Events

Dismantling Racism in the Food System

Dismantling Racism in the Food System

03/18/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Room 9206/9207

A talk by Eric Holt-Giménez  and discussion led by Marc Edelman and Karen Washington

This event will be LIVESTREAMED: Go to videostreaming.gc.cuny.edu  and click on the link in the “Live Videos” box on the upper right hand side of the page.

Today’s food system has been shaped by the privatization of public goods and the deregulation of corporate capital, leading to the highest levels of global inequality in economic history. The staggering social and environmental costs of this transition have hit people of color the hardest; paring back health, education and welfare functions of government and crippling our capacity to respond to these problems by destroying much of the public sphere.  Our communities have been weakened, exacerbating the violence, intensifying racial tensions and deepening cultural divides. In many ways the community food movement, with its projects for a fair, sustainable, healthy food system is rebuilding our public sphere from the ground up.  But we can’t rebuild the public sphere without addressing the issues which divide us. For many communities this means addressing racism. Understanding where and how racism manifests itself in the food system, recognizing it within our movement and our organizations and within ourselves is not extra work for an equitable food system; it is the work.

Eric Holt-Gimenez & Joann Lo at the opening of the Food Labor Center at UC Berkeley on Dec.  13. 2012_CROPPED

Eric Holt-Giménez has been Executive Director of Food First since 2006. He is the editor of the Food First book Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food Systems; co-author of Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice with Raj Patel and Annie Shattuck; and author of the book Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture and of many academic, magazine and news articles. Of Basque and Puerto Rican heritage, Eric grew up milking cows and pitching hay in Point Reyes, CA, where he learned that putting food on the table is hard work. After studying rural education and biology at the University of Oregon and Evergreen State College, he traveled through Mexico and Central America, where he was drawn to the simple life of small-scale farmers.

Marc Edelman’s research and writing have focused on agrarian issues, social movements, and a variety of Latin American topics, including the historical roots of nationalism and contemporary politics. Most of his work has dealt with changing land tenure and land use patterns, production systems, rural class relations, and social movements in Central America. He has a longstanding concern with understanding changing forms of capitalism and with the politics of controlling markets, whether through welfare states, civil society pressure or global trade rules. During the mid 1980s, after seeing his fieldwork zone in northern Costa Rica tragically converted into a staging area for the civil war in Nicaragua, he also carried out research in the USSR and wrote extensively on Soviet-Latin American relations.

Currently, Edelman is working on a project, supported by the National Science Foundation and the PSC-CUNY Grants Program, on the efforts of transnational agrarian movements to have the United Nations approve a declaration on the rights of peasants.  He is also completing a book on peasant involvement in global civil society movements and transnational networking among small farmer organizations.

Edelman has served on the editorial boards of American Anthropologist (Book Review Editor, 2002-5), American Ethnologist (2011-), Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos (Consejo Editorial Internacional, 2008-), Critique of Anthropology (1998-), Cuadernos de Antropología (Comité Científico, 2009-), Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment (1995-98, 2013-), Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (2004-), Journal of Agrarian Change (2008-), Journal of Latin American Anthropology (1994-99), Journal of Peasant Studies (Editorial Collective, 2009-), Latin American Research Review (2000-2003), NACLA Report on the Americas (1999-2006), Revue TRACE [Travaux et Recherches dans les Amériques du Centre]  (2012-),  and Studies in Comparative International Development (2005-).

Karen Washington has lived in New York City all her life, and has been a resident of the Bronx for over 26 years. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make the New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, Karen has worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. As an advocate, she has stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation. As a member of the La Familia Verde 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 to 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. Last year she was the recipient of the 2014 James Beard Leadership Award.

Professionally Karen had been a Physical Therapist for 37years, balancing her professional life with community service. Since retiring in April, she plans on pursuing her passion for farming full time .

To grow your own food gives you power and dignity. You know exactly what youre eating because you grew it.  Its good, its nourishing and you did this for yourself, your family and your community.Karen Washington

 

Cosponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, and the Advanced Research Consortium, Graduate Center, CUNY.

This event is open and free to the public

“Private Capital for Public Good”: Social Impact Bonds and the New Market-Based ‘Public Responsibility’ Initiatives

“Private Capital for Public Good”: Social Impact Bonds and the New Market-Based ‘Public Responsibility’ Initiatives

03/10/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Sociology Lounge, Room 6112

Presentation by Robert Ogman, Doctoral Researcher at De Montfort University (U.K.)

March 10, 2015
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Sociology Lounge, Graduate Center, CUNY.

