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Convening: Food & Faith

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.

Convening Objectives

  • 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
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

Adrienne Krone
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

Darriel Harris
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

Hisham Moharram

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.

Related Podcasts

Podcast Heber Brown

E22: Heber Brown on Organizing Communities Around Their Food
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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.

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E20: Darriel Harris on Harnessing Faith to Improve Community Health
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E08: Norman Wirzba: Does Faith Shape your Relationship to Food?
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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,…

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Convening conversations and the direct feedback of attendees post-convening reveal a strong collective desire for a convening that brings funders and practitioners together for in-person…

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May 1, 2018 - November 15, 2018


  • Duke World Food Policy Center: Alex Treyz, Emma Lietz Bilecky, Jen Zuckerman
  • Robb Webb, The Duke Endowment
  • Norma Wirzba, Duke Divinity School
  • Christopher Carter, University of San Diego