Campus Global Theme Statement of Purpose

Campus Global Theme Statement of Purpose

The Campus Global Theme program identifies a topic linked to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and engages the entire UC Davis community in related discussion, learning, discovery, and action. The inaugural Campus Global Theme is Food for Thought: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding the Planet, emphasizing the global dimensions of discussing, celebrating, analyzing and acting upon feeding humanity.  

Food for Thought: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding the Planet

UC Davis’ first Campus Global Theme: Food for Thought: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding the Planet, roots itself in the strengths of the institution to call for programs that can help our community reflect on the work of nourishing our world. As a comprehensive research university, we have much to teach and more to learn about feeding—feeding for healthy bodies, minds, souls—and beyond that, ecosystems and economies. The Campus Global Theme program offers a platform, from January 2020 to June 2021, for the entire community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and our extended networks—to engage in discussion, debate, and dynamic action. The campus community is invited to submit proposals to host an event or activity.

Food for thought.

yogaAs a comprehensive research university, UC Davis prides itself on exploring paths that provide sustenance to the mind, the heart, communities, social movements, and the body. We produce, perform and study art, design, literature, poetry and music that reflect, provoke and soothe emotional hunger. We identify, develop and test approaches to cultivating relationships, institutions and societies that nurture the heart and mind. We acknowledge that how and whether we are nourished changes depending on various factors, including, amongst others who we are, where we are from, how we grow up, and the resources at our disposal. Our educational environment at UC Davis provides opportunities to examine how we pursue material, emotional, social and intellectual sustenance in our globally interconnected and interdependent world and gives us the tools to explore solutions for healthy, sustainable living. The Campus Global Theme for January 2020 to June 2021 encourages events and activities that explore material, spiritual and mental nourishment across cultures and enact projects that can satisfy a thirst for knowledge.

Food for thought.

food-insecurityRooted as a land-grant institution, UC Davis is committed to the teaching, research, and service needed to feed a growing population, even as some of our own students and regional neighbors lack access to adequate food. Through emphases on the production, transport and consumption of nutritious food and on food (in)security, attention to biodiversity, and a recognition of the urgent need for good stewardship of our natural environments, UC Davis collaborates across disciplines to focus on how to sustain and cultivate our planet so that it continues to support and nourish future generations. As UC Davis has grown, so too has its attention to related topics such as how to ensure healthy human and animal populations and how to ensure the right to nutritious food on campus, in California and beyond.  It has focused attention on how to recognize the struggles and well-being of the laborers who grow our food and on the people forced to migrate in search of food, and how our efforts to pursue all these objectives are shaped by global agricultural systems. Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this inaugural Campus Global Theme encourages our campus community to explore how we can collaborate to alleviate physical hunger and to create a sustainable global environment that looks to a future in which extreme hunger and social and environmental degradation become issues of the past. 

Food for thought.

food-dryingIn its many cross-disciplinary programs, institutes and centers, UC Davis recognizes and acts upon the power of crossing disciplinary, ideological, cultural and geographic borders to effectively address the challenge of providing physical, social and emotional sustenance to ourselves and our planet. Through our Campus Global Theme, we have opportunities to consider the music, physiology and psychology of feast and famine; we can explore with indigenous communities how their current and historical foodways can inform climate change adaptation, capture, map and interrogate the diversity and accessibility of what we eat, examine the potential ethical dilemmas of food production on our own and other planets, experiment with the use of culturally-rooted cuisines to feed ailing bodies or questing souls, assess the genetics of taste, and present and perform works created via online transnational collaboration to nourish intercultural communication and fill our hearts, amongst many other possibilities.

Programming and Events

We encourage our community to think creatively in developing venues for transdisciplinary, intercultural engagement that incorporate various ways of knowing, learning and participating.

Possibilities include:

  • guest speakers, colloquia;
  • trainings or workshops;
  • performances, films exhibits, or story-circles;
  • thematic meals;
  • podcasts or radio shows;
  • hackathons;
  • recognition of faculty, student and alumni research and connections;
  • dissemination of educational materials;
  • collaborative action with communities—in person or virtually;
  • and many, many more!

Ermias Kebreab Signature

Ermias Kebreab
Faculty Co-chair, Campus Global Theme
Associate Dean, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Director, World Food Center
Professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair, Animal Science
University of California, Davis

Erica Kohl-Arenas
Faculty Co-chair, Campus Global Theme
Faculty Director, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
Associate Professor, American Studies
University of California, Davis