The forum began with an Oxfam Hunger Banquet to illustrate the global inequities in food access and security. As participants arrived, they were assigned seating and a socio-ecomonic class. Twenty percent of participants were served a full meal at a table with full table service, thirty percent were provided with rice and beans that they served themselves, while the remaining fifty percent of participants congregated in blankets on the floor with rice and water.
This stark demonstration of global inequities was followed with a reflective deliberation on how we might continue to address food security issues locally. Students presented various approaches to address the issue, and participants deliberated each of the options presented, adding personal experiences and direct knowledge to the discussion. The collective wisdom that arose from the small group deliberations was reported out in a large group format, where each group shared their best ideas to address the issue of access to safe and affordable food. The event was a great success and feedback from the participants was enthusiastic.
The forum was organized and facilitated by Skyline College students taking a course focusing on Dialogue, Deliberation, and Community Engagement with Jennifer Mair, Communication Studies instructor.
Article by Jennifer Mair