This presentation focuses on Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) as part of an emerging crisis governance strategy. Against many expectations, post-2008 developments did not follow a “postneoliberal” trajectory (Brand and Sekler 2009), but rather deepened modes of market governance through the policies of fiscal austerity (Peck 2012) and the associated insulation of public authority in a “post-democracy” (Jessop 2013; Crouch 2011). However, this has exacerbated the social crisis and further eroded political legitimacy. As a result, we’re witnessing the growth of policy focused on “social impact” and “public responsibility”, yet, not through the roll-back of markets, but through the development of a “social investment market”. This presentation focuses on a critical example of this, the “Social Impact Bond” (SIB), as a “new [initiative] of ‘public responsibility’ within market modes of governance” (Sprague 2010).

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Introduced in 2010, more than 100 SIBs now exist across the globe, concentrated mostly in the U.S. and U.K. These promise to “blend fiscal and social returns” through a financial product based on the performance of targeted social policy interventions. In times of austerity, these claim to leverage private capital for public good, by offering private returns to investors when programs effectively lower levels of recidivism, unemployment, homelessness, and hence lower government expenditures.

This presentation takes a Cultural Political Economy approach (Sum and Jessop 2014) to situate SIBs within the processes by which hegemony is restored and reshaped. I will describe therefore both institutional structure of this policy instrument and its associated discursive repertoire, and consider its broader political significance as a crisis governance strategy. SIBs will be situated as part of a “hegemony project” (Kannankulam and Georgi 2014) that explicitly responds to the problems of “trickle-down economics”, yet which simultaneously rejects a politics of redistribution and decommodification. My presentation will therefore focus on how SIBs construct “crisis narratives” and “imagined recoveries” (Sum and Jessop 2014), and shape and limit the institutional “corridors” for political action (Brand 2014).

Robert Ogman is a doctoral researcher at the Department of Politics and Public Policy at De Montfort University (Leicester, U.K.), where he focuses on Social Impact Bonds as part of an emerging crisis governance strategy in the U.K. and U.S. He previously focused on social movement responses to the crisis, and published a study for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Berlin), “The U.S. Occupy Movement – Since the Eviction from the Squares” (http://www.rosalux.de/publication/40331/the-us-occupy-movement-since-the-eviction-from-the-squares.html). He received his MA in Political Science from The University of Potsdam, and his BA from The New School. Originally from the U.S., he now resides in Berlin, Germany.

 

Food Security Governance: Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations

Food Security Governance: Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations

03/10/2015
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Skylight Conference Room, 9th Floor

The University Food Policy Collaborative of New York City presents

A panel discussion celebrating the release of a new book by Nora McKeon:

Food Security Governance: Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations

Today’s global food system generates hunger alongside of land grabs, food waste, health problems, massive greenhouse gas emissions. Nora McKeon’s just-released book explains why we find ourselves in this situation and explores what we can do to change it. In her talk she will contrast how actors link up in corporate global food chains and in the local food systems that are considered to be “alternative” but in fact feed most of the world’s population. She will describe how communities around the world are protecting their access to resources and building better ways of food provision and discuss how the Committee on World Food Security – a uniquely inclusive global policy forum since its reform in 2009 – could be supportive of these efforts. The talk will conclude with a call to blow the whistle on predatory capitalism by building effective public policy instruments for accountable governance and extending their authority to the realm of regulating markets and corporations.

March 10, 2015
5:00-6:30 PM
Skylight Conference Room 9th Floor
Graduate Center, CUNY.

Food book

 

Respondents will include:

Thomas Forster, New School Food Studies, Post 2015 Food and Agriculture Cluster

Saulo Araujo, Director of the Global Movements Program at WhyHunger

Moderated by Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health, CUNY School of Public Health & Hunter College, and Faculty Director, NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College

For more information and to order Food Security Governance: Empowering communities, regulating corporations, please visit: www.routledge.com/9780415529105

*To activate your 20% discount, visit the book’s page and simply enter the code LRK69 at check-out. This applies only to books purchased on the website and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

About the author:

Following studies at Harvard and the Sorbonne and a career at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Nora McKeon is now engaged in teaching, writing and advocacy on food issues and social movements

The University Food Policy Collaborative of New York City is a network of food policy focused-faculty, students and staff from learning institutions city-wide, including CUNY, Teacher’s College, Columbia University, NYU and The New School.

