Research & Community Engagement
2020 Urban Food Sovereignty Summit
tuesday, october 20, 2020
1:00 - 5:00 p.m
Viewers will learn about and explore challenges and opportunities related to urban food sovereignty in contemporary culture and in the Tampa Bay Region.
Todd Levasseur, Ph.D., graduated from the College of Charleston in 1997 and received his doctorate
in the study of religion and nature from the University of Florida in 2011. His training
equips him to examine and study the interface of cultural narratives and identities,
with a specific focus on those in the domain we label religion, and how these both
shape and are shaped by the natural, “more-than-human” world. His work is thoroughly
interdisciplinary, while being comparative and historical in scope and method. The
overarching research question that guides his scholarly path is how can the human
animal, from the individual to global scales, learn to actively generate just, regenerative,
and sustainable behaviors and lifeways as we move into the Anthropocene, if at all?
This question motivates the courses he teaches in religious studies, environmental
and sustainability studies, the First Year Experience, and the Honors College. It
also motivates my research, including my forthcoming book from Lexington Press titled Climate Change, Religion, and Our Bodily Future.
Heewon L. Gray, Ph.D., RDN, is an assistant professor at the College of Public Health, University of South Florida, and a member of the USF Urban Food Sovereignty Group. Her primary research focuses on nutrition education intervention to prevent obesity in children and adolescents as well as community-based participatory research to improve systems and policy around food in underserved communities. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Gray has been involved in various nutrition intervention projects to reduce obesity prevalence, promote healthy lifestyles among youth, and support sustainable food systems, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture among others.
presenters & panelists
Kerry Babb is an accomplished future-forward professional with multiple-faceted international
experiences. As a consultant he has worked in North, Central and South America; Europe;
Africa and the Caribbean. He is a master problem-solver with a keen analytical eye
for detail, propelled by a Mathematical background and Actuarial training. Kerry has
excelled in the Sustainability, Technology, Project Development and Project Management
space working with organizations like AT&T, Bank of New York, Salomon Brothers, Arthur
Andersen Consulting, JP Morgan, JP Morgan, Caribbean Development Bank, and Paradise
Technology Solutions and the U.S. Department of Energy. He has previously functioned
as Co-Chairman of the Sustainability Committee of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. As
an International Sustainability and Resilience Consultant, Kerry is a part of the
Clinton Global Initiative collaborating on re-development and recovery solutions for
Caribbean countries in the aftermath of major crises in the region. His career transformations
evolved from an Analytical Mathematician to Information Technology Consultant, now
Smart Cities Consultant designing and developing Circular and Sustainable Food Systems
among other aspects of Smart and Sustainable Cities. Kerry is currently working on
Smart Agriculture projects in Iceland, Sweden, the Caribbean, and the U.S.
Raleigh Barnes has been gardening for over 20 years and worked extensively with tropical/ subtropical
edibles, Florida endemic species and epiphytes. He attributes his working plant knowledge
to his father, permaculture mentors, numerous books, and direct hands-on design experience
with his company, Third Insight Design. Belonging to numerous plant clubs and societies,
Raleigh has created the Apollo Beach Garden Club and is actively working with the
Club to create a Community Forest Garden space at the Apollo Beach Recreation Center.
He plans to continue to create productive landscapes, expand their plant inventory,
and deliver meaningful experiential educational courses, workshops, and seminars.
Raleigh ultimately plans to move to Costa Rica and live off of the grid in an intentionally
designed space that incorporates permaculture and analog forestry.
T.H. Culhane, Ph.D., is the Director of the Climate Change concentration at the Patel College
of Global Sustainability at USF. He teaches courses in the Food and Climate concentrations.
He is also the co-founding director of the not-for-profit educational corporation
"Solar CITIES Inc.," which helps community stakeholders solve urban ecology and development
issues surrounding waste-water, solid waste, food security and decentralized clean
energy production. Dr. Culhane is the Program Director at the Rosebud Continuum Sustainability
Education Center in Pasco County where he lives off grid and conducts research on
biodigesters, renewable energy, and regenerative agriculture.
