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2021 Food Insecurity Symposium

Race, Inequity, and Food Security

Missed the event but still want to learn more about food insecurity?  Listen to the recordings from the symposium!  


Featuring experts on racial equity, food insecurity, and strategies for addressing their root causes on college campuses, this year's talks will provide an excellent introduction to the topic and examples of how to get involved in the fight against hunger. Click on the speaker's picture to hear their talk! 

Please note that many speakers were part of panel, flash talk, or group presentations. Photos for these speakers are linked to a presentation with multiple speakers.

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Paula D. McClain, Ph.D. 

Dean of The Graduate School

Vice Provost for Graduate Education

Duke University

Mary Pat McMahon 

Vice Provost/Vice President of Student Affairs

Duke University

Symposium Topic: Opening Remarks


Shorlette Ammons, MLS

Equity in Food Systems Coordinator, Extension Associate

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

North Carolina State University

Symposium Topic: Background and History - Structural Racism and Food Insecurity


Shorlette Ammons is a North Carolina native, where she grew up in a large family of farmworkers, cooks, and storytellers. She is a former children’s librarian, with an MLS degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC.

Shorlette currently serves as Equity in Food Systems Coordinator, Extension Associate with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems at NC State University in Raleigh, NC, although her work is statewide/regional with participation in some national networks. She previously worked as a Community Food Systems Outreach Coordinator with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems at NC A&T State University.

Shorlette works with food councils around the state as a part of the Community Food Strategies team at CEFS and leads the CEFS CORE (Committee on Racial Equity) team where she coordinates and facilitates racial equity trainings and ongoing learning sessions, guest lectures and develops curriculum and strategic tools to address food insecurity and other food systems disparities through the lens of structural racism and serves as a member of the Community Food Strategies team. She is a current Castanea Fellow and was selected as the Center for Social Inclusion’s 2013 Food and Racial Equity Fellow (now the Maya Wiley Fellowship), releasing a policy brief, Shining a Light in Dark Places, which is a series of interviews of southern Women of Color working in the food system resulting in policy recommendations and long-term solutions for creating a more equitable food system. She is the mother of a teenaged daughter and currently resides in Durham, NC.


Jacquelyn Blackwell 

Executive Director, Feed My Sheep of Durham 

Co-Coordinator, End Hunger Durham 

Symposium Topic: Panel Discussion - Current State of Racial Barriers to Food Security


Jacquelyn Blackwell is the Executive Director of Feed My Sheep of Durham; a food pantry that offers Hope, Healing and Hospitality by providing groceries and a hot meal to those who suffer from food insecurity. She has also provided summer meals to children and hot lunches to seniors and the disabled.


She is also the Co-Coordinator of End Hunger Durham where she supports their mission of supporting food relief agencies and those in need of food and reliable information, collaboration, and advocacy aimed at ending hunger and malnutrition. She believes that Food is a Human Right.


Marlysa D. Gamblin, MPP

Founder & Racial Equity Coach, GamblinConsults

Founder, Racial Equity & Hunger National Learning Network

Senior Domestic Policy Advisor, Bread for the World Institute 

Symposium Topic: Panel Discussion - Current State of Racial Barriers to Food Security


Marlysa D. Gamblin is a dynamic public speaker, a racial equity coach, and a thoughtful researcher. She has gone, and continues to go, around the country to speak on these issues, share the tools that she has designed, and encourage people, churches, and non-profits to promote racial equity.


Currently, Marlysa is the founder of GamblinConsults, a racial equity consulting company that helps businesses and networks strengthen their internal practices and external programs. In addition, through a coaching program, “Life-Changing Practices to Identify and Dismantle Racism in 45 Days,” Marlysa helps individuals develop their 3 month plan to address racism in their context.


She is also the founder of the Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network, a national network that helps anti-hunger and poverty organizations learn how to promote racial equity in their work.


Marlysa is the Senior Policy Advisor for Racial and Gender Divides at Bread for the World Institute. At Bread, Marlysa has designed the Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation, an interactive tool that has helped over 2 million people understand how structural racism was created.


Marlysa holds her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley.


1. "Racially Equitable Responses to COVID-19" Report

2. "Racial Equity Policy and Programs Scorecard"

3. "Racial Equity Methodology Tool"

4.  Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation

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Linden Thayer, MPP, PhD

Co-founder, Food Insight Group

Symposium Topic: Panel Discussion - Current State of Racial Barriers to Food Security


Dr. Thayer co-founded Food Insight Group (FIG) as a way to continue her passion for food justice work. She holds a PhD in Nutrition Intervention and Policy from UNC-Chapel Hill, and she relishes the opportunity to work across disciplines, social agendas, and geographies to build programs, policies, research, and connections that promote the health and wellbeing of communities. As a former “Lunch Lady,” she has a particular passion for supporting schools’, students’, and families’ efforts to grow school food systems that support community wellbeing from farm to school to child. She hopes that FIG’s work empowers many others to take up food system causes in their own communities.

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Alice Ammerman, PhD

Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Nutrition

Gillings School of Global Public Health

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Symposium Topic: Flash Talks - Compounding Effects of COVID-19 on Longstanding Inequities


Dr. Ammerman is the Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (a CDC Prevention Research Center). Her research focuses on the design, testing, implementation, and dissemination of innovative clinical and community-based nutrition and physical activity intervention approaches for chronic disease risk reduction in primarily low income and minority populations. Dr. Ammerman has strong research and practice collaborations across the state and with PRC research networks across the country. She is also Co-PI of the Center for Training and Research Translation, charged with identification, translation, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for obesity and cardiovascular disease control and prevention. Current research interests focus on behavioral economics, school nutrition, the interface between healthy food access and sustainable local food systems, and social entrepreneurship as an approach to addressing public health concerns.


Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, MHA, PhD

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist

Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences

North Carolina State University

Symposium Topic: Flash Talks - Compounding Effects of COVID-19 on Longstanding Inequities


Dr. Lindsey Haynes-Maslow an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences at NC State University.  She is an expert on the intersection between food systems, nutrition and public health, as well as the impact of government policies driving the food system.  She has nearly 15 years of experience working with non-profit, private, and public organizations that focus on food access for vulnerable communities.  Before coming to NC State, Dr. Haynes-Maslow worked for the advocacy organization, the Union of Concerned Scientists, on federal food and nutrition policy, specifically the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act and The Farm Bill.  Currently, she is the Principal Investigator of NC State’s SNAP-Education program, Steps to Health.  She has a Ph.D. in health policy and management and a Masters in healthcare administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

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Jen Zuckerman, MPRTM

Director of Strategic Initiatives 

World Food Policy Center

Duke University 

Symposium Topic: Identifying Solutions to Dismantle Racism in Food Systems


My current role as Director of Strategic Initiatives at Duke University’s World Food Policy Center focuses on people-first policy development for equitable food policy.

In addition to my position with the World Food Policy Center, I contract with the Biwa-Emergent Equity, facilitating white caucuses in nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. I also contract with DEI Works, in the capacity of a racial equity facilitator. I concentrate specifically on the role of white women and our complicity in upholding white supremacy culture.

Prior to my current work, I spent twelve years at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, serving as the Senior Program Officer for Healthy Living and the Director of Strategic Partnerships, focusing on increasing access to safe active environments and on providing sources for healthy, locally sourced food.

I currently serve as the Chair of the Board of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Network, Chair of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Advisory Board, Secretary of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Board of Directors and on the Board of Communities in Partnership.


Aliyah Abdur-Rahman 

Senior Fellow for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness

Fuqua School of Business

Duke University

Symposium Topic: Identifying Solutions to Dismantle Racism in Food Systems


Aliyah Abdur-Rahman is a lifelong advocate for social justice and racial equity to propel society forward. She truly believes in the power of organizations and community to work together to solve the problems of the most marginalized. Abdur-Rahman received her bachelor of science degree in computer science and mathematics from Duke and her MBA from the UNC Kenan-Flagler School of Business.

Abdur-Rahman lives and loves in east Durham where she resides with her husband Bremer, a Tanzanian in America, and their three children. As part of east Durham's activist community, she is co-founder of Communities in Partnership (CIP), an organization that cultivates grassroots leadership and organizing in east Durham. For almost a decade Abdur-Rahman worked on the admissions team at Teach For America, most recently as a vice president of admissions. During her tenure, she was responsible for utilizing her love of technology and design to reimagine the admissions process ushering in changes that transformed the organizations' approach to equity. In 2018 Abdur-Rahman was appointed the first diversity, equity and inclusion fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business where her research explores ways in which social entrepreneurship can be a lever to social justice by elevating community-rooted models of innovation. Most recently Abdur-Rahman has been named a Culture of Health Leader by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Camryn Smith

Executive Director

Communities in Partnership

Symposium Topic: Identifying Solutions to Dismantle Racism in Food Systems


Camryn Smith (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a proud resident of Old East Durham and a community activist & organizer. She has been serving in place-based development work for over 18 years both stateside and abroad. Camryn is a founding member of Communities In Partnership (CIP), a grassroots community organizing and education group based in Old East Durham and serves as the Executive Director. CIP focuses on addressing policy and systemic inequity for communities of color and materially poor people within Durham focusing on social determinants of health, economic development, gentrification, and housing. She currently serves as co-chair for Organizing Against Racism- Durham and was the former Co-Chair of Forward Cities Durham- a multi-city two-year collaborative focusing on business development & entrepreneurship for communities of color.


Camryn was the 2017 Recipient of Woman of the Year by Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Durham Chapter and is a current RWJF Culture of Health Leader, and was a 2018 Durham Rotary Innovation Fellow as well as a current member of the Racial Equity Taskforce for the City of Durham. Camryn and her husband Ernest, a Civil Right's Attorney currently love, live, and work in Northeast Central Durham as well as Oakland, CA where Ernest works for the John Burris Law Firm. They are the proud parents of five adult children, four of whom currently live in the community, and their Shepherd mix Charli and their Corgi grand-dog, Oswald.


1. Communities in Partnership COVID-19 Fund

2. Equitable Food Oriented Development


3. Power & Benefit on the Plate: The History of Food in Durham, North Carolina


4. Identifying and Countering White Supremacy Culture in Food Systems 


Duke Triangle Alumni Association 

Flash Talks and Panel Discussion

Symposium Topic: Conversations on Food Insecurity among Duke Students and Impacts of Race and Inequity


  1. Welcome and Introductions - Danal Blessis

  2. (3:50) Conversations Part 1 - Uncovering the Problem of Food Insecurity among Duke Students: Examining, Resourcing , and Responding - Rashmi Joglekar, Kaitlyn Daly, Nicole Stantial

  3. (14:48) Conversations Part 2 – Expansion, Future Vision and Strategic Planning for the Duke Community Pantry - Hannah McMillan, Lexi Bounds, Katie Waeldner

  4. (29:26) Conversations Part 3 - University-wide Efforts: DukeReach and Duke Dining - Laura Andrews, Marcus Carson

  5. (52:13) Conversations Part 4 – Duke, Durham and Beyond: Effects of Race and Equity on Food Security - Aliyah Abdur-Rahman

  6. (1:07:46) Final Thoughts, Panel Discussion, Q&A - All Panelists and Attendees

Read the speaker bios here!

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