CASCAID Conference at WWU set for May 18 and 19

Western Today staff

Western Washington University’s Debate Union and Community to Community, a food justice and migrant rights organization, will host the Ninth Annual CASCAID Conference May 18 and 19 with a keynote address from food activist Eric Holt-Giménez at 7 p.m. May 18 in Academic Instructional Center West Room 210.

The event is free and open to the public.

CASCAID is a community service project of the Western Debate Union, which aims to help students and community members develop their advocacy skills and increase their participation in governance and the policy-making process.

This year’s conference will explore the theme of food solidarity. The conference will feature workshops, training, public discussion forums, academic paper presentations, films and other events.

Holt-Giménez is the executive director of the Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy and editor of the book, “Food Movements Unite!”

He studied Rural Education and Biology at Evergreen State College and University of Oregon and holds a doctorate in Environmental Studies from University of California-Santa Cruz. He worked in Central America for more than two and a half decades, organizing farmer-to-farmer trainings.

Holt-Giménez also served as the Latin America program manager for the Bank Information Center in Washington, D.C. His work has helped students, environmentalists, activists, scientists and government officials understand how local work is affected by global decisions.

 “Successful social movements are formed by integrating activism with livelihoods,” Holt-Giménez said. “These integrated movements create the deep sustained social pressure that produces political will – the key to changing the financial, governmental and market structures that presently work against sustainability.”

The event is also sponsored by the Bellingham Farmers Market, the Community Food Co-op, the Outback Farm, Food Not Bombs, Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, Western’s Department of Communication and United Farm Workers. Free nearby parking is available next to Fairhaven College.

For more conference information and a full list of presenters and events, visit www.wwucascaid.info or contact Steven Woods at (360) 650-4879 or steven.woods@wwu.edu.