Community Learning Program

Social Justice & Our Food System

Social Justice & Our Food System Community Learning Program

Photo: Halfpoint/iStockphoto

Community Learning Program

Social Justice & Our Food System

Photo: Halfpoint/iStockphoto

“This program far exceeded my expectations. From my experience taking and teaching classes online, I did not expect the level of engagement that our community achieved.”

Farm Sanctuary’s Social Justice & Our Food System Community Learning Program provides those interested in social justice and veganism with an opportunity for community-building, learning, reflection, and dialogue with the support of Farm Sanctuary program staff.

This free virtual 13-week program runs from the week of September 6 through the week of December 2, with a one-week and a two-week break incorporated into the program.

Using a social justice framework, we’ll explore veganism, patterns of oppression and injustice in the United States food system, and the treatment of farm animals.

Program participants gain insight into daily life at the sanctuary; learn the stories of resident survivors; examine the systems that perpetuate harm against farm animals, humans, and the planet; and explore pathways and possibilities to pursue a more just and compassionate food system and world.

The program features speaker videos and learning content from individuals such as:

  • Pattrice Jones, writer, educator, and co-founder of VINE Sanctuary
  • Lauren Ornelas, founder and president of Food Empowerment Project
  • Christopher Sebastian McJetters, author, researcher, and lecturer
  • Syl and Aph Ko, co-authors of Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters
  • JoVonna Johnson-Cooke and Eugene Cooke, growers and founders of Grow Where You Are, Awali Inc., and Maitu Foods
  • Claudia Serrato, Indigenous Culinary Anthropologist
  • Leah Penniman, Co-Director and Farm Manager, Soul Fire Farm
  • And more!

This is a free program; however, there’s a required reading list and it is the participants’ responsibility to obtain access to those materials. For those needing to or choosing to purchase those texts, we’ve intentionally limited the list to books available for a cumulative total of less than $100. (Assistance is available to cover the associated costs, as needed.)

Participants who actively participate in and complete the program will be invited to become a part of a growing program alumni community with regular opportunities for continued learning, fellowship, and organizing.

We will have two cohorts of the program, with each limited to 20 participants. One of the cohorts will be dedicated to educators, including K-12 teachers and college/university professors.

The application period for the Fall 2022 cohorts is now closed.

Please sign up below to receive Farm Sanctuary’s newsletter to be notified about upcoming program dates.

Program Objectives

  • To foster community among those interested in veganism and social justice

  • To provide an opportunity for counter-oppressive learning, critical thinking, and dialogue

  • To create a supportive environment to learn about and explore issues of social justice in the U.S. food system and society

  • To inspire action and a commitment to a vegan praxis for promoting greater justice and compassion

  • To support the development of emerging leaders in contributing to transformative change in their communities

“I first became vegan because of the cruelty and suffering that is undeniable in the factory farming industry. I am grateful for this program, its content, and our conversations, which have allowed me to see how my viewpoint was limited and failed to see the colonialism, racism, and ableism that also exists in our capitalist food system."

Additional Program Information

  • Participants should expect to spend five hours per week on this program, which consists of a required virtual meeting (2 hours and 15 minutes), review of learning materials, and contributing to a weekly group discussion forum.

  • All components of the program are virtual. Participants will need to have access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection to engage in discussion via an online learning platform and to attend and actively participate in weekly meetings and discussion over Zoom.

  • The program features recorded talks and presentations from external guest speakers.

  • The program is open to adults of any age, 18 and older, interested in social justice and veganism. We are looking for participants whose interests, experience, and intended application of their learning best align with the goals and content of the program. Historically, we have received many applications for a limited number of spots, so we are unable to accept everyone who applies.

  • Participants do not have to be vegan but are expected to be open to conversations about veganism as a central component of programming.

  • Participation is open to international applicants but focuses on issues specific to the U.S. food system.

“The [program content] further solidified for me how the oppression of farm animals (and other nonhuman animals) is connected to the oppression of marginalized human groups through racism, patriarchy, colonial practices and mindsets, and a hierarchical and dominator culture that prevails here in the US. I do, however, feel hopeful that the tide is changing (or can change).”

“These ten weeks have been amazing. I have learned more from all of you than I ever would have had I just read these materials [and] engaged with them myself. I truly thank you for creating a sanctuary for me to explore these topics.”

Connie sheep at Farm Sanctuary

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