The Challah Convention: A New Normal
Tuesday and Wednesday August 17 & 18, 2021
Sessions will run between 1-6pmEST/10am-3pmPST
Please note: this Convention is completely virtual
This year was challenging. Our “normal” was upended, we couldn’t gather in person, we baked challah on Zoom, we advocated online, and we built community through screens and phone calls. As many of us get excited to return to campus in the fall, we may see a lot of focus on returning to “normal.” But was “normal” working?
The pandemic put a spotlight on the issue of campus food insecurity. As students had to find new sources for housing and meals, it became clear that many students did not have access to the resources they needed. We saw an increase in campus food insecurity, with 3 in 5 students experiencing basic needs insecurity, and 1 in 3 students not knowing where their next meal was going to come from or when it would be.
As the world and our country witnessed the murder of Black Americans at the hands of police officers, a rise in the Movement for Black Lives, and a rise in anti-Asian hate and violence, we knew we needed to center racial justice in our food justice work. Systemic racism impacts our campus communities and our food systems, and our role as food justice advocates necessitates that we center our advocacy through a racial justice lens.
We have all changed this year, and this year has changed us. Instead of going back to what our normal was, at this Convention, we’re going to envision what we want our new normal to look like. We’ll celebrate the changes that have occurred, and create a path to continue down, to make our education in our country a more equitable place.
all times are in EST
This is Fine: Dealing with Activism Burnout, facilitated by Maya Falb, student leader at the Clark University CfH chapter
Activism burnout affects all of us, whether we’re aware of it or not. As we gear up for in-person events again, it’s important to recognize the signs and stressors that we haven’t had to acknowledge for the past year that could impact your mental health. At this session, you’ll learn what to look out for and brainstorm ways to prevent it!
Keynote Address: In Conversation with Representative Dwight Evans, D-PA
We are excited to welcome Representative Dwight Evans, D-PA 3rd District, as our keynote speaker.
Congressman Dwight Evans represents Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South and Center City Philadelphia. He was first elected in a special election in November 2016. Before that, he served as a state representative for 36 years, and earned a reputation as a pragmatic leader who knows how to put public policy above politics and make ideas matter. He made history in 1990 when he became the first African-American chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, a position he held for two decades.
Throughout his public service career, Congressman Evans has worked tirelessly to expand and broaden access to economic and educational opportunities for all Philadelphians. Join for our keynote conversation with Representative Evans to learn about his career in public service fighting for food justice and ways you can build relationships with your elected officials to end campus hunger.
Five Things You'll Learn from Work in Public Policy: Personal and Professional Development through Challah for Hunger Advocacy, facilitated by Ava Bianchi, student leader at the Muhlenberg College CfH chapter
The advocacy component of our work with Challah for Hunger is so important, not just in the sense of bringing about policy change for the masses, but to us students in regards to our personal and professional development. At this session, we'll be talking about how op-eds, lobbying, reaching out to government officials and understanding the national FuelHigherEd campaign are all things that we can market and build off of as we move on into our own professional pursuits.
Where do our funds go? A conversation with our national philanthropic partner, Swipe Out Hunger, facilitated by Emily Kass, Community Engagement Manager SOH
Join us for a conversation with Emily Kass, Community Engagement Manager at Swipe Out Hunger, to learn about how Swipe Out Hunger, our national philanthropic partner, uses the funds raised by our campus chapters to make incredible impacts. Hear about how Swipe Out Hunger has pivoted this past year to address the increased need as many campuses and dining halls closed, and how they are continuing to create change this fall. At this session, you’ll get re-energized to engage in meaningful philanthropy this coming semester, as you’ll hear about the impact your funds have on the lives of college students across the country.
FUELing Our Movement this Fall: Policy and action updates from our #FUELHigherEd campaign, facilitated by Miriam Lipschutz, Director of Advocacy CfH
Learn about how you and your chapter can get involved in impacting policies in your state this fall with Challah for Hunger’s #FUELHigherEd campaign! Founded in May 2020, the #FUELHigherEd campaign has gained over 50 organizational partners and gathered hundreds of individuals to take action to fight for Fundamental, Universal, Equitable, and Long-term state and federal policies to end campus hunger. At this session, we’ll review our campaign goals, celebrate our wins so far this year, and share how your chapter can play a role in continuing to move the needle forward on legislation on a state and national level this fall.
Sprinkling in Direct Service to Your Chapter Ingredients, facilitated by Adina Hirsch, student leader at the University of Florida CfH chapter
This session will focus on the importance of implementing direct service into the philanthropy, community building, and advocacy pillars of Challah for Hunger chapters. Focusing on developing a relationship with each chapter’s local partner, this session will hone on interpersonal relationships and performing direct service within the framework of each chapter. This session will also provide tangible steps to create a more inclusive chapter and help participants develop their interpersonal skills and a culture of volunteering.
Addressing Student Hunger this Past Year: Perspectives from the Field
Join our panelists in conversation as they discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student hunger, how they have seen student hunger addressed this past year, and their hopes for how the issue will be addressed in the future. Each panelist will bring their unique experience and expertise you can learn from and take back to your chapter in the fall.
Valerie Morishige, MPH, Tufts University
Ali Caccavella, Vice President of Policy and Systems Change, uAspire
Marcos Montes, Higher-Education Policy Consultant, Southern California College Access Network
Now More than Ever: Incorporating Racial Justice into our Work as Student Advocates facilitated by Natalie David, student leader at the Muhlenberg College CfH chapter
1 in 3 students at 4-year institutions experiences food insecurity, but students of color are disproportionately impacted. The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice also found that the basic needs insecurity gap between Black and white students was 19%. Last January, Challah for Hunger launched their racial justice chapter commitment statement, which outlines goals for incorporating racial justice into each campus chapter’s work. During this event, we will understand what this statement is, why it is necessary to prioritize an anti-racism lens in our work as food justice advocates, and outline clear, tangible ideas and events for you to take back to your chapters.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Challah Convention?
The Challah Convention is Challah for Hunger’s national gathering of student leaders and volunteers from chapters across the country. This year, although we can’t be together in person, we’ll be convening virtually to celebrate our successes and jumpstart our action in the fall.
This year was challenging. Our “normal” was upended, we couldn’t gather in person, we baked challah on Zoom, we advocated online, and we built community through screens and phone calls. As we get excited to return to campus in the fall, we may see a lot of focus on returning to “normal.” But was “normal” working?
The pandemic shone a spotlight on the issue of campus food insecurity. As students had to find alternatives to dorm living and dining hall meals, it became clear that many students did not have access to alternatives. We saw an increase in campus food insecurity, with 1 in 3 students not knowing where their next meal was going to come from or when it would be.
As the world watched escalating police brutality, the murder of Black Americans at the hands of police officers, a rise in the Movement for Black Lives, and a rise in anti-Asian hate and violence, we knew we needed to to center racial justice in our food justice work. Systemic racism impacts our campus communities and our food systems, and our role as food justice advocates necessitates that we center our advocacy through a racial justice lens.
We have all changed this year, and this year has changed us. Instead of going back to what our normal was, at this Convention, we’re going to envision what we want our new normal to look like. We’ll celebrate the changes that have occurred, and create a path to continue down, to make our campuses and country a more equitable place.
When is the Challah Convention?
The Challah Convention will take place virtually on Tuesday and Wednesday August 17 & 18, 2021.
How much does it cost to attend the Challah Convention?
There is no cost to attend the Convention!
What kinds of sessions will there be?
Sessions will be interactive and held on Zoom and social media platforms. They’ll span a wide array of topics ranging from discussing local and national advocacy work, community building and philanthropy, mental health and preventing burnout, centering racial justice in food advocacy, and finding new and innovative ways to connect virtually. We’ll have informal spaces to connect with others in our network and guest speakers will share about their work fighting campus food insecurity. Most sessions will be student-led and cover topics directly related to CfH chapter function, advocacy, philanthropy, and community.
How do I register?
Register here by August 10, 2021. Then, forward this registration link along to a friend from your chapter, your chapter’s advisor, a campus administrator, or anyone else you’d like to invite to the Convention! By registering, you also commit to bringing along at least one buddy.
Who else will be at the Challah Convention?
Over 70 students from Challah for Hunger chapters around the country will be there! Challah for Hunger staff, students, alumni, guest speakers, and community members will be there to meet you, lead sessions, and participate alongside you.
What will I get out of attending?
Hear what our past attendees have said...
“I feel so invigorated to further my growth as an advocate and leader in my campus community.” - 2020 Convention
“I thought it was a really great opportunity to be able to speak with both Challah for Hunger staff members and current students who have leadership roles in their own campus' chapter. I learned so much, and it made me feel much more comfortable moving forward with virtual events this semester.” - 2020 Convention
“I loved hearing from leaders across the country who are passionate about the work we Challah for Hunger leaders do. It was also great to brainstorm with other Challah for Hunger students to come up with ways to be creative on campus.” - 2020 Convention
“I found all of the sessions I attended to be very useful and contributed to my understanding of student food insecurity and how we as CFH members can make meaningful changes.” - 2020 Convention
What if I have more questions?
Please reach out to Contact CfH Program Manager Hannah Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org.