Come to the Table 2017 Statewide Conference,
Bridging Divides: Cultivating Food & Faith Connections
The sixth convening of the Come to the Table Conference took place on March 16th, 2017 at the Durham Convention Center. Nearly 500 people registered for and attended the 2017 Come to the Table Conference, collectively participating in 27 workshops, 4 community conversations over lunch, and networking opportunities over the course of 1 day at the Durham Convention Center.
The 2017 Conference explored both the history and present state of our food system: how and why food is produced and distributed the way it is, and how faith communities can support both farmers and consumers. The statewide event featured a keynote by former NFL player turned farmer Jason Brown of First Fruits Farm and 30+ speakers and presenters.
Themes of diversity, personal stories, and connection emerged from attendees’ responses to workshop and overall evaluations. Attendees asked for future gatherings to have clearer descriptions and expectations for workshops, more opportunities to network both within the day of the conference and beyond, more practical tools and knowledge, and more and deeper conversations on equity issues. We will continue to work to build Come to the Table into a community of people of all religions, races, genders, abilities, and orientations.
Conference workshop tracks included:
- Building Strong Foundations—skills and core knowledge for community work and hunger relief
- Theology and Food—interfaith conversation from our community of practice on broadening our lens for food and faith
- Farmer Voices and Cooperative Development—voices from the field, stories from farmers less visible in the food system, and cooperative projects
- Getting Food to the Table—a closer look at production and process in food system: issues affecting farmworkers and food workers
- Deepening Our Work—a systemic look at root causes of why people are hungry
- Express Yourself—cultural and faith practices to sustain our work: hands-on workshops with opportunities for creative expression in song, visual art, etc.
- Disaster Relief—resources, tools, and information on disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and recent wildfires
- Policy—a dual look at agricultural policy and hunger relief
- People’s Assembly/Community Conversations—facilitated conversations on specific areas in the food and faith movement
2015 Come to the Table Conference Regional Conferences
Western North Carolina Region:
Eastern North Carolina Region:
The 2013 Conference Series