12:00-6:00 pm, Monday, June 18 Cost: $125; includes boxed lunch and transportation
Join your fellow funders for a special tour of renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater, located in the mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. Fallingwater is one of Wright’s most widely acclaimed works and best exemplifies his philosophy of organic architecture: the harmonious union of art and nature. Designed in 1935 and completed in 1939, Fallingwater and its surrounding 1,500 acres of natural land was donated and entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservatory in 1963.
Today, Fallingwater is open to the public as a museum and is designated as a National Historic Landmark and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Treasure. The house was also named the “best all-time work of American architecture” in a poll of members of the American Institute of Architects. Travel+Leisure Magazine stated that Fallingwater is “one of the 12 landmarks that will change the way you see the world.” Since its public debut 82 years ago, more than five million visitors have toured and experienced Fallingwater. Come join their ranks during this fun pre-Forum visit.
1:00-4:00 pm, Monday, June 18 Cost: $100; transportation on your own
Start your Forum experience with a hands-on Indian bread making class! We’ll meet at a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to participate in a delicious hands-on experience guided by Chatham University’s Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation (CRAFT). This class will explore two traditional Indian breads: chappathi (roti), an unleavened flatbread, and masala dosa, a South Indian specialty made of fermented rice and lentil batter filled with Indian-style potatoes. Participants will also learn about Indian cooking and spices, and make a chutney to be eaten with the dosa. Each participant will leave with the knowledge of how to make these tasty breads at home!
Instructor: Jayashree (Jay) Iyengar, owner, Popping Mustard Seeds – Indian Cooking Classes and More, PA
Kick off your time at the Forum by joining your colleagues for informal mixing and mingling at fl.2 bar and restaurant—named for its location on the second floor of the Fairmont Hotel. Connect with peers and SAFSF staff and leadership over drinks.
Speakers: Bridget Dobrowski, managing director, SAFSF, CA Andrew McElwaine, vice president for sustainability, The Heinz Endowments, PA Jen Zuckerman, director of strategic initiatives, World Food Policy Center, Duke University; chair, SAFSF board of directors and 2019 SAFSF Forum planning committee, NC
The Pittsburgh region sits at the confluence of three major rivers and the Appalachian Mountains. It is in the cross-currents of significant social change. As the region’s economy finally rebounds from the devastating loss of 125,000 manufacturing jobs between 1979 and 1986, lingering structural issues of racial equity, social justice, and food security now mingle with new questions around climate change, energy production, and public health.
In the opening plenary, regional thought leaders will share how they are addressing these challenges in an intersectional way and implementing community-based and regional solutions by building true partnerships and working in coalition. Our speakers will highlight the opportunities and challenges facing the region related to issues of immigration, rural economies, extractive industries, food systems, and more, and will share a vision of what the Pittsburgh region’s food system could be if everyone has a voice in shaping the regional narrative.
Moderator: Mila Sanina, executive director, PublicSource, PA
Speakers: Veronica Coptis, executive director, Center for Coalfield Justice, PA Jamaal Craig, executive director, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, PA Betty Cruz, founder and All for All project director, Change Agency, PA Amber Farr, director, One Northside, The Buhl Foundation, PA Dawn Plummer, executive director, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, PA
With more than 30 million students eating school lunch every day and more than four million children participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, school meal and child nutrition programs are vast not only in their reach but also in their impact. This session will engage funders in understanding the role that food system stakeholders, organizations, investors, and policymakers play in advancing a healthy, sustainable institutional food movement. Attendees will explore how investing in good food in K-12 schools as well as early care and education (ECE) settings can not only improve the health of children, but can also lead to procurement policies that benefit local and sustainable food producers, and spur workforce development through scratch-cook training. We will also discuss state and federal policies that come into play when addressing healthy food in educational settings. Through this session, funders will walk away with a clear understanding of the ingredients and impacts of healthy, equitable, and sustainable ECE and K-12 school food programs.
Sponsored by Chef Ann Foundation, National Farm to School Network, The Policy Equity Group, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Moderator: Anupama Joshi, executive director, Blue Sky Funders Forum, NC
Speakers: Helen Dombalis, executive director, National Farm to School Network, CO Mara Fleishman, chief executive officer, Chef Ann Foundation, CO Malik Hamilton, purchasing supervisor, Pittsburgh Public Schools, PA Jamese Kwele, director of food equity, Ecotrust, OR (formerly with the Food Trust, PA) Erica Lewis, food and nutrition manager, The Caring Center, PA
Whatever your geographic focus area, join us for a conversation about advancing regenerative agriculture practices in areas where the industrial agricultural system dominates. In this case study from the Heartland, speakers representing businesses and NGOs that form the ReGenerate Illinois (RI) coalition will share their multi-faceted, systems-oriented approach to challenges in our food system. These efforts include farmer organizing through the Idea Farm Network, on-the-ground activities focused in a rural watershed, and state-level policy change strategies. Attendees will learn what’s working and what obstacles are being encountered. You will also hear how RI members work to foster good, harmonious collaboration, even as they come to the table with different cultures and in competition for funding. We invite you to come and share your experiences and insights on coalition-building and agricultural change in rural areas as we build this work together.
