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Virginia Tech University students will convene a virtual dialogue titled “Food Insecurity to Food Justice” on September 30 from 11am to 12:30pm as part of the official preparations for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021.
According to the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, food security is defined as meaning that “all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.” In response to food insecurity, the food justice movement emerged to tackle it from multiple angles including socioeconomic drivers of economic inequality, environmental challenges, and conflict.
According to Dr. Farida Jalalzai, Associate Dean of Global Initiatives at the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, defining Food Systems in communities is emblematic of Virginia Tech’s beyond boundaries initiative and international priorities of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS)”.
Recognizing that food is a common thread linking all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, this dialogue will identify challenges to food security across global communities including the Appalachian region of the United States; Mekong River Basin in South Asia; countries of Zambia and Somalia of the sub-Saharan African region; and the countries of Mexico and Guatemala in Latin America.
The virtual consultative forum brings young adults into the conversation to foster dialogue around the importance of understanding food insecurity as it relates to global and local challenges. Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Brad Copenhaver will serve as a key note speaker at the event and lead students into a robust examination of the relationship between needs, challenges and interventions to secure sustainable food practices.
This event, as part of the coursework under the guidance of Dr. Ameena Zia, is rooted in the principles of UN sustainable development framework and works to promote dignity, accessibility and inclusion in society. “The work Dr. Zia has been doing in experiential learning empowers our students to advocate within their local and global communities on pressing global issues, » comments Dr. Jalalzai,
The event is sponsored VT Liberal Arts and Human Services (CLAHS), VT Department of Political Science, and Blue Ridge Impact Consulting in partnership with the UN Food Systems Summit.