Please RSVP here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-security-governance-empowering-communities-regulating-corporations-tickets-15672373491

 

 

Symposium: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON SLAVERIES IN THE AFRICAN WORLD

Symposium: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON SLAVERIES IN THE AFRICAN WORLD

03/06/2015
All Day
Skylight Conference Room, 9th Floor

On the heels of the international conference on “Slavery in Africa” held in Kenya and Kwasi Konadu’s Transatlantic Africa, which tells the story of transatlantic slaving through African optics and voices, this symposium brings together leading thinkers of global slaveries in the African world to share their work through a full-day of engaged dialogue, offering new perspectives and directions.

March 6
9 a.m.
Skylight Room, Graduate Center, CUNY.

Symposium

 

This program is sponsored by the Advanced Research Collaborative and the Ph.D Program in History. The symposium is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

Film Screening: Rezoning Harlem

Film Screening: Rezoning Harlem

03/05/2015
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Room 5414

Rezoning Harlem follows longtime members of the Harlem community as they fight a 2008 rezoning that threatens to erase the history and culture of their legendary neighborhood and replace it with luxury housing, offices, and big-box retail. A shocking expose of how a group of ordinary citizens, who are passionate about the future of one of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods, are systematically shut out of the city’s decision-making process, revealing New York City’s broken public review system and provoking discussion on what we can do about it.

RezoningHarlemCoalition

The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with filmmaker Tamara Gubernat, Urban Affairs and Planning Professor Tom Agnotti (The Graduate Center and Hunter College), M. Ndigo Washington (founder of Take Back Our City), and will be moderated by CUNY scholar Pilar Ortiz (Sociology).

March 5
7:00 pm
Doctoral Students’ Council Lounge (Room 5414).

Stories of Struggle: Histories of Childcare Activism at CUNY

Stories of Struggle: Histories of Childcare Activism at CUNY

03/04/2015
6:00 pm
Sociology Lounge, Room 6112
Tahir Butt, Sujatha Fernandes, Alyssia Osorio, James Small, LaTrella Thornton will join us.
What can we learn from CUNY’s past? Join scholars and activists who were involved in the fight for childcare during the period of open admissions at City College in the 1970s as they explore the history of childcare activism at CUNY. Students fighting to preserve those spaces today will add to the discussion, moderated by Sujatha Fernandes.This event will be LIVESTREAMED: Go to videostreaming.gc.cuny.edu. Click on “Live Videos” on the upper hand side of the page.

 

struggle picture

 

Wednesday March 4
6:00pm
Sociology Lounge, Room 6112

Sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, the Center for Globalization and Social Change, and the Mellon Seminar in Public Engagement and Collaborative Research.

This event is open and free to the public.  More information:


Feminist Perspectives on Resistance and Solidarity in Palestine and Israel

02/27/2015
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Room C201

The Center for the Study of Women and Society
presents:
Feminist Perspectives on Resistance and Solidarity in Palestine and Israel

rabab

Rabab Abdulhadi and Simona Sharoni met over twenty five years ago and have collaborated on multiple projects. They will discuss the following topics: the distorted dominant media coverage of the assault which ignored the power disparities between Palestinians and Israel; the racist and gendered images and statements deployed by Israeli officials and citizens to legitimize the violence; the impact of the violence on, and the responses of Palestinian and Israeli women; the response of the international community and the growing visibility and impact of the global movement of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), the efforts to hold Israeli officials accountable and investigate possible violations of human rights and international conventions; and prospects for a just and lasting peace in the region in the aftermath of the Israeli war on Gaza and the earlier repressive campaign in the West Bank.

Friday, February 27, 2015
3:00-5:00pm
Room C201
The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Rabab Abdulhadi is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies and the Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative at the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University. She is a co-founder of the Islamophobia Studies Journal, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Associations in North America (UPWA), and the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC).

Simona Sharoni is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh. Sharoni is the founding Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), a founding member of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section (FTGS) at the International Studies Association (ISA), and co-founder of Faculty Against Rape (FAR).

Co-sponsored with the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics.

The event is free and open to the public.
For more information see the Women’s Studies website: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/womencenter\

Maiz y el Pais: Political Violence in Mexico and Corn’s Lessons for Justice

02/20/2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Room 9204

Luz Rivera Martinez of the Consejo National Urbano Campesino (CNUC) and George Caffentzis in conversation.

Friday, February 20, 6-8PM. Room 9204

Luz2

Headlines about Mexico are wildly divergent. While business magazines proclaim “the Mexican Moment” emerging from a slate of recent reforms, news of the murder and disappearance of nearly 50 rural teacher’s college students by police quickly silenced the applause.