Sponsored by Food:Land:Opportunity, Liberty Prairie Foundation, and The Lumpkin Family Foundation
Moderator: Nathan Aaberg, director, conservation and working lands, Liberty Prairie Foundation, IL
Speakers: Lenore Beyer, director of conservation programs, Kinship Foundation, IL Will Glazik, farmer, IL Erin Meyer, founder and director, Basil’s Harvest, IL Liz Stelk, executive director, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, IL
As global efforts to fight climate change grow, the movement for sustainable agriculture will face new and intensified threats from an energy sector seeking to diversify income, externalize waste streams, and position false solutions as real and inevitable. This session will inform funders about three growing concerns: the factory farm industry’s move to entrench—and greenwash—itself through “brown energy” infrastructure; the increased production of pesticides and fertilizers resulting from the natural gas boom; and the expanding use of untested wastewater from fracked gas wells for irrigation of crops and livestock. We will explore the implications of these threats for local farmers and communities, the future of sustainable agriculture, and the movement for a just transition. We aim to identify areas of collaboration, where efforts to stop pipelines and industrial facilities can partner productively with farmers, foodies, and philanthropists with a vision for a fundamentally sustainable future.
Sponsored by The 11th Hour Project, GRACE Communications Foundation, and Marisla Foundation
Moderator: Sarah Bell, program director, The 11th Hour Project, CA
Speakers: Lisa Anne Hamilton, director, Climate and Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law, DC Seth Shonkoff, executive director, PSE for Healthy Energy, CA (invited) Kendra Kimbirauskas, sustainable agriculture program consultant, State Innovation Exchange (SiX), OR
In communities across the country, fiber and textile production is emerging as an opportunity to diversify small agricultural enterprises and revitalize rural economies. This growing sector also offers opportunities to prioritize equity and ensure that historically disenfranchised communities take ownership of economically just production systems. In a final point of intersection, local textile processing infrastructure offers new opportunities for philanthropic investors and those deploying integrated capital strategies. Our session, co-sponsored by five partners from the in-depth fiber session at the 2018 SAFSF Forum, will feature intersecting perspectives from Native communities, apparel brands, and investment practitioners. Panelists will use a case study of a Native-led fiber hemp processing system to explore deeper questions of economic justice, cross-sector partnerships, and the role of capital in supporting just transition. The legalization of industrial hemp makes it especially critical that disenfranchised farmers benefit from this revived industry. Along the way we’ll explore the soil carbon sequestration potential of fiber cropping systems, and attendees will reflect on the many ways fiber systems can intersect with and inform strategies for just transition in food systems.
Sponsored by LIFT Economy, 11th Hour Project, Patagonia, Threadspan, and Island Foundation
Moderator: Sarah Kelley, senior program officer, Island Foundation, MA
Speakers: Sarah Ebe, environmental program officer, Patagonia, CA Mark Watson, managing director, Boston Impact Initiative, MA Don Wedll, lead project manager, Anishinaabe Agriculture Institute, MN
Our current food system is dominated by corporate supply chains that relegate the workers who pick or produce our food to the bottom. Bringing justice to the food system requires looking deeply at these power dynamics, where a quest for profit drives low wages, abusive working conditions, and precarity, while alienating us from the sources of our food. When workers have no power in a male-dominated industry, sexual harassment and sexual exploitation also become more common. This workshop will look at several organizations seeking to transform this power dynamic. The Fair Food Program mobilizes consumers to hold brands accountable for enforcing better working conditions—and has largely eliminated sexual harassment on participating farms. California Harvesters, a labor contractor owned by a worker trust, ensures better wages, job mobility, and complaint mechanisms for abuses. Migrant Justice has recently signed an enforceable agreement with Ben & Jerry’s, which includes raising both wages for dairy workers and income for small farm owners. Audience members will be invited to consider what approaches have transformative effects on other parts of the food system.
