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Social Justice Institute

Race, Food + Justice Conference

Race, Food + Justice Conference

Conference logo - scales of justice with fruits & vegetables

Race, Food + Justice Conference 2016

Analyzing the Urban Food Movement through a Social Justice Lens

Thursday, April 21–Saturday, April 23, 2016

Free + Open to the Community

Over 400 people engaged in dialogue addressing race and racism, one of the social determinants of health and food access.  By engaging multiple sectors of our community, our goal was to expand the grassroots base that promotes environmental justice.  Keynote addresses featured:


Thursday, April 21

Keynote Address with Elizabeth Yeampierre


Friday, April 22

Keynote Address with Julian Agyeman and Panel on Land Gentrification

Just Sustainabilities: Reimagining E/quality, Living Within Limits [PDF] - Presentation by Julian Agyeman

Blacks in Green: Intersection of Deep Culture + Green Neighborhood Revival [PDF] - Presentation by Naomi Davis

Leveraging Assets for Equity and Opportunity [PDF] - Presentation by Jason Reece


Saturday, April 23

Youth Survey: Youth Perspectives in Food and Justice [PDF] - Presentation by Hunter Scott and Youth Activists

Geographies of Race and Food in Cleveland, Ohio [PDF] - Presentation by Justine Lindemann

Building Power: National Black Food and Justice Alliance [PDF] - Presentation by Dara Cooper


Select the days below to see a full agenda of the conference.

Reception / 5-6 pm

Agnar Pytte Center Atrium, 2080 Adelbert Road


Keynote Address + Discussion / 6-9 pm

Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE

Climate Justice: Frontline of the Crisis and Forefront of the Solutions


Strosacker Auditorium, 2180 Adelbert Road

Urban Agriculture Training / 9 am-2 pm

Rid-All Urban Farm and Training Center, 8129 Otter Road

There is a fee for the training session.


Reception, Keynote Address, Panel Discussion / 5-9 pm

Dr. Julian Agyeman, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University

Just Sustainabilities: Reimagine e/quality, Living within limits


Naomi Davis, President and Founder, Blacks in Green

Jason Reece, Senior Associate Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, The Ohio State University

Panel Discussion on Land Gentrification



Allen Memorial Medical Library, 11000 Euclid Avenue

Doors open at 5 pm for refreshments + networking.


Plenary Sessions, Keynote Address, Lunch, Reflection / 9 am-3 pm

Rhonda Y. Williams

The Social Justice Framework: Addressing the -Isms

Dara Cooper

Food Justice Collaborative Report

Denzel Austin Thompson, Creator of Philly Urban Creations

Youth Voices: Intergenerational Tensions and Solutions


University Circle Methodist Church, 1919 E. 107th Street

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided on Saturday.

Photograph of Keynote Speaker Elizabeth Yeampierre

Elizabeth Yeampierre

Photograph of Dr. Julian Agyeman

Dr. Julian Agyeman

Photograph of Dara Cooper

Dara Cooper

Photograph of Denzel Austin Thompson

Denzel Austin Thompson


The University Circle area is well served by public transportation and, with parking always at a premium, we encourage participants to consider RTA.  The closest Red Line Rapid (light train) stops are at Euclid Avenue-120th and University Circle Station.  The campus and church are also on multiple bus routes and the Health Line.  To plan your trip, visit the RTA website.


Thursday + Friday - free street metered parking after 6 pm.  Parking garages are located on Adelbert Rd., Ford Dr. + East Blvd.

Saturday - free street parking on MLK Blvd., East 107th St. + Park Ln. Free parking at Judson Manor on East 107th St. + at the Pentecostal Church of Christ on East 105th St./Chester Rd.


If you are traveling from out of town and will need hotel accommodations, a block of rooms has been reserved at a discounted rate ($159/night) at the Marriott Courtyard Cleveland University Circle, 2021 Cornell Road.  The hotel is within a 10-15 minute walk from all conference venues.  To reserve a room, simply call the hotel at 216.791.5678 and tell them you are part of the RFJ Conference Group.  Please note: all hotel rooms not reserved by April 7 will be released.


Contact Kim Foreman at 216.961.4646 or OR the SJI at 216.368.7568 or

Co-sponsored by Environmental Health Watch and Rid-All Urban Agriculture and Youth Education. Funding provided by Sisters of Charity Foundation, with additional support from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College and the Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability. 

Environmental Health Watch Logo
Rid-All Green Partnership logo
Sisters of Charity Foundation logo
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress Logo
Logo from the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College
Logo for Cuyahoga County Department of Sustainability