2019 Eden Hall Conference

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2019 // 10:00 am

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Join us on October 19th for the 3rd annual Eden Hall Conference focused on expanding access to sustainability and healthy food systems.

Click here to register for Scholarship Interview Day 

From the Margins to the Mainstream: Growing Access to Sustainability & Food

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2019  10:00 AM (Check-in at 9:30 AM)

Organized by graduate students of Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment, the 2019 Eden Hall Conference will focus on expanding access to sustainability and healthy food systems. Highlighted Speakers, panelists and workshop facilitators will engage participants into a diverse array of stakeholder conversations, skill-building and hands-on activities while emphasizing the importance of creating and maintaining visibility, representation and justice for underrepresented communities.

Join us for an illuminating “choose-your-own adventure” experience as we identify the challenges and explore our collective opportunity for a more equitable future for sustainable development and food. 

Funding for the Eden Hall Conference is provided by the Eden Hall Foundation. The Eden Hall Foundation is a private foundation established pursuant to the will of Sebastian Mueller, a Pittsburgh philanthropist and vice-president and director of the H. J. Heinz Company. To learn more visit: www.edenhallfdn.org. 

Conference Agenda

9:30 a.m. » Check-in

10:00 a.m. » Welcome/Introduction

10:15 a.m. » Highlighted Speaker: Malik Yakini

11:30 a.m. » Block 1 (Enacting Sustainable & Equitable Communities; Yoga; Eden Hall Tour; Incubation and Opportunities) 

12:15 p.m. » Lunch

1:15 p.m. » Highlighted Speaker: Julian Agyeman, Ph.D.

2:30 p.m. » Block 2 (The Future of Pittsburgh; Inclusive Spaces--Facilitating Conversations; Bees; ADA Accessible Flower Gardens)

3:30 p.m. » Block 3 (Food in Pennsylvania; Round Table Discussion: Pittsburgh Women Business Owners; Livestock Integration; Solar Cooking) 

4:30 p.m. » Closing and Ice Cream Sundae Bar


Family-Friendly Event!

This year's conference will merge with Chatham University's Eden Hall Campus K-12 Program, which aims to support educators and youth, their schools, and their communities as they learn to drive transformation and take action to create healthy, happy, equitable lives for all people.  

K-12 Agenda



Shuttle Service Available from Chatham's Shadyside Campus to Eden Hall Campus

The shuttle will be available to students, faculty and staff of Chatham University as well as members of the Pittsburgh community and visitors. The shuttle leaves from the Chapel on Shaydside Campus at 8:45 a.m. (arrives ~ 9:30 a.m.) and leaves from the solar panel array/dropoff on Eden Hall Campus at 5:00 p.m. (arrives at 5:45 p.m.).  

Featured Speakers

Malik Kenyatta Yakini

Malik Kenyatta Yakini will share the work of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network as a model of community self-determination and resistance in a city plagued by intentional disinvestment, compromised democracy and the concentration of land ownership in the hands of a few. He will also discuss the impact of the system of white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism on the movement for food justice and sovereignty.

Malik Kenyatta Yakini is co-founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN). DBCFSN operates a seven-acre urban farm and is spearheading the opening of a co-op grocery store in Detroit’s North End. Yakini views the “good food revolution” as part of the larger movement for freedom, justice and equality. He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Black communities in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa.

Julian Agyeman, Ph.D.

Julian Agyeman, Ph.D. will outline his concept of ‘just sustainabilities’ and how it helps us (re)imagine our foodways, focusing mainly on those most disadvantaged by our current food system in his talk titled, “Just Food Futures: Alternative Foodways for a Changing U.S.”  Julian Agyeman, Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and sustainability. Worldwide, he is recognized as an expert, and innovator and thought leader. He is the author or editor of 11
books, and was co-founder in 1996 , and is now Editor-in-Chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. 

Julian is a Founding Senior Advisor/Thought Leader at PlacemakingX and sits on the Academic Board of The Centre for the Future of Places (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden), the Board of Directors of EcoDistricts (Portland, OR, USA) and on the Advisory Boards of Shareable (San Francisco, USA), Participatory City (London, UK), Urban Sharing (Lund, Sweden), Sharecity (Dublin, Ireland), and the McConnell Foundation’s Cities for People and Future Cities Canada programs (Montréal, Canada). In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his “outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and

Panels and Panelists

Enacting Sustainable & Equitable Communities: Views from Government, Law and Community
Imagining, developing and maintaining sustainable modern communities requires both the renovation
of existing systems and the building of new ones. How can communities enact sustainable practices that
include and equitably serve all its residents? What work is being done in Pennsylvania, and in Pittsburgh
specifically, to work towards building sustainable communities and pursuing environmental justice? In
this panel we’ll hear from panelists representing city and state administrators, lawyers, advocacy
organizations and community organizations working to build equitable and sustainable systems for the
modern community.

