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Living Landscapes: Food Sovereignty, Racial Justice, and Environmentalism

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Join the Boston University Gastronomy community for in-depth discussion and hands-on experience foraging for your own food!

About this Event

In the past year, the United States has experienced civil unrest brought on by racialized state violence, uncontrolled wildfires in Western states due to climate change and suppression of indigenous land practices, and a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands (affecting Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities at the highest rates) and fanned the flames of xenophobia towards Asian American communities. While these issues are generally understood as isolated phenomena, in reality they are all connected.

Mainstream discourse on COVID originating in the “wet markets” of China is framed by Western approaches to sourcing food by means of industrial agriculture. Industrial agriculture and its overuse of limited natural resources, like water, has contributed to chronic drought and wildfires in the American Southwest. Finally, incarcerated individuals were forced to put their bodies in harm’s way to battle wildfires, while prisons failed to protect inmates from the virus.

Living Landscapes was developed with all these overlapping issues in mind. In this event, we'll use foraging as an entrypoint to consider the colonial history of land conservation policies, green spaces and health disparities in over-policed communities of color, and ongoing efforts to preserve indigenous land practices and foodways here in New England. We'll hear from writers, researchers, artists, and activists on a wide range of topics and offer resources so that participants can begin foraging and engaging with their environment in new ways, just in time for Spring!

Sponsored by BU Diversity & Inclusion Inclusion Catalyst Grant, BU Sustainability and Innovate@BU Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant, and the generous support of the BU Gastronomy Fund.

Follow @gastronomyatbu for detailed updates on speakers and events.

Full Program

SATURDAY, APRIL 17

1:00pm - 2:15 pm EST – Feasting Wild: Keynote Address by Gina Rae La Cerva

Gina Rae La Cerva is a geographer and environmental anthropologist, and author of Feasting Wild: In Search of the Last Untamed Food (2020). Her address will address the intersecting concepts of wild foods, colonialism, and conservation in the US and worldwide.

2:30pm -3:45 pm EST – Interview with Sherry Pocknett, Wampanoag Chef

Learn about local Indigenous foodways from Sherry as she shares stories and her knowledge of the traditional techniques in farming, hunting, fishing, foraging, and cooking behind Wampanoag foods. Sherry will be interviewed by Netta Davis, seasoned forager and lecturer in Gastronomy at BU.

4:00pm-5:15 pm EST – Equitable Greening: An Address by Reann Gibson

Reann Gibson, Conservation Law Foundation Ventures Senior Research Fellow, will be speaking about creating green spaces that support resilient, healthy communities.

5:15pm -7:00 pm EST – Dinner Break: Screening of Gather

Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Grab some dinner, or some popcorn, and enjoy this beautiful film. (Link will be available in advance for those unable to watch at this time.)

7:00pm - 8:00 pm EST – Post Screening Q&A with Danielle Hill, Gather cast member

Have your questions ready for this Q&A with Gather cast member Danielle Hill. A member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Indigenous Sustainability consultant, Danielle will discuss her work preserving Wampanoag land and cultural heritage.

SUNDAY, APRIL 18

11:00-12:00 pm EST – Foraged Foods Recipe Demo by Alexis Nikole (@blackforager)

Learn how to turn your foraged finds into delicious culinary creations! Alexis is an experienced forager and vegan food concoctor from Columbus, OH. Her dynamic, educational, and of course, entertaining videos on social media make wild foods accessible and fun for all.

1:00 - 2:30 pm EST - Instagram Takeover with Maria Pinto

Maria Pinto is a Boston-area writer, mushroom enthusiast, and educator. Follow along @gastronomyatbu to join her on a hunt for spring funghi!

1:00-4:00 pm EST – Remote Scavenger Hunt Activity

Whether you live outside of Boston or in the Bay Area, there are wild foods no matter where you live. Try your hand at identifying plants in your neighborhood, compare notes, and ask questions in our Slack group.

4:00-5:00 pm EST – Living Landscapes Lightning Talks and Q&A

Researchers from all over Boston University are asking important questions at the intersections of climate change, racial justice, and environmental stewardship. Learn about their research and ask your questions at this interdisciplinary and interactive event.

5:00-6:00 pm EST - Dinner Break

Try your hand at incorporating wild foods into your dinner, or try one of our recipes!

6:00-7:00 pm EST – Wrap Up: (Virtual) Conference Potluck & Community Discussion

How does foraging fit into our collective paths to racial and environmental justice? Join us for this concluding conversation as we reflect on the weekend and look to the future.

Accessibility & Inclusion

The BU Gastronomy Program strives to be accessible, inclusive, and diverse in all of our programming. Your experience at this event is important to us! If you have a disability (including but not limited to learning or attention, mental health, concussion, vision, mobility, hearing, physical or other health-related), require communication access services for Deaf or hard of hearing persons, or believe that you require a reasonable accommodation for another reason please contact Dana Ferrante (dferr@bu.edu) upon registration.

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