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2022 Food Security Symposium

on Food Justice

 Featuring experts on food justice, 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. 

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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

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Jen Zuckerman, MPRTM

Director of Strategic Initiatives 

World Food Policy Center

Duke University 

Keynote Speaker

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.


Georie Bryant

Food Systems Director, Communities in Partnership

Achieving Equitable and Resilient Food Systems Panel

Georie is a Durham, NC native, the Food Systems Director for Communities in Partnership, and a community activist who holds collaboration, equity, and reciprocity very close to his ethic. As a descendent of Stagville, chef, cultural historian, and farmer, Georie has roots which tie him closely to agriculture and the food industry. His work often centers around addressing injustice in the ways that Black and Brown people interact with food and food systems. Georie attended school at Alamance Community College, earning his Associate degree in the Culinary Arts. Georie has extensive experience working in the food and hospitality industries, having cooked across the spectrum from fast food to fine dining. Georie has received certification in sustainable agriculture through the North Carolina Cooperative Extension programming. His work with local organizations such as Communities in Partnership, Witness for Peace Southeast, Stagville Memorial Project, and his own company SymBodied, see him frequently working both cross-culturally and intergenerationally to better understand, and ultimately address, the problems of our communities.


Jesalyn Keziah, MSW

Community Engagement Program Officer, UNC American Indian Center 

Achieving Equitable and Resilient Food Systems Panel

Jesalyn Keziah, MSW, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, currently serves as the Community Engagement Program Officer at the UNC American Indian Center, supporting community engagement among UNC community and all statewide Tribal Nations and Native-led community programs, leveraging resources to support program development, and bridging UNC resources with Tribally self-determined initiatives. She also coordinates the Healthy Native North Carolinians Network and the new initiative to develop an American Indian Cultural Garden, along with other community-oriented programming.

Jesalyn is a double graduate of Carolina, graduating with a BA in 2007 as a first-generation college student, then returning after a decade of work experience to graduate in 2020 with her Master’s in Social Work. She is passionate about helping students access and navigate higher education, and serves as Resilience Coach on campus, hosted by UNC Diversity and Inclusion, Carolina Collaborative for Resilience.

Before coming to AIC, Jesalyn spent the first decade of her career serving in various statewide community food justice positions including time at Resourceful Communities, The Conservation Fund, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and a statewide range of community gardens and local food systems development projects. Jesalyn is a community-oriented gardener, artist, potter, justice advocate, and aspiring therapist interested in Indigenous mental health; she is building her approach interested in the intersections of culture, arts, food sovereignty, nature, and holistic community-based approaches to healing from historical and intergenerational trauma. She recently began caretaking a 100-year-old farm and is happiest in the sun gathering wild native foods or out kayaking on the river.

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Tamette Farrington, M.S

Senior Academic Advisor, College of Health & Sciences

Director, Think Garden: Entrepreneur Center 

North Carolina Central University

Campus Impact & Limitations Panel

Tamette Farrington serves as a gardening enthusiast, mentor and a professional leader with extensive knowledge and experience in effective execution and implementation of policy, procedure and programming. With over 10 years of experience in higher education, she has a passion for creating free thinkers empowered to impact the world.


At North Carolina Central University where the motto is “Truth and Service” she plays an essential role as the Operations Manager of the Campus Community Garden in promoting sustainability and healthy eating. Tamette’s passion is connected to seeing others do well. She loves becoming part of the growth process.


Tamette enjoys gardening, spending time with her family and traveling. Tamette has a M.S. in Counseling and Adult Education and a Bachelors in Rehabilitation Services

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Marcus Carson

Facilitator for Duke's Food Security Action Team

Duke University

Campus Impact & Limitations Panel

Marcus Carson is charged with making Duke's campus a model food system that prioritizes transparency, environmental health, community well-being, and fair economic relationships. Through Duke Dining's procurement practices, its operations, and its education efforts, Marcus works to promote and to create more sustainable food systems on local, regional, national, and global scales.

Prior to Duke, Marcus was Community Planning & Sustainability Manager for Mecklenburg County, North Carolina where he managed Mecklenburg County’s first community sustainability plan—Livable Meck. The initiative was a comprehensive community plan that partnered with all 5 of the local municipalities in Mecklenburg County and more than 100 non-profit, private, and government organizations. As the initiative’s director, Marcus was responsible for resident engagement, project facilitation, goal measurement, and reporting as it related to the initiative’s 21 goals, which included natural resource protection, transportation development, community health, technological innovation, and safety.

In 2015, Marcus co-founded Charlotte’s first residential composting service, Crown Town Compost.

Marcus earned his bachelor's degree in political science at Davidson College, concentrating in environmental studies, and a master's degree in public administration from North Carolina State University.

Mike Giancola

Assistant Vice Provost and Student Ombuds

North Carolina State University

Campus Impact & Limitations Panel

Mike Giancola currently serves as the Assistant Vice Provost and Student Ombuds at North Carolina State University. He has previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Student Leadership & Engagement and Director for the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, & Public Service. He has dedicated his professional career to working with college students, having worked and taught at Kent State University and Ball State University prior to coming to NC State in 1998.

Mike has been teaching and giving keynote addresses on leadership, civic engagement, international development, non-profit leadership and social responsibility for close to 30 years. Mike has served on the national faculty for the LeaderShape Institute for over 20 years and has taught thousands of students from all over the world. He has taught and consulted with delegations from Canada, China, Hungary, Jordan, Iraq, Mexico, Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia among others.

He has traveled to over 25 countries and has helped develop service-learning partnerships focused on hunger policy, healthcare, education, substandard housing, water quality and sanitation, interfaith dialogue, gender and environmental issues, and civil rights He has led over 20 service-learning teams to the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua as part of Habitat for Humanity’s, Global Village program, as well as other service initiatives in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Nicaragua, and Sri Lanka.

Mike graduated cum laude from John Carroll University in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and earned a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Kent State University. He serves as the chair of the board for Together We Can, Inc., and served on the board of directors for Outreach 360, whose vision is for all children in the world to lead a life of choice that begins with access to a quality education. Mike has been an active volunteer with Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now), the American Red Cross, and past president of the Rotary Club of West Raleigh. He is active with Rotary International’s Youth Exchange Program and currently serves as the district inbound coordinator for foreign exchange students.

Mike’s believes anyone can be a leader if they understand their values and the influence these values have on their leadership vision. His career and leadership experiences are rooted in the idea that there are no limits to what can be accomplished when people work together on a shared vision with little regard for who gets the credit.


Emilia Cordero Oceguera

Graduate Assistant for Pack Essentials

North Carolina State University

Campus Impact & Limitations Panel

Emilia Cordero Oceguera is the graduate assistant for Pack Essentials at North Carolina State University. She is working on her Sociology PhD dissertation which focuses on the food practices of Mexican migrant farmworker women in North Carolina. She collaborates with the Women’s Group of the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry on their Traditional Medicinal Herb Garden Project. Emilia is a fellow of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and has hands-on knowledge on organic farming and agroecological practices. She has farming experience as an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, at the University of California in Santa Cruz, and in farms in Mexico and Bolivia. Emilia earned a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. Emilia is passionate about the work she does and believes that significant transformation comes from communities that work together to support each other.

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