About the Event
Harnessing Narrative for Food Sovereign Futures
Throughout the year, the MCA hosts high-quality professional development programming, open to teachers of all subjects, grade levels, and disciplines. These events are educator-specific, skills-based, training on contemporary art integration. Programs are designed in connection with the cultural assets of the MCA and the needs of the Chicago area educators. In keeping with addressing issues of relevance, the 2023–24 Learning Series is a four-part series exploring “The Impact of Food Apartheid in Education.”
The term “apartheid” is used as it acknowledges the existence of economic and racial segregation systems. And as history has shown us, apartheid systems can be dismantled through collective action.
This workshop, titled “Harnessing Narrative for Food Sovereign Futures,” is meant to help us to understand food apartheid: how it impacts our lives and how we can leverage power in order to mobilize towards food sovereignty. Through experiential storytelling, collective imagination exercises, and power-mapping strategies, teachers work alongside food justice advocates to learn how they can make a difference in their classroom, their school, and their food system. This session includes a making and a writing activity.
About the Speakers
Nick Davis is a storyteller, DJ, cook, and organizer committed to building compassionate relationships that create capacity for healing, nourishment, and agency for his people. He’s played many roles in the Chicago food system—restaurant cook, community organizer, communications strategist, policy advocate, volunteer coordinator. Most recently Davis worked for Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, where he founded and led the Ag Connects Us All initiative, leading to over $30 million in state and federal funds made available for local farmers of color and co-operative grocery stores. He is currently the Managing Director for Community Engagement and Communications at the Community Food Navigator.
Dakarai Howard is an urban farmer, organizer, and food justice advocate. Howard has a passion for food accessibility and civic engagement and has worn many hats to pair the two concepts over the years. He now serves as the Sr. Policy Advisor with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Howard plans to continue uplifting sustainable agriculture as a means to advance policy reform and further promote community economic development and land stewardship throughout Illinois.
Justus Cornelius Pugh is a South Side Chicago-bred storyteller, facilitator, tech designer, and creative entrepreneur. Pugh’s work is driven by a deep belief in the power of community connection, resource access, and collective liberation. These core tenets drive his afrotranscendental consultancy, where he works with individuals, collectives, and organizations to creatively explore the intersection of wellness, the arts, and entrepreneurship.
Support for teacher programs at the MCA is generously provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by Crown Family Philanthropies, Discover, Dr. Scholl Foundation, and the Siragusa Family Foundation.