Conference at a Glance

Daily Timelines

*Schedule is Subject to Change

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Pre-conference Field Trips and Workshop:

9:00am – 5:00pm Field Trips 1 & 2
9:00am – 3:30pm Field Trip 3
10:00am – 4:30pm Field Trip 4
10:00am – 5:00pm Narrative Change Workshop
11:00am – 5:00pm Field Trip 5
1:00pm – 6:00pm Registration Opens
6:30pm – 8:30pm Opening Reception at Contemporary Art Museum (CAM)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

7:30am – 6:00pm Registration
7:30am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast
8:00am Opening Session with Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis & Karen Washington
9:45am Conference Workshops
11:00am Conference Workshops
12:00pm – 2:00pm Lunch in the City (lunch is on your own)
2:00pm Panel Plenary
3:00pm Regional Organizing
4:30pm – 6:30pm Membership Meeting
4:30pm – 6:00pm Exhibits Open
6:30pm – 8:30pm Reception at Raleigh Union Station

Thursday, September 5, 2019

7:30am – 3:00pm Registration & Exhibits
7:30am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast
8:00am – Panel Plenary
10:00am – Conference Workshops
11:00am –  Hospitality Break with Exhibitors
11:30am – Conference Workshops
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Keynote Address with Jan Poppendieck & Robert Ojeda
2:30pm – 3:00pm Closing Remarks

Field Trips

All field trips take place on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 and will meet and leave from the Raleigh Convention Center. Buses will board 30 minutes prior to the scheduled field trip time. Prices include lunch. Once you have signed up for the pre-conference event of your choice, a conference organizer will contact you directly with details.

Field Trip 1: Justice & Equality

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Field Trip Cost: $75

Description: This field trip offers a visit to three important sites in Guilford and Alamance counties.

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) – The ICRCM serves as a teaching facility, archival center, and collection museum devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The Museum celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement.

The Historic monument of The Greensboro Four (located on the campus of North Carolina A&T University).

Benevolence Farm – Benevolence Farm seeks to cultivate leadership, promote sustainable livelihoods, and reap structural change with individuals impacted by the criminal justice system in North Carolina. This organization provides a transitional living program for up to 6 women leaving North Carolina prisons. They recognize that change must come from within, but can be cultivated and inspired through a supportive, natural environment. Their goal is to give their participants the time and space — figuratively and literally — to make real, lasting changes.

Field Trip 2: Economic and Environmental Resilience and Innovation

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Field Trip Cost – $60

Description: This field trip offers a visit to three unique sites in Eastern NC.

Working Landscapes – Working Landscapes is a nonprofit rural development organization working to advance the economic and environmental resilience in the region. They work with partners to build a food system that connects local farmers to local consumers in an effort to grown the economy and improve health in the region.

Soul City – Soul City, as described by author Devin Fergus, was a city built for African Americans (though not exclusively), steered by black interests, and funded upfront by the federal government. It was, in essence, a request for the federal government to make good on the unrealized 40 acres and a mule promise made to African Americans emancipated from slavery. The hope was that the opportunities Soul City provided such as jobs, education, housing, training, and other social services, would help lessen out-migration.

Green Rural Redevelopment Organization (GRRO) – GRRO is an organization that turns empty, abandoned lots into thriving community assets.  They educate, train, and empower residents to become stewards of the land, leading to better, more productive outcomes and healthier communities.  They facility training that promotes self-employment through farming and business opportunities that lead to self-sufficiency.

Field Trip 3: Agritourism, Empowerment and Faith

Time: 9am – 3:30pm
Field Trip Cost: $60

Description: This field trip offers a visit to inspiring sites in Sampson County.

Coharie Indian Tribe and Sorghum Farm  – Coharie Indians – learn about their history, cultural and educational activities, and enjoy a visit to their local farm.

Episcopal Farmworker Ministry – Episcopal Farmworker Ministry responds to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families, and actively supports opportunities for them to become self-directive. They seek to minister to farmworkers through direct services, through development and support of programs that work towards the empowerment of farmworkers. They encourage leadership development, advocacy, and education aimed toward a systematic change of agricultural policy at local and state levels.

Field Trip 4: City of Oaks

Time: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Field Trip Cost: $55

Description: This field trip offers historical sites as well as visits to locations with unique food programs in Raleigh.

Shaw University – Shaw University is the first historically black institution of higher education in the South and among the oldest in the nation. Shaw boasts many “firsts”: the first college in the nation to offer a four-year medical program, the first Historically Black College in the nation to open its doors to women, and the first Historically Black College in North Carolina to be granted an “A” rating by the State Department of Public Instruction.

Camden Street Learning Garden – The garden is situated on one acre of land in downtown Raleigh and features twenty-two community beds, a 420 sq. ft. market garden, a food forest, a 6,000-gallon rainwater catchment system, two beehives, a green house, a vermi-compost bin, a composting facility and a kitchen classroom.

Well Fed Community Garden – Sponsored by The Irregardless Cafe – a local Raleigh restaurant founded in 1975 – the Garden is dedicated to reconnecting folks to the source of their nourishment: plants, chickens & bees, soil, air, water and friendship. The Well Fed Garden is an example of urban agriculture – 20% of its bounty is donated to volunteers and neighbors and the remaining 80% is served in meals at the Cafe or its Catering Division.

Food Shuttle Farm – The Food Shuttle Farm provides locally grown, chemical-free produce for those in need. Eighty percent of the land under cultivation grows food for distribution at School Pantries, Mobile Tastiness Machine, Mobile Markets, and Grocery Bags for Seniors, providing the freshest produce possible to those in need. The remaining 20% percent of the crop goes towards for-profit production to contribute to the farm’s financial stability.

