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Conference Schedule

>> Thursday, October 17:

5:10 pm Lauren Bon, "Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society has the Capacity to Destroy", Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty Street

Environmental artist Lauren Bon will open the conference as the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker. Lauren is a Los Angeles artist whose work explores land art projects in order to galvanize social and political transformation.

>> Friday, October 18:

8:00 am Registration table in EQ Upper Atrium

8:00 am Continental Breakfast EQ Private Dining Room

All events take place in the Keene Theater in the Residential College unless otherwise noted. 

8:45 am Welcome: Virginia Murphy, Faculty Director, Residential College East Quad Garden, University of Michigan

9:00 - 10:15 am: Soil Resistance and Recovery: How Academic Institutions Learn from Farmers

Panel Chair:  Jeremy Moghtader, Manager, Campus Farm University of Michigan

  • Jennifer Blesh, PhD (Assistant Professor, Soil and Agroecosystems, University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability)
  • Tom Zilke (Co-Owner and Operator Zilke Vegetable Farm, and Zilke Farm Kitchen)
  • Akello Karamoko (Farmer, Plum Street Market for Keep Growing Detroit)

10:30 - 11:45am: Growing Heritage:  Reclaiming Indigenous Seeds

Panel Chair:  Lisa Young, Lecturer IV, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan

  • Shiloh Maples (Program Manager for Food Sovereignty & Wellness Initiatives, American Indian Health & Family Services, Detroit)
  • Susan Sekaqueptewa (Hopi Tribe agent for Federally-Recognized Tribes Extension Program, USDA)
  • Rowen White (Coordinator of Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance’s Indigenous Seed Keepers Network and Director and Founder, Sierra Seeds)

11:45 - 12:30 pm East Quad Dining Hall and Private Dining Room

Buffet lunch prepared by University of Michigan Sustainable Food Program with food grown by the University of Michigan Campus Farm

12:30 - 1:15pm: Upper Atrium, Student Posters & Research Session 

1:15 -2:15  Keynote Speaker: Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating:  Undercover at Walmart, Applebees, Farm Fields, and the Dinner Table, Keene Theater

Keynote Introduction: Lynette Clemetson, Charles R. Eisendrath Director of Wallace House Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists and the Livingston Awards

2:30 - 3:45pm: Healthy Food Actionists: Lightning fast discussions about what’s working and why

Panel Chair:  Lilly Fink Shapiro, MPH; Program Manager, University of Michigan Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, University of Michigan

  • Janee Moore, Food Access Public Health Consultant, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Markell Miller, Director of Community Food Programs at Food Gatherers
  • Laura Vollmer, Policy Analyst at University of California, Nutrition Policy Institute

3:45 - 5:00pm: Community Values:  Supporting Local Producers

Panel Chair:  Alex Bryan, Manager, Sustainable Food Program, University of Michigan; Co-Owner, Food Field, Detroit, Michigan

  • Melvin Parson (Founder and Executive Director of We the People’s Growers Association, Ypsilanti, Michigan)
  • Invited: John Vandermeer, PhD (Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan)
  • Invited: Student associated with Maize and Blue Cupboard (on-campus food pantry founded by students, now a funded university initiative)

5:00 - 5:30pm Closing Remarks: Dilip Das, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Michigan

5:00 - 5:30 pm Student Poster & Research Sessions

The Detroit Connector is an excellent transportation option if you are coming from Detroit. Info here: