Food activists, entrepreneurs to speak on sustainability, food justice during University Lectures/Syracuse Symposium presentation Oct. 9
Food activists, entrepreneurs to speak on sustainability, food justice during University Lectures/Syracuse Symposium presentation Oct. 9September 26, 2007Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Activists and entrepreneurs Alice Waters and Judy Wicks will bring attention to a myriad of issues, such as sustainability and food justice, during a joint appearance at Syracuse University on Tuesday, Oct. 9, as part of The University Lectures series and the 2007 Syracuse Symposium, presented by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Waters and Wicks will engage in a conversation on “Doing Well and Doing Good” at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The conversation will be moderated by Don Mitchell, professor of geography in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs who is leading a hunger mapping project in Syracuse.
The event is free and open to the public; parking is available in the Irving Garage at a reduced rate. The SU Bookstore will have books written by Waters and Wicks available for purchase at Hendricks, including Waters’ latest book, due for release on Oct. 2.
As a follow-up to the Oct. 9 event, a “Roundtable on Food and Justice” will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from noon-2 p.m. in Room 304 of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. It will feature the Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, SU’s Episcopal chaplain and the rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Syracuse; Danny Block of the Department of Geography at Chicago State University; Hilda Kurtz of the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia; Matt Potteiger of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Tom Slater of the Food Bank of Central New York; and Andy Walter of the Department of Geography at the University of West Georgia.
Waters and Wicks will also both meet with students in class settings during their time in Syracuse, and Wicks will be the honored guest at the YWCA “Spirit of American Women” event in Syracuse on Oct. 10.
Alice WatersA native of New Jersey, Waters graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 with a degree in French cultural studies and trained at the Montessori School in London before spending a seminal year traveling in France. She opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., in 1971, serving a single, fixed-price menu that changes daily. The set menu format remains at the heart of Waters’ philosophy of serving only the highest-quality products, only when they are in season. Over the course of three decades, Chez Panisse has developed a network of mostly local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures Chez Panisse a steady supply of pure and fresh ingredients.
Waters is a strong advocate of farmers’ markets and sound and sustainable agriculture. In 1996, in celebration of the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, she created the Chez Panisse Foundation to help underwrite cultural and educational programs such as the one at the Edible Schoolyard that demonstrate the transformative power of growing, cooking and sharing food.
Among Waters’ many board affiliations, she is the founder and director of the Chez Panisse Foundation; an international governor of Slow Food; a visiting dean at the French Culinary Institute; an honorary trustee of the American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts in Napa; and board member of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Waters is author and co-author of eight books, including “Chez Panisse Vegetables” (1996); “Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook” (1999); “Fanny at Chez Panisse” (1997), a storybook and cookbook for children; and most recently the encyclopedic “Chez Panisse Fruit” (2002), all from William Morrow Cookbooks.
Chez Panisse was named Best Restaurant in America by Gourmet magazine in 2001. Waters has received numerous awards, including the Bon Appetit magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and the James Beard Humanitarian Award in 1997. She was named Best Chef in America by the James Beard Foundation in 1992 and Cuisine et Vins de France listed her as one of the 10 best chefs in the world in 1986.
Judy WicksJudy Wicks is owner and founder of Philadelphia’s 24-year-old White Dog Cafe and is a national leader in the local, living economies movement. She is co-founder and co-chair of the national Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN). She is also president of the White Dog Cafe Foundation, dedicated to building a local living economy in the Philadelphia region.
The cafe sources all produce in season from local organic family farms. All meat and poultry is humanely raised, and fish and seafood are sourced from sustainable fisheries. The cafe has helped lead campaigns to ban the sale of endangered fish and the use of GMO (genetically modified) products. One hundred percent of electricity is generated by wind power at the cafe, the first business in Pennsylvania to do so. Entry-level employees make a minimum “living wage” of $9 per hour. Twenty percent of profits are contributed to the White Dog Cafe Foundation and other nonprofits. Foundation projects include Fair Food, which connects local family farms with urban markets, and the PIG Alliance, which supports pastured pig farming as an alternative to confinement pork production.
With a four-part mission of serving customers, community, employees and the natural environment, the White Dog Cafe has created numerous educational and community-building programs that focus on topics such as economic and social justice, environmental protection, peace and non-violence, drug policy reform and community arts. Through “Table for Six Billion, Please!” the international “sister restaurant” project Wicks began in 1984, she has organized trips to Cuba, Israel / Palestine, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua and Vietnam in order to understand the effects of U.S. policy. A local sister restaurant program promotes minority-owned restaurants in Philadelphia and Camden. In 1992, Wicks began the White Dog mentoring program, which introduces inner-city high school students to the restaurant business. Her adjacent gift store, the Black Cat, features local and fair trade crafts. White Dog Enterprises employs more than 100 people and grosses about $5 million annually, demonstrating the concept of “doing well by doing good.”
Wicks has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Business Enterprise Trust award, founded by Norman Lear, for creative leadership in combining sound business management with social vision. More recently, she received Business Ethics Magazine’s first “Living Economy Award” and the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award in 2005. Other accolades include American Benefactor’s “America’s 25 Most Generous Companies,” Oprah Magazine’s “Amazingly Gifted and Giving Food Professionals” and Inc. Magazine’s 25 favorite entrepreneurs in the country.
About The University Lectures
The University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment in the areas of architecture and design; the humanities and the sciences; and public policy, management and communications. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s trustees, alumni and friends.
Other scheduled speakers in the 2007-08 series are Nuremberg prosecutor Henry T. King, Jr. (Oct. 11); Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder (Nov. 6); Amory Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute (Nov. 15); Marjorie Hill, CEO of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (Feb. 26, 2008); Robert Satloff, executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (March 18, 2008); and Eboo Patel, founder and director of the Interfaith Youth Core (March 27, 2008).
The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or for additional information about University Lectures, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at (315) 443-2941 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://lectures.syr.edu.
About the Syracuse Symposium
The Syracuse Symposium is a semester-long intellectual and artistic festival, hosted by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, that celebrates interdisciplinary thinking, imagination and creation. The theme for the 2007 series is “Justice.” For more information, visit http://symposium.syr.edu.