The Duke Endowment, the Duke Divinity School and Duke’s World Food Policy Center (WFPC) convened leaders working at the intersection of food and faith to connect and learn from one another. The WFPC, as part of its overarching equitable food communities initiative, led in developing grantee-informed content and the logistics and planning for the convening on November 12-13, 2018. The convening created a strategic platform for building community, engaging in peer-to-peer learning, discussions about evaluation, metrics, and aggregate outcomes, and collectively casting a future vision for this work. The 1-day convening in Durham, North Carolina, included a social dinner the previous evening, with representatives participating from various faith and food organizations.
Develop a state of the science and practice report
Network and build community of food and faith practitioners;
Share lessons learned, best practices, challenges, innovations, and opportunities for improvement in a peer-to-peer learning environment in which everyone is both a student and a teacher;
Collectively and by organization define success in food and faith work;
Discuss and define the best methods of evaluating food and faith work;
Brainstorm ways of amplifying and increasing the collective impact of food and faith practitioner work.
Framing the Convening and the State of the Food & Faith Field: Theological, Spiritual, and Ethical Grounding Talks
A First Nations Perspective on Food
A’dae Romero-Briones provides a First Nation’s perspective on food, and was part of a larger discussion on Food & Faith. Romero-Briones (Cochiti/Kiowa) works as Director of Programs-Native food and agricultural Initiative for First Nations Development Institute. She is formerly the Director of Community Development for Pulama Lana’i. She is also the co-founder and former Executive Director of a non-profit in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico. Romero-Briones worked for the University of Arkansas’ Indigenous Food and Agricultural Initiative while a student there. She wrote extensively about Food Safety, the Produce Safety rule and tribes, and the protection of tribal traditional foods.
A Jewish Perspective on Food
Dr. Adrienne Krone provides a Jewish perspective on food, and was part of a larger discussion on Food & Faith. Dr. Krone works for Allegheny College. Krone is Director of Jewish Life at Allegheny College, advises Hillel, leads religious services, and provides support for the Jewish community on campus. She is also Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. Her research focuses on communal Jewish farms and the sustainable Jewish farming movement in the United States. Her expertise ranges from the history of religion in the U.S., to modern Judaism, to religion and food.
A Christian Perspective on Food
Reverend Darriel Harris presents a Christian perspective on food. Harris is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Health Behavior and Society. His research interests are in faith-based health communications, neighborhood related health factors, social determinants of health, and community-based participatory research. Darriel worked for the Center for a Livable Future as project coordinator for the Baltimore Food and Faith Project before matriculating as a PhD student. He also created a faith-based curriculum for healthy eating that has been used in more than 25 Baltimore churches.
A Muslim Perspective on Food
Dr. Hisham Moharram describes how he lives his Muslim faith with respect to his relationship to food, land and agriculture. Dr. Hisham Moharram is an American Muslim born in Egypt. He is a plant biologist by formal training, with sixteen years in academic research, who chose to become an agripreneur and an environmental and social justice activist. To serve that dual mission, Moharram started The Good Tree Farm project in 2007. Moharram seeks to engage Muslims and other faith communities in working together to care for people and planet.
In the US food system, communities of color suffer disproportionately from lack of access to affordable, nutritious food. But what happens when you connect growers with their communities? Or when communities grow their own food on Church owned land? In Baltimore, Maryland, and along the I-95 corridor in the southeast United States, you can see this happening through the Black Church Food Security Network. Our next guest on The Leading Voices in Food is Reverend Dr. Heber Brown, who founded this network with the goal of helping churches to grow their own food on church-owned land, and to partner black farmers and urban growers with historically African American congregations to create pipelines for fresh produce.
Can you make sustainable changes in community or neighborhood health without tackling the issue of food and diet? Why is such work so difficult? What is the role of churches and other faith organizations? Our next guest on The Leading Voices in Food is Reverend Darriel Harris and he works on this problem in a variety of ways.
Did you know that most church land holdings are not located in high-priced cities? Instead, they're in countless rural locations from Maine to California, with land deeded over in wills by former parishioners or purchased over the years by church leaders. Today's guest on The Leading Voices in Food series is Nurya Love Parish, who is animated by the idea that from a religious perspective, land is part of creation and needs to be managed with wisdom.
How should society balance people's needs and wants for meat and eggs against the needs and wants of farmers and farm animals? What do theologians and ethicists have to say about factory farming, animals and marginalized communities. It's a complicated subject that triggers strong feelings about moral economics, racial equity, nutrition, and environmental sustainability will explore these issues today on The Leading Voices in Food podcast with our guest, Methodist pastor Christopher Carter, who's also an assistant professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego.
What does it mean to be a conscientious consumer of food? Does it make a difference to the economy, the environment, or is it simply a personal decision? What do people of faith have to say about it? We'll explore these issues today on the Leading Voices in Food Podcast with our guest, Dr Aaron Gross, an Associate Professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego.
For most of us today—getting food is a relatively easy trip to the grocery store or a restaurant. Agrarian theologists see this as a trend of capitalism and urban life. But is this good for us…as individuals and as stewards of our environment? Are we becoming too spiritually and ethically removed from the realities of food production? We’ll explore these questions and more on The Leading Voices in Food with Dr. Norman Wirzba.
What can food teach us about our community lifeways, past and present? Community food life ways or one way that first nations tribes can regain food sovereignty in the face of federal policies that have diminished native lands, imposed a non-native diet, and made it difficult to retain native languages. This is a core part of the work of today's guest on the Leading Voices in Food A'dae Romero-Briones.
Hisham Moharram describes himself as an agripreneur and an environmental and social justice activist. His life's goal is to establish a local food economy and to show people that we can produce food with environmental stewardship and faith-based agribusiness at the core.
This project examines the landscape of organizations operating in the United States at the intersection of food and faith across Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religions,…