Dell deChant is Associate Chair of the Depart- ment of Religious Studies at USF. He is a Master
Instructor and has served at USF since 1986. The author of three books, over forty
articles, and chapters in twelve books, deChant's specialization is religion and contemporary
cultures. His current research focuses on religious, literary, and ecological expressions
of Agrarianism as they manifest in American popular culture. deChant is Chair of
the Environmental Committee of the City of New Port Richey, the Convener of the USF
Urban Food Sovereignty Group, a founding member of Food Policy Council of Pasco County,
and a member of the Florida Food Policy Council and Ecology Florida's Board of Directors.
Joseph W. Dorsey, Ph.D., is Associate Professor, Director of the Food Sustainability and Security
Concentration, Director of the Academic Capstone Experience (ACE), and Associate Dean
for Academic Affairs in the Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) at USF.
As a student at Howard University, he completed his bachelor's in Human Ecology with
a concentration in human nutrition and food, and his master's in International Development.
He worked as a clinical nutritionist in Africa and the Caribbean, and as a public
health professional in the U.S., before completing his doctorate at the University
of Michigan in Natural Resources and Environment. His doctoral dissertation was entitled,
“Community-Based Activism within an Environmental Justice Frame: The Siting of a Waste-to-Energy
Facility in Flint-Genesee County.” Dr. Dorsey is an experienced educator in the interdisciplinary
fields of environmental justice, urban ecology, and sustainability science. He has
held faculty positions at Michigan State University, Miami University of Ohio, and
USF – St Petersburg. He has worked extensively with community groups on social and
environmental issues in Detroit, Flint, Cincinnati, and St. Petersburg. His research
interests include: brownfield redevelopment; urban agriculture; corporate social responsibility
and sustainability management; residential lawn, yard and xeriscaping practices; and
community economic empowerment initiatives such as neighborhood gardens, vertical
farms, and hydroponic growing operations.
Lupe Gonzalo is a staff member and leader of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). A farmworker
herself, Ms. Gonzalo has over 12 years of experience working in the fields of Florida.
As part of the Fair Food Program, Ms. Gonzalo and her colleagues conduct worker-to-worker
education sessions on human rights in the fields on all farms participating in the
program. Ms. Gonzalo’s work at the CIW includes hosting daily radio shows on the CIW’s
low-power community FM radio station, leading the weekly women’s group meetings, receiving
complaints of abuses in the fields, managing wage theft claims, and investigating
cases of sexual violence and modern-day slavery. Finally, Ms. Gonzalo represents the
CIW at a national level, speaking publicly on the challenges faced by farmworkers
in Florida, both during major demonstrations with thousands of consumers and in dozens
of presentations throughout the year.
Brooke Hansen, Ph.D., is an anthropologist with specialties in food systems, sustainable tourism,
indigenous studies, and gender. Her research covers food sovereignty in indigenous
communities and colonized spaces, community-based agriculture and food systems, and
leveraging the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She serves as the Director of Sustainable
Tourism at the Patel College of Global Sustainability and as the Director of the SDG
Action Alliance at USF. Dr. Hansen is a member of the USF Urban Food Sovereignty Group,
the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, and the Tampa Bay Governing Council.
David Himmelgreen, Ph.D., is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Advancement
of Food Security & Healthy Communities at USF. He is a biocultural nutritional anthropologist
with expertise in maternal-child nutrition, growth and development, food security,
dietary change and health, and community nutrition programming. He has conducted
research in Costa Rica, Lesotho, India, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Since 2015, he
has participated in multiple projects addressing food insecurity in Tampa Bay. Dr.
Himmelgreen has published more than 90 articles, book chapters, and edited volumes
and has received funding from the NSF, USDA, NIH, Fulbright Commission, UNICEF, state
agencies, and private and corporate entities involved in reducing hunger and food
Annie Jiménez grew up in a multicultural family in Costa Rica. Since a young age she has spent
many hours outdoors observing and playing with animals and plants. Little did she
know this childhood devotion to spiders and trees, as well as her periodical trips
to the farmers market with her dad, would spark her instinct to grow, taste, cook
and preserve food. Annie has diversified her skills from cooking, to eating, designing,
crafting, growing, drawing and building. She enjoys working with her hands and seeing
happiness in people’s eyes when they eat her food. Annie makes it a point to bring
different perspectives to the table every day. She will continue to work on what she
believes is her responsibility -- creating better relationships between humans and
nonhumans, improving the ways humans nurture themselves and the earth, and leading
a lifestyle of everyday accomplishments.
