Earth Day Symposium Focuses on Food Justice  

Fullerton College will take a new approach on the internationally celebrated day of environmental activism known as Earth Day with the second annual Earth Day Symposium in the theme of food justice on April 17. The symposium, which is hosted by the Geography Department and sponsored by the Social Sciences Division, will feature speakers and presentations which dedicate a day to shed light onto the obscurities of our food system.

“Amidst the many environmental and social issues, those surrounding the matters of food are top ranking: food insecurity, pollution, agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, obesity among the poor, lack of access to food, human rights abuses…and the list goes on,” said geography Professor Aline Gregorio. “Our plate is filled with injustice, and the time is ripe to dedicate attention to the issue.”

Gregorio along with Social Sciences Professors Ruben Lopez and Mohammad Abdel Haq have worked together to bring students and the community a line-up of speakers and presenters to explore the environmental and social impacts of food production and possibilities for building a sustainable food system.

Activities will be held in the Campus Theatre beginning with a film screening at 10:10 a.m. titled “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story” followed by a keynote address by Dr. Pascale Joassart-Marcelli.

Jossart-Marcelli is a professor of geography and director of the Urban Studies Program at San Diego State University. In the past decade, she has turned her attention to the relationships between food, ethnicity and place. She is interested in the role of food in structuring everyday life in immigrant and low-income urban neighborhoods and has received funding from the National Science Foundation to pursue research on this topic. She has also published nearly 50 articles and book chapters and was the lead-editor of “Food and Place: A Critical Exploration,” which was released earlier this year. She will share her expertise in a 50-minute lecture about her work.

In addition, the symposium will highlight the expertise of Fullerton College faculty in an interdisciplinary panel which will include professors from the areas of nutrition and foods, geography, horticulture and anthropology. The panel will highlight the diverse areas of study that the topic of food justice encompasses and give students a broader understanding of the topic with an opportunity for Q & A.

The symposium will close with a workshop hosted by Students for Equitable Sustainability from 4 – 5 p.m. in Room 1413.

“Geographers seek to understand physical and human processes that shape our world,” Gregorio said. “This type of inquiry requires us to analyze contemporary issues holistically, and Earth Day is the most important day of the year to do that. I encourage students to stand with the international community and celebrate this day through learning. Sound-decisions can only come from education, and the symposium is meant to capitalize on the opportunity to educate a wide audience. Additionally, it will be a day for us to unite as a campus and community in the common vision of our institution to inspire positive change in our world.”

For more information see the event schedule or call 714-992-7047.

Author: Fullerton College

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