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About the Forum

Photos of people in the forums.

Our intent for the forum is to:

  • Create a space that welcomes a diverse group of participants to learn, share and collaborate

  • Provide opportunities for skill-building, sharing resources and networking with other councils

  • Identify opportunities for changing food policy at local, state, regional, tribal and federal levels

  • Raise awareness about the value of food policy councils

Guiding Principles

  • Reckoning with the role of race, power and injustice - We acknowledge that structural and institutional racism continue to influence food systems, and we work to shift the power imbalances that exclude black, brown, indigenous and poor communities from decisions about food systems.

  • Radical hospitality - We strive to create an equitable space that invites and welcomes people from all walks of life and listens to their contributions.

  • Embrace the gifts of diversity - We honor the experiences and contributions of people most affected by societal problems and strive to create a space where they feel safe to be co-creators of the processes for change.

  • People-centered - We recognize that the truths and legacies of people and place have not been central to food systems work and therefore we uphold the humanity and dignity of the most vulnerable to self-determine their knowledge sharing, skill building and relationship building.  

  • Dialogue and learning - We come to this space accepting that each of us has a lived experience that affects how we navigate the world. We welcome respectful disagreement in this space where we can suspend our assumptions and conclusions to listen with intent and to respect the truths of others.

  • Collaboration - We recognize that food systems problems are complex and require dignity, respect and accountable relationships with people outside of our current networks to help us achieve transformative change.

  • Future generations - We value ethical stewardship of natural resources and living beings. We honor the truths of our ancestors and value the ideas and expertise of youth in determining how we sustain our humanities and our environment for future generations.  

  • Accountability - We acknowledge that without action, these values are just words on a page. We will strive to act in ways that are consistent, transparent, honest and accountable to the values, goals, intended practices and people that are entrusting their time and energy to the Forum.

The above guiding principles draw inspiration and language from The Principles for Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement: A guide to transformational change by Kip Holley, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University; Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative’s Beliefs, Values and Principles to Transform Mississippi Food SystemsLeadership Learning Community Webinar Series: Systems Thinking and Racial Justice Featuring Professor John Powell; and Detroit Food Policy Council Values.

National Design Team

We are indebted to our design team who has worked with us much longer than we all anticipated. They have been instrumental in developing goals and objectives, designing the overall forum program, guiding the structure and content of the sessions, and recommending speakers. Click here to see all the national team members.

Local Host Committee

Our local host committee has committed countless hours organizing pre-forum tours, recommending reception sites and transportation options, connecting us to local restaurants, caterers and performers, and identifying local facilitators and speakers. Their service also went above and beyond due to the postponement of the forum. Click here to see all the local host committee members.

About CLF and FPN

Since 1996, Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has worked to protect the public’s health and address some of the most pressing issues in the food system. CLF’s research, education and practice portfolios include several areas of focus, including several that are directly relevant to the interests and concerns of FPCs. This includes work on:  Food Systems & Climate Change, Food Policy & Governance, Food Equity, Strengthening Food System Resilience, Food Animal Production, Seafood, and Reducing Food Waste.

CLF’s Food Policy Networks (FPN) project is the only national project that explicitly supports the development of effective state and local food policy through FPCs. Since 2013, CLF has supported networking, capacity building, research, and technical assistance for FPCs, national organizations, and other local and regional food systems policy stakeholders seeking to improve the food system through public policy. Up until now, this support has been provided through a 2,000-member listserv, webinars and discussions, curbside consulting, and online technical assistance. CLF staff also provide in-person technical assistance and networking through presentations and advising to individual FPCs. We are excited for the opportunity to bring people together in the same place. Like all of you, we are overdue for some face time.