Rob Marlowe is the mayor of New Port Richey, Florida, where he has been a resident since 1963.
A native Floridian, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida Southern College, and
an MBA from the University of Florida. He is co-owner of Gulfcoast Networking, a computer
tech business located in downtown New Port Richey since early 2003. Rob is currently
serving his third consecutive term as mayor, having first been elected in 2014. Prior
to serving as mayor, Rob served as member of the City Council from 2007 to 2013. Under
Rob’s leadership, New Port Richey expanded its commitment to urban agrarianism and
the development of sustainable food systems – which has its roots in pioneering projects
dating back to the 1990s. Included in the City’s commitment to local food sovereignty
are an urban agriculture ordinance, a community garden ordinance, a public seed library,
a farmer’s market, and support of four local food festivals. Recently, Rob championed
the City’s membership in the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Rob’s leadership exemplifies
the way pro-active commitment from municipal government can support and advance food
The Rev. Dr. Gabriel Morgan is the pastor of the Lutheran Urban Parish of Tampa, which consists of St. Paul Lutheran
Church, the oldest continuously existing Lutheran Church in Tampa, and Faith Lutheran
Church, which is home to the GIFT Center Garden. He is a graduate of Union Theological
Seminary in New York, where he received a Master of Divinity degree and the Hitchcock
Prize for excellence in historical theology. He received a Doctor of Philosophy degree
from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, which is now called United
Lutheran Seminary. His dissertation was on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Paul Ricoeur, and
he has presented on this and related research at several conferences, including the
American Academy of Religion. Originally from Tampa, Gabriel is also a proud alumnus
of USF with a bachelor's in philosophy and much love for the Department of Religious
Studies. He and his wife Erin live in Southeast Seminole Heights.
Monica Petrella is a passionate advocate for regional food systems in her role as the Food System
Program Cooridinator for Hillsborough County. She first learned about the power of
regional economic systems while attending the Small Farms Conference hosted by UF
IFAS in 2012. She attended the University of Florida where she graduated with her
B.S. in Food and Resource Economics supplemented with a minor in Organic and Sustainable
Crop Production. She later attended the University of Vermont to earn a M.S. in Community
Development and Applied Economics, specializing in Community Food Systems. Through
her work on small farms, community gardens, and in farm-to-table restaurants, she
has met a variety of stakeholders in the Tampa Bay Food System. Before starting her
position with Hillsborough County, she was active in community organizing and political
Will Schanbacher, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at USF. His research interests concentrate on religious and social ethics with a focus on the global food system and globalization and poverty. He is the author of Food as a Human Right: Combatting Global Hunger and Forging a Path to Food Sovereignty (Prager, 2019), The Politics of Food: The Global Conflict between Food Security and Food Sovereignty (Praeger, 2010), an editor of The Global Food System: Issues and Solutions (Praeger, 2014). He is currently working with local religious organizations on projects to build gardens in the Tampa area. His forthcoming book, Food Insecurity: A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO, forthcoming, 2022) addresses the history of food insecurity in the United States. He is the director of the department’s Global Citizen Project and member of the steering committee for USF’s Urban Food Sovereignty Policy Group.
The 2020 Tampa Bay Urban Food Sovereignty Summit is a ResearchOne event because it promotes the research-related activities of USF faculty and other experts in the field of food sovereignty. It is jointly sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Sociology, Ecology Florida, and ResearchOne.
To learn more about the USF Urban Food Sovereignty Group and ways you can become involved in local food sovereignty initiatives, please visit our website.
To make a gift to the USF Urban Food Sovereignty Group, click here.
(Your gift will help support future summits and activities of the USF Urban Food Sovereignty Group.)