It Takes a Region Conference - 2015

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Keynote Speaker Shirley Sherrod
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Session Resources | Conference Recap


Opening Plenary: Learning from Effective Movement Builders

The "old guard" built the environmental, organic, and civil rights movements – they see it one way. The "new guard" lives in a networked world always in motion – they see it another way. This plenary will foster a dialogue among new and not so new leaders to examine this tension. Then it's your turn: for 30 minutes each table will turn into a round table discussion on the same topic. And then, we will move to Shirley Sherrod's keynote address Part I.

Presenters: Shirley Sherrod, 2015 Keynote Speaker & Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education; Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid; Anim Steele & Tlaloc Vasquez, The Real Food Challenge


Afternoon Plenary: Fracking Farms, Fractured Movements, Corporate Power and Politics—Our Common Challenge

Stephen Cleghorn made history protecting his Pennsylvania organic farm from fracking and the gas and oil industry. His action highlights the need for connection between the “sub-movements” under the broader sustainable farm and food umbrella.  While our efforts are fractured in some ways, there are opportunities for coming together. How can we, through all our sub-issues, find common cause to unify and coordinate to build a broader, stronger movement?

Presenters: Hilary Baum, Baum Forum, American Sustainable Business Council, and Chefs for the Marcellus; J. Stephen Cleghorn, Paradise Gardens and Farm; Josh Mumm, Common Cause New York


Evening Plenary: Keynote Speaker -- Shirley Sherrod

We are honored to have Shirley Sherrod as our keynote speaker. Ms. Sherrod, a longtime civil rights activist and advocate for family farmers, is the former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for USDA and currently serves as Executive Director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education. To learn more about her life and work, read her bio.


Closing Plenary: Making Mischief Make Change, with Andy Bichlbaum from the YES MEN

Get ready to laugh and learn with Andy Bichlbaum from the YES MEN, who will tell mind-blowing stories about how small groups of people have mobilized successful movements using little more than buckets of elbow grease and carefully timed symbolic actions. He will reveal some little-known secrets from the iconic actions of past social movements and also show a few hilarious video clips from their library of Yes Men media stunts: actions that played their small part in campaigns that won, and movements that eventually must win, like the struggle to overhaul our food system.

Presenter: Andy Bichlbaum, The YES MEN