// Moderator - Alice Julier
// Aftyn Giles – Senior Sustainability Coordinator, City of Pittsburgh Department of Planning
// Joylette Portlock - Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh
// North Braddock Residents of Our Future
// Emily Collins – Executive Director & Managing Attorney, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services

The Future of Pittsburgh: Considering Gentrification and a Transition to Equitable Community Development
With an embedded history rooted in the matrix of rail, steel, and coal, Pittsburgh has curated a transition into a post-industrial economy focused on the education, medical and increasingly, technology sectors. The transformation of our rust belt city poses distinct challenges related to urban revitalization, especially in terms of equitable distribution of opportunity. Welcome city officials, activists, community organizations, and other innovative thinkers with bright ideas to tackle the ills of gentrification and ensure Pittsburgh becomes a city where prosperity is more possible for all.

// Moderator - Iris Grossman
// Blaire Schoenborn – Bridgeway Capital  
// Josh Malloy – Pittsburghers for Public Transit
// Majestic Lane - Deputy Cheif of Staff & Chief Equity Officer, Office of Mayor William Peduto
// Julie Collins - City of Bridges Community Land Trust

Food in Pennsylvania: Urban Food Systems and Food Insecurity
Certain populations are more susceptible to being affected by varying levels of food insecurity. Food
security is a vital component of developing sustainable cities and contributing to the overall
enlightenment of the human spirit. Key stakeholders from the community will talk about the issue of
food insecurity and what can be done to directly address the issue of food insecurity at the local and
national level. The audience will take away an in-depth understanding about how food insecurity can
disproportionately affect certain populations and how inclusive policies and initiatives can be enacted to
create a more equitable food system.

// Moderator - Mim Seidel
// Helen Gerhardt – Just Harvest
// Randi Lowe – Allies for Health & Well-being
// Ayanna Jones – Sankofa Garden  
// Dena Stanley - Trans YOUniting Pittsburgh

Incubation and Opportunity: A Look at Local Business and Skills Incubation Programs
The barriers to entry for opening a food business are infamously prohibitive. Food business owners do
not begin to represent the depth of diversity and food culture that exists in our country. Thankfully
business and skill incubation organizations are on the rise to help bring different voices to the table.
Hear from organizations that are changing the local food system and restaurant industry by offering
opportunities to members of the Pittsburgh community who might have otherwise been barred based
on lack of resources, business acumen or past offenses. Understand what it means for a home baker to
expand their business, the difference culinary skills can make for a previously incarcerated individual,
and how urban farming can change the way we understand farm to table. How will the food system
change when business owners represent the 99%? What does it mean for someone to be a part of a
business incubator or a culinary workforce development program? Explore these questions and more in
this panel on the future of food entrepreneurship through incubation.

// Moderator - Sandra Taylor
// Jesse Sharrad - Director of Education and Programs of Community Kitchen PGH
// John Bixler - Hilltop Urban Farm
// Josh Berman – The Bakery Society
// Cynthia Caul - Center for Regional Agrigulture, Food and Transformation (CRAFT)

Round Table Discussion with Local Women Business Owners
Join your fellow aspiring entrepreneurs for a round table business discussion with four amazing female
business owners. This is a safe, informal space to bounce ideas, ask questions and chat with women who
know the joys and challenges of starting and running a business in Pittsburgh.

// Danielle Spinola – Tupelo Honey Teas
// Jasmine Cho – Yummyholic Bakery
// Nisha Blackwell - Knotzland
// Keyla Cook – Casa Brasil


Solar Cooking
Enjoy an introduction to solar cooking with simple tools. Learn about various commercial & DIY zero-carbon solar cooking technologies as well as how these technologies are creating accessibility for rural communities disconnected from the energy grid.

// Kelly Minner, MSUS '20

Additional Sessions
A number of other sessions will be held as well. Further details will be shared here as details are finalized. 

// Yoga - Tatum Boswell, Yoga Love
// Bees – Bradley Barrow
// ADA Accessible Flower Gardens - Art Demeo
// Livestock Integration – Bethany Welch Luttrell
// Inclusive Spaces: Facilitating Conversations - Randi Congleton


Getting to Eden Hall Campus



Chatham University's Eden Hall Campus
6035 Ridge Rd.
Gibsonia, PA 15044-9746

Directions »


We hope you'll attend the 3rd Annual Eden Hall Conference!

Please contact Corey Robinson (corey.robinson@chatham.edu) or (313) 701-7399 for more information.