Sponsored by NEO Philanthropy
Moderator: Sienna Baskin, director, Anti-Trafficking Fund, NEO Philanthropy, MA
The proliferation of chemicals in our environment threatens not only our water and air, but also our food systems. We’ve all heard about pesticides, but equally dangerous is the food contamination arising from toxins such as phthalates used in tubing and perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) in water, sewage sludge, and coated paper packaging. The session will explore this emerging issue through the example of compost contaminated by chemicals used in food packaging. Using PFAS as a case study, we will investigate how produce grown with contaminated compost or sludge absorbs toxins from soil and re-contaminates people who aim to make healthy food choices. We will also look at how farmers and ranchers could be threatened by water contaminated by PFAS. In this discussion, participants will learn about common chemical offenders found in food, dive deeper into the dangers of PFAS, and hear how advocates are using market and policy campaigns to turn off the tap on toxic chemicals.
Sponsored by The John Merck Fund
Moderator: Christine H. James, executive director, The John Merck Fund, MA
Speakers: Sarah Doll, national director, Safer States, OR Jen Jackson, toxics reduction and healthy ecosystems program manager, San Francisco Department of the Environment, CA Erika Schreder, science director, Toxic-Free Future, WA
How can healthy soil shift the trajectory of climate change, while simultaneously producing healthier food and healthier people? Join us for an interactive discussion with soil scientist David Montgomery, organic inspector and farmer Christie Badger, and environmental health scientist Urvashi Rangan to explore connections between the soil, human, and planetary biomes. The goal for the session is to bring participants on a journey from soil through the agricultural production system, recognizing along the way the impact of healthy soils on our bodies and the planet’s atmosphere. Participants can connect the learning to their own grantmaking through hands-on engagement in a game based on Betsy Taylor’s “Healthy Soils to Cool the Planet,” a new philanthropic and investment guide to scaling up soil carbon sequestration that provides information on the benefits of healthy soils, a list of regenerative agricultural practices, and an extensive portfolio of recommended grantees. The session will be structured to promote professional skill building and new collaborative relationships, and to share emerging initiatives.
Sponsored by GRACE Communications Foundation, Globetrotter Fund, TomKat Foundation, and Cedar Tree Foundation
Moderator: Urvashi Rangan, chief science advisor, GRACE Communications Foundation, NY
Speakers: Christie Badger, independent organic inspector, PA David Montgomery, professor and author, University of Washington, WA
Narrative is a commonly misunderstood concept, often confused with storytelling. While narrative work involves storytelling, it encompasses a much broader values-driven body of work, combining communications research, message framing, and creative engagement. Narratives have significant influence, shaping our understanding of the way things are in the world, our identities and actions, as well as our notions for what change is even possible. Many working to advance social change struggle to overcome entrenched narratives that reinforce the status quo and hold us back. This session will demystify narrative, giving concrete examples of what it is (and what it isn’t) – and why long-term investment in narrative work is essential to harnessing its immense power. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from two topnotch narrative efforts: First Nation Development Institute’s “Reclaiming Native Truth” and the Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative’s work to create a shared narrative among their 44 member organizations. Participants will also explore narrative research and consider how narrative work can advance their own grantmaking goals.
Sponsored by Food and Farm Communications Fund
Moderator: Anna Lappé, program director, food and democracy, Panta Rhea Foundation, CA
Speakers: Michael Roberts, president and CEO, First Nations Development Institute, CO Rebecca M. Terk, grassroots organizer, Dakota Rural Action, SD
Do you ever wonder how your foundation’s investment portfolio actually impacts the planet and people? Or how the investments in your foundation’s endowment might or might not align with your grantmaking and PRI strategy? Moreover, have you been thinking about how you can utilize the power of capital without replicating or falling prey to the institutional bias that has defined capital markets throughout history? In this session you will learn how foundations are breaking new ground in investing in a way that has a positive impact on the climate; economic opportunity; health and nutrition; and other critical vectors of social and environmental change.
Sponsored by Cornerstone Capital Group and HRK Foundation
Moderator: Katherine Pease, managing director, impact strategy, Cornerstone Capital Group, CO
Speakers: Kim Dempsey, deputy director, social investment practice, Kresge Foundation, MI Shuaib Siddiqui, director of impact investing, Surdna Foundation, NY
Preemption—where a higher authority of law, such as a state, displaces a lower authority, such as a municipality—is a tactic that can derail locally-based, progressive policies, and funders need to be paying attention. As a cross-sector problem, preemption affects many food system issues: nutrition policy such as soda taxes and childhood nutrition standards, permitting and regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), food labeling, and fair wages—to name a few. Furthermore, the practice of preemption often serves to silence the voices of communities of color and to transfer control of state lawmaking to corporations, which have the resources to lobby effectively. This playbook, in part disseminated by organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council, which drafts and shares state-level legislation templates, is being replicated across multiple states. Even when local control is preserved, maintaining it requires enormous amounts of resources.
