Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Sep 05th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

A Look at Labor

laborfestSLUG REPORT > Food activism prompts upcoming UC Santa Cruz conference

Food: it's a topic so interwoven into our everyday lives that it never seems to stray too far from our thoughts, and our concerns. Whether it's finding out what's right to eat or growing it in our own front and backyards, food, and specifically where it comes from and how it gets to us, is a trending topic.

Food issues will be the theme of a Feb. 3-4 UC Santa Cruz conference called “Labor Across the Food System.” The conference is sponsored by the Center for Labor Studies, is in collaboration with the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), the Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy in Oakland, and was organized by the UCSC Institute for Humanities Research. Organizers expect the attendance of academics, activists, and journalists from throughout the nation to discuss labor and social justice and their role within the modern global food system.

“It's been a couple years in the making,” says conference chair Mary Beth Pudup, a UCSC community studies professor, who conceived of having the conference. “It sort of arose from discussion among faculty and students, too ... about all the food activism and interest in food-related research that has emerged over the last decade. With so much interest in food and where it comes from, no one really asks 'Well how does it get there?' How did your food get from the farm to your fork, or from farm to your table?”

The conference begins Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Humanities Lecture Hall with a keynote speech by Frank Bardacke, a resident of Watsonville who cut lettuce and celery in the fields for six years in the early 1970s, and taught English as a second language for 25 years. Bardacke has also written two books, “Good Liberals and Great Blue Herons: Land, Labor and Politics in the Pajaro Valley” and the more recently published “Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers” (Verso Books, 2011).

“So often local institutions overlook the talent in their own backyard, and so inviting Frank just seemed like a natural fit,” says Pudup. “His book has just come out and has been gathering praise, and also having someone locally from the community who is also a scholar was a great opportunity to involve the community and not just have a [strictly] UCSC event.”

The conference continues on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., also at the Humanities Lecture Hall, with opening remarks by conference chair Pudup, UCSC associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Labor Studies Steve McKay, and UCSC professor of community studies Judy Guffman, who's recent book,  “Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism” (University of California, 2011), is tackling many of the assumptions made about the so-called “obesity epidemic” and calls for more attention to injustices within food production.

Four panel discussions will follow, each addressing a major sector of the food systems: farm labor, food processing, shipping and retail, and food service and restaurants.   

“I think it's a perfect fit for UCSC given our historic and good work that the campus does,” said Pudup. “And having Frank Bardacke as a keynote speak is a important recognition of the talent within the local community. I hope there are more events like this in the future … maybe this will be the start of it.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

You Are What You Post

Online personality algorithms put astrological profiles to shame, but UCSC psychologists are raising questions about sharing personal data

 

Venus Direct, Mercury Retro Soon, Honoring Our Labors

As Burning Man (nine days, Aug. 30-Sept. 7 in the sign of Virgo) burns in the hot white desert sands, a petal of the rose created by retrograde Venus and the twelve-petaled Sun in Virgo’s petals unfold. All of us are on the burning ground (Leo) in the womb (cave of the heart) of the mother (Virgo), gestating for humanity once again (each year) a new state of consciousness. Both Virgo and Cancer, feminine (receptive energies) signs, are from our last solar system (Pleiades). When humanity first appeared on Earth we were nurtured by the mother, a matriarchy of energies (on islands in the Pacific). Eve, Isis and Mary are part of the lineages of our ancient Mother. Overseen by the Pleiades, the Earth (matter, mater, the mother) in that last solar system was imbued with intelligence (Ray 3). As we move toward autumn, another mother, Ceres realizes she has mere weeks left with her beloved daughter, Persephone. Persimmon and pomegranate trees prepare for autumn, their colors signs of hope as the light each day continues to dim. Sunday, Venus in Leo turns stationary direct, yet continues in her shadow until Oct. 9 (when retrograde Mercury turns direct). Slowly our newly assessed values emerge from the Venus retrograde. We thought in Venus retro how to use our resources more effectively. Mercury retrogrades Sept. 17. Monday is Labor Day. Let us honor the labor of everyone, all life a “labor.” Let us honor Labor Day and all those who have “served” (labored for) us this past year. We honor their labors. We honor the labor of our parents, those who have loved us. We honor our own labors, too. We are all in service, we are all laboring. We are all valuable.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 4

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sushi Garden

Local sushi empire expands to Scotts Valley

 

Do you overshare online?

I don’t think so. I just post things about my life, like successful things. Sometimes I just like sharing different news that I find interesting, or favorite artists, clothes, music. I like to post photos. Natalia Delgado, Santa Cruz, Server

 

McIntyre Vineyards

I recently met up with three friends for dinner at Sanderlings at Seascape Beach Resort. We chose to eat outside so we could watch the sun set over the ocean, but the Aptos fog rolled in and swallowed it up.

 

Sustainable Supper

The Homeless Garden Project’s Sustain Supper series supports its award-winning programs