Dorothea Dix Park – Dorothea Dix Park is Raleigh’s largest city park. The 308-acre site blends historic architecture and rich landscapes into a unique destination in the heart of Raleigh. The City, in partnership with the Dix Park Conservancy, completed a two-year-long master planning process for the park in February 2019. The master plan builds off the long legacy of healing on the site and creates restorative places through enriched natural landscapes and cultural centers.

State Farmers Market – The State Farmers Market is made up of: 30, 000 square feet Farmers’ Building; 15,600 square feet Market Shoppes; 15,400 square feet Truckers Building; Wholesale Terminal; over 2 acres of Market Imports; and 3 restaurants.

Field Trip 5: Southern Roots, Black Entrepreneurship

Time: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Field Trip Cost: $60

Description: This field trip offers a visit to some interesting sites in Durham.

Durham Hub Farm – Durham Hub Farm engages students, teachers, and the greater Durham community in environmental stewardship, health and nutrition, and career development.  Their mission is to improve the academic achievement and well-being of students in Durham Public Schools through experiential outdoor learning.

Black Wall Street – In the early twentieth century, Parrish Street in Durham, North Carolina, was the hub of African American business activity. This four-block district was known as “Black Wall Street,” a reference to the district of New York City that is home to the New York Stock Exchange and the nation’s great financial firms. Although other cities had similar districts, Durham’s was one of the most vital, and was nationally known.

Bull City Cool: Farmer FoodShare – The mission of Farmer Foodshare is to make fresh, local food available to everyone in the community and to ensure that the farmers growing it make a healthy living.

Durham Co-op Market – Durham Co-op Market began through the efforts of folks in several neighborhoods near downtown Durham, NC who saw a need and were excited about the possibility of creating a grocery/market that focused on locally-produced food. The co-op is community owned, and community focused. Their goal is to return as much revenue as possible to the community by supporting local farms, selling locally made products, and supporting local jobs.

Narrative Change Workshop – Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Cost: Free, Lunch Provided (sponsored by WhyHunger)

Narrative Analysis of Power – Story Based Strategy Training

This interactive one-day workshop will provide participants with a practical framework to create powerful stories and hands-on tools for framing your issues. We will explore what it means to apply a “narrative analysis of power” to social change work and share the story-based strategy approach for developing campaign narratives. This training is perfect for organizers looking to ground themselves in winning framing and communication strategies, as well as anyone working for progressive change who wants to become a more strategic storyteller and story-changer. Together, we will generate creative ideas and continue to align groups within the Closing the Hunger Gap Network in the work to advance narrative change to support grassroots solutions to end hunger and its root causes.

Please Note: There is a 90-minute self-paced introductory course to Story-Based Strategy for Narrative Change, provided by Center for Story-Based Strategy, that is a pre-requisite for this training. Once you register, you will be provided with the details to log into the course free of charge.

Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II that organized the largest and most expansive wave of nonviolent civil disobedience in US history. She is the Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. She has spent over the past two decades organizing among the poor in the United States, working with and advising grassroots organizations with significant victories including the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Vermont Workers Center, Domestic Workers United, the National Union of the Homeless and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union.

Liz received her BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania; her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004 where she was the first William Sloane Coffin Scholar; and her PhD from Union in New Testament and Christian Origins. She has been published in Time Magazine, The Guardian, Sojourners, The Nation, The Christian Century, and others. She was named one of the Politico 50 of “thinkers, doers and visionaries whose ideas are driving politics” in 2018. Liz is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017). She is co-author of Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (Beacon, 2018). Liz is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.


Karen Washington

Karen Washington has lived in New York City all her life, and has spent decades promoting urban farming as a way for all New Yorkers to access to fresh, locally grown food. Karen has been a resident of the Bronx for over 26 years, although in 2015 she began living part time in Orange County, NY near the farm. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. As an advocate, she stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation. As a member of the La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition, she helped launched a City Farms Market, bringing garden fresh vegetables to her neighbors. Karen is a Just Food board member and Just Food Trainer, leading workshops on food growing and food justice for community gardeners all over the city. Karen is a board member and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition, a group that was founded to preserve community gardens. She also co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. In 2012 Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country, and in 2014 she was awarded with the James Beard Leadership Award. Professionally Karen was a Physical Therapist for over 30 years, and she “retired” in April 2014 to start Rise & Root Farm.

“To grow your own food gives you power and dignity. You know exactly what you’re eating because you grew it. It’s good, it’s nourishing and you did this for yourself, your family and your community.” Karen Washington


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Robert Ojeda

Robert Ojeda is chief program officer at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Robert was born and raised in Arequipa, Peru, where he grew up farming at his family’s farm. He joined the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (CFBSA) in 2010, where he is currently Chief Program Officer. In his role, Robert oversees the CFBSA’s programmatic initiatives including hunger relief, and community health, education, and development. Robert has a master’s degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development and a Ph. D. in Adult and Extension Education from Cornell University. He has over twenty years of experience doing community organizing work in Tucson and overseas. He regularly teaches community organizing and development workshops to indigenous leaders from Latin America.

Janet (Jan) Poppendieck

Janet Poppendieck is Senior Faculty Fellow at CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and Professor Emerita of Sociology at Hunter College. She was the co-founder, with Nick Freudenberg, of the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College. Her primary concerns, both as a scholar and as an activist, are poverty, hunger, and food assistance in the United States. She is the author of Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression (Rutgers 1986, University of California Press, 2014), Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement (Viking 1998, Penguin 1999) and Free For All: Fixing School Food in America (University of California Press 2010). She holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree from the Florence Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare at Brandeis University.


Coming soon!