MLK Day Teach-In Panels Focus on Food and Social Justice

January 11, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University’s Action Research Center (ARC) and political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA) will host a “teach-in” comprising of three, one-hour panel discussions on Monday Jan. 16 from 1- 4 p.m. in Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington).

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the teach-in will focus on three topics relating to food and social justice. While he is most known for his impact on the Civil Rights Movement, King’s teachings also addressed a wider scope of social justice.

The Teach-In schedule is as follows:

• 1 p.m. – National Efforts to Create Local Food: keynote speaker and alumnus Danny Burke ’09 will present, “Meaningfully Engaging Diversity,” along with community voice Lindsey Record of Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

• 2 p.m. – Sustainable Agriculture in Bloomington and IWU: keynote speaker Danny Kenny ’13 will present “Community Gardens in Higher Education,” along with community voice Elaine Sebald of Heartland Local Food Network.

• 3 p.m. – Insecurity: International, National, and Local Perspectives: keynote speaker Professor of Political Science William Munro will present “Food Aid, Philanthropy, and the Farm Bill: How Should We Tackle Hunger in the Global Food Economy?" along with community voice Emily Carroll of Food and Water Watch.

Chair of Political Science and Associate Professor of Political Science James Simeone notes that the teach-in is held in the spirit of King’s creation of the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment (IAACM), which strove to constantly challenge societal norms. As an activist, King never wanted to become well-adjusted to society, explained Simeone, because there was always more work to be done. “He was the gadfly on the horse, like Socrates,” said the political science professor.  

Simeone hopes this event will encourage Illinois Wesleyan students to develop a sense of social justice. The theme of food and social justice carries over from last semester’s symposium, What We Eat. Why It Matters. This semester’s social science lecture series will also be devoted to food and social justice.

For more information on the teach-in, contact Simeone at (309) 556-3126.

Contact: Kristin Fields, ’12, (309) 556-3181,