Industrial agricultural systems and other destructive land uses devalue the land and disempower its inhabitants. People across Appalachia have long been discriminated against and marginalized economically and politically. Land use, through development and mining, is one way the people of Southern Appalachia have been disempowered.
Youth are often excluded from the decisions that affect us today and in the future. However, our age and relative inexperience can give us added creativity and insight into the “bigger picture.” The symposium will bring young people from all over the region together to articulate a shared vision for a better and more just food system in Appalachia.
Local food systems provide a context for the discussion of social justice, environmental improvement, and economic autonomy at all levels from federal policy to simple choices in one’s home.