, and I will include it in this blog posting. I, as the writer, am not from a community that experiences police brutality as largely as the black community, and additionally have never experienced police brutality myself, so I may have left out some resources that those communities might find useful.
Written: Nathan Michielson
Featured image: (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Blog Image: Facebook via friend of Michael Brown
This summer, University of Minnesota students with a diverse range of majors, took a study abroad trip of a lifetime to experience world-class sustainability and Scandinavia, first-hand.
One of the greatest challenges facing our world in the 21st century is jointly sustaining the environment and human health and wellbeing. Seeking sustainability means seeking solutions that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A sustainable perspective recognizes the conflicts and trade-offs of balancing economic growth, social equity and environmental integrity. Students who learn to approach complex environmental problems from this perspective today will become the leaders, scientists and engaged citizens of tomorrow.
This course introduces students to sustainability and sustainable development in a Scandinavian and European context, using lectures by Danish faculty and study tours of sustainability sites in Copenhagen, Samso and other locations in Denmark and in Sweden.
On Friday, August 29 from 9:00 to 5:00, the Institute on the Environment and University Services will co-host the Sustainability Action open house for the new freshman class. Throughout the day, first-year students and other University and community members will tour IonE, chatting with representatives of academic programs, student groups, operations, and external organizations. The booths will be set up throughout IonE in the “Bazaar,” “Plaza,” and “Midway” in honor of the concurrent Minnesota State Fair. Sustainability groups enjoyed a high level of success connecting with potential new contributors, and we’re ready to recreate the experience for the new freshman class.
Students will enter the open house at the Bazaar, where they will be greeted with fresh produce from the Cornercopia student farm before visiting the tables of several sustainability-related student groups.The Bazaar will allow student groups to find energetic new members, and give students an opportunity to find community among other sustainability enthusiasts on campus.
After the Bazaar students will make their way to the Plaza, where Sustainability Studies and other academic programs will be ready with information and advice on incorporating sustainability into any college plan. This is also where students can play games and pick up a free Gopher hat from CFANS.
Students will complete their tour at the Midway, which will feature University Services departments and organizations key to the sustainability movement in the Twin Cities. Students will walk over a giant floor map of the Mississippi River, play more games, and visit with representatives of the ReUse Center, Housing and Residential Life, and the Office of Sustainability to learn how they can live more sustainably during college.
Sustainability Action has been among students’ favorite Welcome Week activities in the past, and we look forward to recreating the experience for the Class of 2018!