Transforming Community Food Systems

March 12

5:30pm - 8:30pm


This course offers students an opportunity to 1) explore the complexities of the local food system, 2) learn about activities of community-based food organizations that use a social justice lens, and 3) sharpen community development skills as needed to provide healthy food alternatives.

Using lecture, videos, and individual and group work in each session, including one class held at a local food-focused organization, students will be introduced to basics of community-building using a food justice lens, enhancing access to healthy food, and food system policy development. Students will become familiar with academic-community partnerships that conduct food justice research, the role of local governments in this work, and local organizations that work in cooperatives, schools, and non-profit settings to increase food access and address food insecurity.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify a food insecure community nearest where they live or work using food access assessments.
  • Inventory at least two local organizations that address increasing food access, lessening food insecurity and/or, increasing access through food recovery, rescue or waste diversion.
  • Apply different strategies to assess food insecure households in diverse settings.
  • Conduct asset-mapping to develop a one-page resource for food-insecure families in their targeted community.
  • Apply learned skills, assessments, and strategies in direct service or clinical settings.

This course offers 9 CE hours

Three Sessions
Tuesdays, February 26, March 5, and March 12, 2019
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
DU Campus (2/26 and 3/5); Denver Urban Gardens (3/12)

Cost: $300
Discounts (use code when registering):
DU Affiliates (alumni, faculty, staff): 10% off - code: CPDGSSW10
Students: 15% off – code: CPDGSSW15

Patricia Iwasaki, MSW, has roughly 10 years adjunct instructor experience at University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She has been an active member of the Sustainable Food Policy Council (SFPC) since 2013. She has presented nationally and internationally on the importance of academic-community collaborations, food insecurity, the importance of environmental justice with low income and communities of color, and community-based participatory research (CBPR). Before working with SFPC, she chaired the Minority Health Advisory Commission, a body that advises the Office of Health Equity and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Patti has a 20+ year history of work with low income, immigrant and refugee communities, addressing health equity, capacity development, and community empowerment.

Shannon Spurlock, MNM, earned her Master of Nonprofit Management from Regis University and currently serves as the Director of External Relations at Denver Urban Gardens (DUG), where she focuses on urban agriculture, food policy, fundraising and strategic partnerships. She is a member of the Colorado Food Policy Network and a founding member and former co-chair of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council. Shannon has successfully promoted programs and policies that both increase healthy food access and foster economic development. Additionally, Shannon strategizes and implements all development and communications projects for DUG, including formalizing the major donor program, planning fundraising events, and engaging institutional donors.

Mondi A. Mason, Ph.D., MPH is an applied anthropologist with over 28 years of experience in the field of public health. She primarily focuses on fostering community-driven solutions that impact health and equity using community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches. Currently, she is a Food Policy Program Administrator at the City and County of Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, and is leading a regional food system initiative to address neighborhood food environments. Mondi is the author of Food System Policies and Population Health: Moving Toward Collective Impact in Denver and numerous other publications. She has also worked as a consultant, taught and conducted research in various health care and academic settings, and has been a director of a community-based organization. She earned her doctorate in Health and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Colorado at Denver and completed her post-doctoral studies at the Kellogg Community Health Scholars Program at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.