April 1, 2017

Austin Hall, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

This year’s Just Food? Conference will focus on labor in the food system, exploring the issues most relevant to those who grow, harvest, prepare, and serve our food. Participants will learn from a diverse group of food system workers, advocates, scholars, practitioners and other authorities, who will speak about their work on topics including agricultural worker rights, worker compensation in the restaurant industry, regulatory responses, and alternative ownership and operating models. Through the conference, we hope to shift attention toward a critical, but often overlooked, component of our food system: the  workers. By amplifying the voices of those most embedded in our food system, we hope to educate participants, empower them to make positive change, and ultimately, work together to create a more just food system.

Conference features:

  • Two keynote talks, including:

    • A keynote talk, Discriminatory labor practices in the restaurant industry, by Sheila Maddali, Director, Restaurant Opportunities Center of Pennsylvania and Co-Director, Tipped Worker Resource Center

    • A keynote discussion, More than just food: the case of the Fair Food Program, featuring:

      • Steve Hitov, General Counsel, Coalition of Immokalee Workers

      • Fabiola Mieres, Honorary Research Fellow, Durham University, UK

  • Concurrent panel and workshop sessions throughout Saturday;

  • Lunchtime documentary film screenings; and

  • A diverse poster and exhibit session, highlighting academic and community research


Conference Mission

Our goal is to educate, empower, energize, and engage all to pursue justice in the food system in our personal and professional study and practice.

  • Food is everyone’s issue, whether you work on healthcare, the environment, labor issues, immigration, social justice, education, biotechnology, law, or numerous other fields.

  • We hope attendees gain an understanding about the complexity of the food system and the interconnectedness between the food system and other fields, including domestic policy, international policy, the economy and capitalism, and the environment.

  • The conference is designed to empower participants to work on bettering the food system professionally and personally.