This session is designed to educate funders broadly about preemption and its effects on local control as it relates to food system issues, and through the lens of ensuring equity for affected populations. What can funders do to fight preemption within their sectors, and over time? What are the best ways to message about preemption when working on local fights against state interference?
Sponsored by GRACE Communications Foundation
Moderator: Caroline Brunton, program officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, MI
Speakers: Allyson Frazier, campaign research and development senior manager, American Heart Association, MA Patty Lovera, food and water program director, Food and Water Watch, DC Rhonda Perry, program director, Missouri Rural Crisis Center, MO
In this plenary session, panelists who are building infrastructure for sustained social change will challenge funders to ‘hold up the mirror’ and examine how we are using our power, privilege, and potential to bring about a transformation in the food system. Our speakers represent innovative funders and grantees utilizing the breadth of their capital to cultivate community-driven power, build and learn from social movements, and support truly transformative collaborations.
Speakers will reflect on questions including: What will it take to shift from funding at an organizational level to achieving the broader societal change we wish to see? How might we envision a social movement that truly supports a just and sustainable food and agriculture system for all? Can we, as gatekeepers of financial and social capital, practice grantmaking in a way that authentically values the long-term work of our grantees and their movement-building processes?
Guided by the learnings and reflections of our speakers, attendees will leave with insights and inspiration to lean into these critical questions about the social changes we want to see in the world and the practices we can implement to bring about those changes.
Moderator: Kolu Zigbi, program director, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, NY
Speakers: Farhad Ebrahemi, founder and president, Chorus Foundation, NY Saru Jayaraman, president, ROC United and ROC Action; director, Food Labor Research Center, CA Leah Penniman, co-director and program manager, Soul Fire Farm, NY
Themed Dinners or Dinner on Your Own Pre-registration is required for themed dinners. Exact timing and location of themed dinners vary.
Dinner on Your Own — Use this time to meet with fellow attendees and make connections, or simply have a quiet night to reflect on the day’s learning. A list of nearby restaurants can be found in the mobile guide.
Themed Dinners — Click on the titles below for more details. Pre-registration is required.
Fifty years of food banking in the US has failed to end hunger. The reliance on “emergency” sources has become chronic. The public perception that hunger can be solved with charitable food aid and corporate capture of charity absolves the government of responsibility and ignores the root causes. Hunger persists because people cannot afford to buy food and because people are denied access to or are displaced from the land, water, and other resources they need to produce food.
The Right to Food is part of a broader human rights framework used by global social movements in the struggle for food sovereignty through coordinated reform of food and nutrition, fishing, and farming. What can the anti-hunger and sustainable agriculture sectors in the U.S. borrow from this global framework in order to build power and support a fundamental shift away from the false narratives and neo-liberal policies that shape our current food and farming systems?
Sponsored by WhyHunger and Small Planet Fund
Moderator: Alison Cohen, senior director of programs, WhyHunger, NY
Speakers: Denisse Córdova Montes, supervising attorney/lecturer in law, human rights clinic, University of Miami School of Law, FL Robert Ojeda, chief program officer, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, AZ Dawn Plummer, executive director, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, PA
Leaders of state agriculture departments help determine the future of our farm and food system. Not only do they distribute federal funding, they also oversee programs and regulations that impact farming, local food system development, land use, soil and water conservation, market development, and more. That is why it is important to pay attention to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). Funding from SAFSF members has allowed dozens of food systems advocates to attend NASDA convenings and bring the perspective of just and sustainable food to state commissioners of agriculture. In 2018, more than 20 food systems advocates attended regional and national NASDA meetings under the auspices of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG). Those who attended carried a coordinated message of the economic, environmental, social, and political importance of the sustainable agriculture and food systems movement. NESAWG’s executive director Tracy Lerman will join us to share how she is using the SAFSF-facilitated connection to NASDA to influence agriculture directors in her state and region.