Attacks on the Zapatistas, imprisonment of indigenous leaders defending water, and cover-ups of military executions all point to a rise in extra-judicial violence. Add to this the fact that the recent “reforms” were no less than the privatization of oil, communications, and education resources left pending after NAFTA, and you can see the extent of the turmoil.

But instead of a “troubled neighbor south of the border,” Mexico is home to inspiring movements building autonomy and justice with dignity against great obstacles.

Join Luz Rivera Martinez as she speaks about her 20 years of experience constructing autonomy, organizing outside the electoral system, and resisting genetically modified corn while protecting millennia-old varieties. She works with peasant families in Tlaxcala, Mexico – a state where corn originated, whose name means “place of the corn tortilla,” and where 52 natural varieties of corn are planted. This bountiful grain was created over thousands of years, primarily by women, and has now come to feed the world.

Luz1

Just as corn is a gift of sustenance and rejuvenation Mexicans have given to all of humanity, Mexican movements such as Luz’s Consejo Nacional Urbano Campesino (CNUC) are guiding us toward daybreak after the long, cold night of neoliberalism.

George Caffentzis will join Luz in conversation with an update on the present status of the Zapatistas’ project

Luz3

BIOS

Luz Rivera established CNUC in the early 1990s to coordinate resistance to the impending North American Free Trade Agreement, especially regarding its dismemberment of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, which enshrined the Mexican Revolution’s battle cry that “the land belongs to those who work it.” Luz and the members of CNUC knew that NAFTA would decimate the small-scale agricultural sector that the Revolution had established at such a great cost.

As CNUC’s lead organizer, Luz has worked tirelessly to demand government accountability, defend family farms, resist the use of GMO seeds, and build inspiring, community-based autonomous projects. CNUC has a long history of disposing of corrupt leaders, democratizing the budget, coordinating community-driven infrastructure projects, including peoples’ history in education, and expanding access to healthcare.

CNUC also joins voices with organizations around Mexico and around the world denouncing State-sponsored violence and rebuilding the social fabric. As an adherent to the Zapatistas’ Sixth Declaration – an international network of organizations struggling against neoliberalism and for autonomy from the grassroots – Luz and CNUC fight tirelessly to build “a world where many worlds fit,” a world for the people of all the colors of corn.

George Caffentzis is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine, and a member of the Midnight Notes Collective and Strike Debt. He has written extensively on commoning and enclosures, especially since teaching at the University of Calabar in Nigeria for five years in the mid-1980s. That is where and when he realized that primitive accumulation of capitalism is an on-going process and that commoning has been an essential weapon in class struggle. His articles on the commons and commoning include “Commons Against and Beyond Capitalism” (with Silvia Federici), and “The Future of ‘The Commons’: Neoliberalism’s ‘Plan B’ or the Original Disaccumulation of Capital?”

The Mexico Solidarity Network is an organization dedicated to popular education and autonomous community organizing. In addition to our community work in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood and speaking tours, MSN also administers a unique, social justice-oriented study abroad program that allows students to learn about grassroots movements in Mexico by living with the families that comprise them, including members of CNUC. For more information, visit www.mexicosolidarity.org/studyabroad

This event is sponsored by The Mexico-US Solidarity Network and Center for Place Culture and Politics, Graduate Center, CUNY.  The event is free and open to the public.

 

The People, Place, and Space Reader: Book Launch

02/19/2015
6:30 pm
Skylight Conference Room, 9th Floor

The People, Place, and Space Reader Book Launch
with editors Jen Jack Gieseking, William Mangold, Cindi Katz, Setha Low, and Susan Saegert
February 19th, 2015
6.30-8.30 pm
Skylight Room (8th Floor), Graduate Center, CUNY.

feb event

The People, Place, and Space Reader brings together the writings of scholars from a variety of fields to make sense of the ways we shape and inhabit our world. The included texts help us to understand the relationships between people and place at all scales, and to consider the active roles individuals, groups, and social structures play in a range of environments. The Reader includes both classic writings and contemporary research, connecting scholarship across disciplines, periods, and locations via the work of writers such as Harvey, Smith, Lewin, Gilmore, Koolhas, Lynch, Proshasnky, Benjamin, Jacobs, and de Certeau. Essays from the editors introduce the texts and outline key issues surrounding each topic. This companion website, http://peopleplacespace.org/, provides additional reading lists covering a broad range of issues. An essential resource for students of urban studies, geography, design, sociology, and anyone with an interest in the environment, this volume presents the most dynamic and critical understanding of space and place available.
This event is open and free to the public.
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