Lender Faculty Fellow Jonnell Robinson and Lender Student Fellows Shiori Green, Taylor Krzeminski, Phoebe Ambrose, Nicky Kim, and Avalon Gupta VerWiebe participated in the second annual Lender Symposium on Thursday, March 31st 2022. They were joined by SOFSA Facilitator Maura Ackerman and Lender Center staff: Kendall Phillips, Marcelle Haddix, James Rolling, and Evan Starling-Davis. Additionally, a community panel of food leaders joined the event. This included: Angie Ferguson from Onondaga Nation Farm, Jacob Gigler-Caro from Salt City Harvest Farm, Rachel Viens-Murphy from the Syracuse City School District Nutrition department, and Ti Ngo Shaw from CNY Blessing Box.

The event began with wonderful introductions and statements from the Lender staff, Maura, and Jonnell. After that, Lender students launched into their presentations, discussing work they’ve done with SOFSA and in the community. This included Farm to School work, volunteer work at various places such as Syracuse Grows and Salt City Harvest Farm, participatory educational events, and a summer storytelling program with Onondaga Nation.

Following the Lender student fellow presentations, we transitioned into the community panel, moderated by Nicky Kim and Avalon Gupta VerWiebe. Conversation revolved around defining food justice and food sovereignty in each panelist’s work. Additionally, panelists presented visions for work moving forward, and the ways in which the community can support this work. The discussion with audience members was lively.

The evening concluded with Martin and Helena Lender Zooming in with remarks about their excitement regarding this community food systems work, followed by a reception and conversation.

The recording of the event can be found here: https://video.syr.edu/media/t/1_a55psbnj.

Left to right: Shiori Green, Jonnell Robinson, Evan Starling-Davis, Kendall Phillips, Phoebe Ambrose, James Haywood, Avalon Gupta VerWiebe, Anna Gugerty, Nicky Kim, and Marcelle Haddix.