UDC News

March 11, 2011


UDC's CAUSES Hostís the Inaugural International Urban Sustainability Summit
University Marks Earth Day with a Focus on “Food – Sovereignty, Security and Justice.”


Washington, DC - The University of the District of Columbia’s (UDC) College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) celebrates Earth Day by hosting the inaugural International Urban Sustainability Summit focusing on "Food--Sovereignty, Security and Justice."   The event will take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm on UDC’s Van Ness Campus.

In the midst of a growing concern about food deserts, sustainability in the urban environment and equal access to healthy choices, the land-grant university is the ideal setting for exploring the issue and identifying cutting-edge and best practices.

The International Urban Sustainability Summit will bring together experts, grassroots leaders and members of the community interested in exchanging information and finding out more about fair and equal access to healthy food options in the urban environment.  The day-long event will host a collective of expert speakers, presenters and exhibitors to inform, engage and empower attendees to act. 

The keynote speaker for the occasion is "Green" innovator and 2008 MacArthur Fellow, Will Allen, founder of Growing Power - a model urban sustainability program.  Will Allen is an urban farmer, who is transforming the cultivation, production and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations.

Growing Power got its start in 1995, while Mr. Allen was assisting neighborhood children with a gardening project. From this experience, he developed the farming methods and educational programs that are now the hallmark of his non-profit, specifically the recognition that the unhealthy diets of low-income, urban populations and related health problems like obesity and diabetes are largely attributable to limited access to safe and affordable fresh fruits and vegetables.

Other featured guests include Dr. "Ro" Rovenia Brock, award-winning nutritionist, fitness expert, lecturer, media personality, and the Nutrition Counselor for ABC News' "Lifetime Live" and the Weekly Nutritionist to NBC's "Morning Show" in Washington, DC.  The author of Dr. Ro's Ten Secrets to Livin’'Healthy, Brock hosted Black Entertainment Television’s "Heart & Soul," the first-ever national health and fitness television show for African-American women. 

Nora Pouillon, a crusader for "clean food" since the 70s and founder and owner of Restaurant Nora is another presenter.  She provided the initial framework for the farm-to-table movement of today.  Ms. Pouillon will speak about her experiential journey in organic cuisine.

The International Urban Sustainability Summit is an initiative of UDC’s newest college, the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, which provides "a sustainable bridge from college to the world." Consistent with the university’s mission as a land-grant institution, CAUSES integrates education, research and community service or "outreach." 

The summit is open to the public, all stakeholders who are interested in urban sustainability issues and solutions.  Pre-registration is required for all participants.  To register, please visit www.udc.edu/CAUSES.  Sponsors for the Summit include UDC’s Cooperative Extension Service’s Center for Nutrition, Diet & Health, UDC’s David A. Clarke School of Law and Restaurant Nora.

For more information regarding UDC’s International Urban Sustainability Summit, please contact Dr. Iveracottis Short at ishort@udc.edu or 202-274-7171.

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and District of Columbia Government, Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station programs and employment opportunities are available to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status or family status.


As the only urban land-grant institution in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia (www.udc.edu) supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the Community College of the District of Columbia, the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, the College Arts & Sciences, the School of Business and Public Administration, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the David A. Clarke School of Law.


Contact: Mary N. Elliott ,melliott@udc.edu, 202.274.7148