Activists to discuss how alternative economic models can help achieve food, racial and climate justice

Organizer, educator and writer Kali Akuno will participate in a York University panel titled “Food Sovereignty, Climate Justice and Racial Justice: Making the Links” on Feb. 25. The free event, open to the public, will explore challenges and opportunities associated with alternative economic models that support food sovereignty, climate justice and racial justice. The panel will take place beginning at 2:30 p.m. in room 305 Founders College at the Keele Campus.

Kali Akuno
Kali Akuno

Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, an emerging network of worker cooperatives and supporting institutions in Jackson, Mississippi. He has also served as the co-director of the US Human Rights Network, as the executive director of the Peoples’ Hurricane Relief Fund after Hurricane Katrina and co-founded the School of Social Justice and Community Development, a public school serving the academic needs of low-income African American and Latino communities in Oakland, California.

In his panel presentation, Akuno will share his experiences leading Cooperation Jackson as the organization works to advance the development of economic democracy by building a solidarity economy anchored by a network of cooperatives and other types of worker-owned and democratically self-managed enterprises. Akuno’s presentation will be followed by conversations with local voices including Leticia Deawuo of Black Creek Community Farm and Adabu Brownhill Jefwa with the National Farmers Union.

Many argue that while the industrial model of growing and consuming food is contributing to both climate change and social inequity, alternative economies – including alternative food networks – continue to benefit white, middle-class populations while further marginalizing lower-income groups and communities of colour. This panel will explore to what extent alternative economic can models work for everyone, what models can be pointed to and how they can more meaningfully prioritize racially and economically marginalized communities.

Students, faculty, staff and members of the public interested in attending the panel are asked to RSVP on the event’s website.