Sponsored by The John Merck Fund, Community Food Funders, and SAFSF
Moderator: Christine James, executive director, The John Merck Fund, MA
Speakers: Adam Leibowitz, director, Community Food Funders, NY Tracy Lerman, executive director, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, NY
How we think and talk about seeds and soil reflects our cultural relationship with the natural world, including our bodies. In some food systems, reverence for seeds and soil is culturally grounded through language, stories, and ceremony. In these food systems, people recognize seeds and soil as living beings, not commodities, and through them maintain their vital connection to the natural world. Nurturing spiritual values such as respect, reciprocity, relationships, and harmony can help prepare us to face the challenges and complexities of transforming a food system where poverty, malnutrition, and environmental destruction often prevail. A three-person panel of culturally-grounded farmers and food advocates will provide real examples and inspiration for how we can nurture transformation in the food system by changing how we think and talk about seeds and soil and relate spiritually and culturally to the food we eat.
Sponsored by New Field Foundation
Moderator: Jonathon Landeck, managing director, New Field Foundation, CA
Speakers: Marcus Briggs-Cloud, cco-director, Ekvn-Yefolecv, AL Lilian Hill, executive director, Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute, AZ Lea Zeise, technical assistance specialist, Intertribal Agriculture Council, WI
Corporate attempts to open U.S. waters to industrial fish farming (also known as open ocean or marine finfish aquaculture) have loomed for years on what looked like a distant horizon. For more than a decade, Grassroots fishing communities and environmental groups concerned about escapement, genetic manipulation, and ecosystem impacts of such facilities have worked together successfully to beat back federal permitting attempts. Unfortunately, all signs point to re-introduction of aquaculture legislation and a concerted push by the factory fish farming industry to open our oceans to CAFOs in 2019. What role can funders play in blocking the worst forms of aquaculture so we can prevent the kind of disasters such as the Puget Sound breach that saw more than 260,000 non-native Atlantic salmon escape into the wild? Join us to learn about collaborative efforts—spanning from the grassroots to the grasstops—that are working together to protect our oceans, our fishstock, the livelihoods of fishing communities, and our collective access to real, healthy, fair, and ecologically responsible seafood.
Sponsored by GRACE Communications Foundation
Moderator: Scott Cullen, executive director, GRACE Communications Foundation, NY
Speakers: Niaz Dorry, coordinating director, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance & National Family Farm Coalition, MA Rosanna Marie Neil, policy counsel, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, DC Hallie Templeton, senior oceans campaigner, Friends of the Earth, CA
How can funders operationalize equity, justice, and self-governance in changing food systems? In the emerging area of Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD) work, and informed by learning from the Fresh, Local, Equitable funding initiative, The Kresge Foundation and DAISA Enterprises have supported a Steering Committee of EFOD practitioners to begin to codify a field of practice and make recommendations for just funding and relationships. Participants in this highly interactive session will discuss both the process of practitioner involvement in program design and implementation, as well as EFOD as a framework for justice-first food-based community change. The session will feature the insight of those who have long held frontline wisdom about how to shift power in neighborhood food environments, and will dissect tools and tactics.
Ideal dinner participants will have great interest in potentially supporting this work and/or experiences to share in engaging community-based practitioners in program design for greater equity and impact.
Sponsored by The Kresge Foundation
Moderator: Stacey Barbas, senior program officer for health, The Kresge Foundation, MI
Speakers: Lorena Andrade, executive director, La Mujer Obrera, TX Mariela Cedeño, interim executive director, Mandela Partners, CA Trisha Chakrabarti, affiliated consultant, DAISA Enterprises, NY Neelam Sharma, executive director, Community Services Unlimited, Inc., CA
We can’t just keep pushing new money at old ways of doing business. The average age of farmers in the US is 56 and likely going up. Farm debt is up 125% since 1994. It’s time to rethink the way we are doing finance. While initially intended to benefit agribusinesses, the current state of agriculture finance now serves only to improve the bottom line of the lending entities. It is no longer a solution, but part of the problem. Along with reexamining our production practices to align with the concept of sustainability, we must also evaluate the current spectrum of agriculture finance options for agribusinesses and determine whether they are contributing to this conceptual effort or inhibiting it. The Intertribal Agriculture Council has been engaged in this effort for three decades and will talk about Akiptan CDFI, its solution to this situation. We will also share the innovative strategies that will lift agriculture finance from a reliance on existing structures and philanthropy, and help funders think of sustainable agriculture as an investment opportunity, as opposed to a charity case. And we’ll have a very special meal that will leave you nourished, too.
Sponsored by Akiptan CDFI
Moderator: Zach Ducheneaux, chairman of the board, Akiptan CDFI, Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, SD
Speakers: Elsie Meeks, board chair, Native American Agriculture Fund, Oglala Lakota Reservation, SD Dugan Bad Warrior, rancher, Zuya Sica Ranch, Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, SD
Wednesday, June 19
Site Visits, Learning Journeys, Reality Tours, Whatever You Want to Call Them… Exact timing de