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2018 Program and Speakers – Urban Food Systems Symposium

2018 Program and Speakers

UFSS 2018 Mobile App
Schedule, maps, reminders and more!



UFSS 2018 Invited Speakers

Malik Kenyatta Yakini

Co-founder and the executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN)

DBCFSN operates D-Town Farm, a seven-acre farm in Detroit that grows more than 30 different fruits, vegetables and herbs. The organization is also spearheading the opening of the Detroit Food Commons and the Detroit People’s Food Co-op in Detroit’s North End. Yakini views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equity.  He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Black communities in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa.

LaDonna Redmond

Diversity and Community Engagement Manager for Seward Community Co-op
Education Program Associate- Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Redmond is a food justice activist who was inspired to fight for a fairer food system after facing limited access to healthy, organic food in her Chicago community. She co-founded the Chicago Food Systems Collaborative, a university and community partnership that explored the issues of food access and public health in African American communities, and launched the Campaign for Food Justice Now (CFJN), which brings to light themes of social justice, race, class, and gender to the food system and food movement.  To support the expansions of the food justice stories, LaDonna curates a theatrical performance called SOUL food Monologues and hosts “It’s your health” on KMOJ-FM 89.9 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In LaDonna’s current role as diversity and community engagement manager for Seward Community Co-op, she is leading an effort to build a natural foods co-op in an historically African American community.

Dr. Anu Ramaswami

Professor- Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Sciences and Chair of Science, Technology, and Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota

Professor Anu Ramaswami is the Chair Professor of Science Technology & Environmental Policy at the University of Minnesota and among the leading scholars on sustainable urban infrastructure.  She has seen her work adopted as policies and protocols for developing sustainable cities in the United States and internationally. She is lead PI and Director of the US National Science Foundation’s interdisciplinary Sustainable Healthy Cities Network.
Ramaswami’s research spans environmental science, industrial ecology, sustainable infrastructure design, urban systems analysis, and integration of science and technology with policy and planning for real-world implementation in communities. She has developed novel interdisciplinary research and education in these diverse areas. She is the author of a graduate-level textbook on integrated environmental modeling, and is presently developing a Social-Ecological-Infrastructural System framework to study Sustainable Urban System.
Ramaswami received her B.S. in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology–Madras, India, and her M.S. and PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.  Ramaswami serves on the United Nation’s International Resource Panel and co-chairs its inaugural report on SDGs to the UN.

Dr. Cheri Kubota

Professor – Controlled Environment Agriculture in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science at Ohio State University

Dr. Kubota’s research mission is to serve in the development of science and technology in the area of controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Her projects are in an interdisciplinary area that encompasses plant physiology and horticultural engineering to enhance understanding and efficiency of CEA plant production systems such as greenhouses, warehouses (vertical farms), and growth chambers.



UFSS 2022 LOCATION – Kansas City, Missouri

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