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Voting for Food Tank’s SXSW Panels on Diversity, Food Policy
Danielle-Nierenberg

Voting for Food Tank’s SXSW Panels on Diversity, Food Policy

Danielle Nierenberg
Food Tank is thrilled to announce three proposed panels for South by Southwest (SXSW) 2020 in Austin, TX!
We’ve developed three ideas that will engage eaters and activists, thinkers and doers, and all sorts of movers and shakers who are working for a more environmentally, economically, and socially just food system. These panels will bring underreported issues to the conference stage from March 13–22, including LGBTQ+ visibility, farmworker rights, and food policy. Can you please take one minute and register for the site (it’s free) and help Food Tank shape some of the discussions at SXSW by voting for all three. Here are links: (1) Citizen Eaters: Food Voters in the 2020 Election (2) The U.S./Mexico Border and the Food System (3) The LGBTQ+ Community and the Good Food Movement.
The panel Citizen Eaters: Food Voters in the 2020 Election will discuss the key food issues and platforms at the centre of the presidential election. Speakers include Navina Khanna (HEAL Food Alliance), Spike Mendelsohn (Chef and Food Policy Advocate), and Bob Martin (Center for a Livable Future).
The panel The LGBTQ+ Community and the Good Food Movement will explore the contributions—and challenges—of the queer community in food and agriculture. Speakers include Nikiko Masumoto (Masumoto Family Farm), Keegan Kautzky (World Food Prize), and Nate Looney (Westside Urban Gardens).
And at our proposed discussion The U.S./Mexico Border and the Food System, speakers will reflect on how they’re working hard to build alliances advocating for immigrant farmworkers’ rights. Speakers include Teresa Romero (United Farm Workers), Baldemar Velasquez (FLOC), Joann Lo (Food Chain Workers Alliance), and Gustavo Arellano (writer).
Voting is open on SXSW’s PanelPicker to select next year’s topics. So please help us make these panels possible and register now—and vote for all three. We’re the only ones bringing these issues to the stage in 2020, so your vote is key to making these discussions happen.
Even if you can’t see us at SXSW next year, your vote will ensure these discussions appear on our podcast “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” allowing anyone to listen in on some of the most important issues in the Good Food Movement. Each vote is free to cast and only takes a few minutes!
We hope you’ll consider the below ideas we’ve come up with and cast your vote!
1. The LGBTQ+ Community and the Good Food Movement
Today, more consumers want to know about where their food comes from—including the stories of farmers, producers, entrepreneurs, activists, and chefs putting food on plates around the world. A lot still remains for the Good Food Movement to include and support all communities, especially the LGBTQ+ community. This session will highlight the contributions and challenges of the queer community in food and agriculture, exploring current levels of visibility and access. Speakers Nikiko Masumoto of Masumoto Family Farm, Keegan Kautzky of the World Food Prize, and Nate Looney of Westside Urban Gardens will come together to celebrate what it means to be a queer participant in the food system.
2. The U.S./Mexico Border and the Food System
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, roughly half of farmworkers are immigrants. And along the supply chain, nearly every piece of food is touched by an immigrant worker. The U.S. food and agricultural system depends on these immigrants who often place their rights, safety, and livelihoods on the line for an opportunity—but today, organizers are working hard to build alliances advocating for workers’ rights. Speakers Teresa Romero of United Farm Workers, Baldemar Velasquez of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and Joann Lo of the Food Chain Workers Alliance will join features writer Gustavo Arellano of the Los Angeles Times to discuss plans toward a fair, transparent, and humane food system.
3. Citizen Eaters: Food Voters in the 2020 Election
Citizen eaters passionate about the food system must do more than vote with their fork: with the 2020 presidential campaign in full swing, eaters must also cast their votes for a more environmentally, economically, and socially just food system in the next election. Guided by leaders in policy and political food advocacy, this panel will discuss the issues and platforms at the centre of the presidential election. Speakers Navina Khanna of HEAL Food Alliance, Chef and food policy advocate Spike Mendelsohn, and Bob Martin of the Center for a Livable Future will outline advocacy techniques each eater can employ for a better food system.
(Danielle Nierenberg is President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues. She has written extensively on gender and population, the spread of factory farming in the developing world and innovations in sustainable agriculture.)

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