Arizona News

Rio Salado College Hosts Food Justice Conference Featuring Author Leah Penniman, March 18

Rio Salado College is proud to host Food Justice: Creating Equity Through Sustainable Food Systems, a free, half-day conference on Wed., March 18, 2020 at the Rio Salado Conference Center in Tempe, Arizona. The event will feature sessions led by local community leaders, as well as a keynote presentation from renowned author of Farming While Black, Leah Penniman.


The conference is hosted by Rio Salado’s Sustainable Food Systems program in an effort to bring together members of the local food community, facilitate meaningful dialogue, and develop solutions related to the inequity in our food system. In addition to the keynote presentation by Penniman, an opportunity to network, and a local, plant-based lunch, the event will include several thought-provoking breakout sessions.


“A philosophy guiding our Sustainable Food Systems program is that the health of people and the health of the planet is intertwined as are sustainability practices and social equity,” Shelley Dennis, Faculty Chair of Rio Salado’s Health Sciences and Sustainability department, said. “This event will bring organizations and community leaders like Leah Penniman together to address issues of inequity and develop collaborative solutions.”


Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol farmer, author, mother, and food justice activist who has been tending the soil and organizing for an anti-racist food system for over 20 years. She currently serves as founding co-executive director of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, a people-of-color led project that works toward food and land justice. Her new book is Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land.


To register for this event or to learn more, please visit For information about sponsoring this event, please contact Jessie Story at

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