Food justice scholar to host day of events

contact: Jonna Johnson
| WMU News
Photo of Dorceta .


KALAMAZOO—A day of events focused on food justice research is planned for Wednesday, Sept. 18, on Western Michigan University's campus. All events are free and most are open to the public. No registration is required.

Dr. Dorceta Taylor, professor at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, will discuss food justice and engage students, faculty and staff, and the Kalamazoo community in a series of conversations about sustainability. 

The day will culminate in a free public keynote address titled "Race, Poverty and Access to Food in America: Resistance, Survival and Sustainability" at 7:30 p.m. in 1920 Sangren Hall. Event organizers say they hope to catalyze ongoing efforts at WMU to build a campus and community culture of sustainability.

Dr. Taylor's research supports sustainability endeavors such as building healthy and just food systems in Michigan and beyond, as well as diversifying and increasing access to green jobs. According to Romand Coles of Northern Arizona University's Program for Community, Culture and Environment, Dr. Taylor "is doing absolutely amazing food justice scholarship and work on the ground in many communities and campuses across Michigan." He adds, "Her discussion of that work, in combination with theory and history, engenders an expansive sense of transformative possibility."

Event schedule

  • 9 a.m. Light breakfast for faculty and staff from WMU and other area institutions, discussion on how to utilize Dr. Taylor’s research to help advance sustainability and diversity in curricula and programming, WMU Office for Sustainability.  (Faculty and staff only)
  • 11:30 a.m. Community conversation with lunch to explore Kalamazoo-specific vision and practical application opportunities with topics such as sustainable agriculture, food justice, inclusion and diversity, Trimpe Multicultural Center, parking available in Lot 49.
  • 2:30 p.m. Snacks with students from WMU and other area institutions to discuss their interests and concerns pertaining to sustainability-related opportunities on campus and in the workforce, Office for Sustainability, 2529 W. Michigan Ave. (Students only)
  • 7:30 p.m. Keynote address, "Race, Poverty and Access to Food in America: Resistance, Survival and Sustainability," 1920 Sangren Hall, parking available in Lot 41.

Supporting WMU partners include the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, Center for Sustainable Business Practices, College of Health and Human Services, Department of Anthropology, Department of Biological Sciences, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences: Dietetics and Food Service Administration, Environmental Studies Program, Lee Honors College, Office for Sustainability, the Victorian Bakery, and the Visiting Scholars and Artists Program.

Supporting community partners include Common Ground, Confections with Convictions, Fair Food Matters, I.D.E.A. Association, Kalamazoo College: Center for Civic Engagement/Community and Global Health, Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes, and the Milton M. Ratner Foundation.

Office for Sustainability

The mission of the Office for Sustainability is to guide and assist the WMU community in fulfilling and growing its sustainability commitments. Through building a diverse and flourishing learning community around sustainability, it will continually explore and develop new opportunities to create a culture of sustainability and improve the quality of life for all.

For more information, visit or contact WMU's Office for Sustainability at