Students Host First U.S. Food System Symposium


Davidson College will host the first student-led U.S. Food System Symposium April 9-10. Approximately 250 students from 11 institutions throughout the United States are expected to attend.


Participants will work with and learn from world leaders to gain an understanding of the complex social, economic, environmental and cultural components of the U.S. food system. Issues including food security, agricultural production, environmental and human rights concerns, labor rights and diet-related illnesses will be explored through lectures, panel discussions, case studies, workshops and a knowledge fair.


The event's primary focus will be youth education and social justice.


"We hope the symposium will educate young people about the enormously complex food system, and we hope it will empower them to develop solutions to the system's shortcomings," said Sarah Dwyer '16 and Haley Rhodes '16, symposium co-chairs.


"By bringing students together from many institutions, we are starting a dialogue and ultimately building a platform to launch Students for Food Justice, a student think tank focused on food security," Rhodes said.


Four world-renowned food system experts will speak on Saturday, April 9:


  • Robert Lawrence, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, opening lecture; 9:05 a.m., Duke Family Performance Hall
  • Kelly Brownell, dean of Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, panel discussion on food policy; 9:45 a.m., Duke Family Performance Hall
  • Keynote speaker Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the UN's World Food Programme, and
  • Keynote speaker Dan Glickman, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture; 12:45 p.m., Duke Family Performance Hall


The events listed above are free and open to the public.


View the full schedule at U.S. Food Symposium. A $20 registration fee covers full symposium access and five meals.


The symposium is co-sponsored by the Davidson College Vann Center for Ethics, the Chidsey Center for Leadership and Development, the Center for Civic Engagement, and the Departments of Economics, Political Science, Medical Humanities, Anthropology, Biology, Sociology and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Educational contributors to the event include Duke University, Clemson University, Elon University, Furman University, Johns Hopkins University, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina State University, Sewanee University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Charlotte Lab School, Davidson Green School and Pace Academy.