Melanie Coen
Dole Institute of Politics

Food activist to visit university

Fri, 10/10/2014

LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, in partnership with KU Center for Sustainability, KU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, KU’s Office of the Provost and KU’s International Center for Ethics in Business, will host social and environmental activist Tanya Fields at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 16, in a program titled “Tanya Fields: Eco-Warrior of the Food Revolution.”

Fields will discuss her work with food accessibility, as well as topics relating to KU’s Hunger Awareness Month activities and Sen. Bob Dole’s legacy of addressing issues of hunger and poverty. This event is free, open to the public and includes a food drive for Lawrence community organization, Just Food. Food drive details are available at .

“We are very excited to be a part of this program,” said Dole Institute director Bill Lacy. “Senator Dole has worked tirelessly on nutrition issues, and the new movements in this arena harken back to bipartisan efforts that are important for improving health and welfare. Ms. Fields’ story is an inspiring and impressive example of this work being done in critical urban areas.”

Fields is a food justice activist, educator, urban farmer, food blogger, and the founder and executive director of the BLK Projek. This Bronx-based food justice and health organization serves underserved woman of color by creating women-led economic development opportunities and is committed to urban farming and the elimination of food deserts. In 2009, the BLK ProjeK was nominated for a 2011 Union Square Award, which identifies visionaries responding to society's most pressing social, political and economic issues.

Fields writes a twice-monthly column on food and food justice for and contributed a chapter for the book “The Next Eco-Warriors” by Emily Hunter. Fields has appeared on numerous TV programs including MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes" and "The Melissa Harris Perry Show."

She is also a Fellow with Green for All, a national organization working to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Prior to creating the BLK ProjeK, Fields earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Baruch College and worked with several high-profile environmental organizations in the South Bronx - Mothers on the Move, Sustainable South Bronx and the Majora Carter Group.

“Access to healthy food for all is a critical social sustainability issue and a key area of focus for community health in Douglas County,” said Kimberly Criner, education and outreach coordinator, KU Center for Sustainability.” We’re delighted to have Tanya Fields offer fresh perspective for our community, both at The Dole Institute and at the KU Hunger Summit, where she will deliver the keynote the following morning.”

Co-sponsors for the program include KU Fights Hunger, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, and KU’s Center for Community Outreach.

The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics.  It is located on KU’s west campus and, in addition to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, offers free public programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as opportunities for students of all ages.  

The more that news media coverage uses anger as a way to discuss #climatechanges , the less people feel it is import…

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