Global Asia Talks: Food Justice in Focus

May 14, 2022

A conversation about food justice for explorASIAN Festival 2022, featuring poet, organizer, and educator Mercedes Eng; researcher and organizer Yi Chien Jade Ho; scholar, activist, educator, and citizen eater Tammara Soma; and organizers with Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice and DTES SRO Collaborative.

Food is crucial to how we care for each other, come together in community, and express ourselves culturally. At the same time, the systems that condition how food is produced, made, and distributed proliferate injustice at every scale, from environmental degradation to labour exploitation. On May 14th, please join us for a conversation with local activists, artists, and academics who are taking up rich legacies of struggle to imagine more nourishing futures for all. What’s possible, and what will be required to get there?

Refreshments will be provided. We are committed to gathering as safely as possible under current conditions. All attendees will be required to adhere to both SFU and provincial health and safety protocols, which may include registering to attend, showing proof of vaccination, and wearing a mask. If necessary, the conversation may take place virtually over Zoom. We will provide more details closer to the time. In the meantime, please contact with other accessibility needs.


Mercedes Eng is the author of Mercenary English, Prison Industrial Complex Explodes (winner of the BC Poetry Prize), and my yt mama. Her writing has appeared in the Lambda-nominated anthology Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry, Jacket 2, Asian American Literary Review, The Abolitionist, and BlackFlash. Mercedes is the incoming Ellen and Warren Tallman Writer-in-Residence at Simon Fraser University.

Yi Chien Jade Ho is an education PhD candidate, researcher and organizer. Jade has been a housing-justice organizer for the past 6 years working primarily with the Vancouver Tenants Union and in Vancouver’s Chinatown fighting against gentrification and racism. She is also a labour organizer with the Teaching Support Staff Union, as well as a member of Contract Worker Justice @SFU, a campaign demanding the end of outsourcing of food service and cleaning workers.

Dr. Tammara Soma MCIP RPP is an Assistant Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management (Planning Program) at Simon Fraser University and Research Director of the Food Systems Lab. Originally hailing from Indonesia, she conducts research on issues pertaining to food loss and waste, food system planning, food access, and the circular food economy. Dr. Soma is a Co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Food Waste, and co-founder of the International Food Loss and Food Waste Studies group, a global network of FLW researchers and practitioners. Dr. Soma was selected as a committee member of the US National Academies of Science and co-authored the consensus study A National Strategy to Reduce Consumer Food Waste. She leads numerous tri-council funded research projects and is routinely featured in international and local media (BBC, CBC, TVO, CTV, Huffington Post, National Observer, Chatelaine and more). In 2021, the Food Systems Lab was recognized as one out of the four women-run projects that are redefining agriculture by the Canadian Organic Grower. She was also named in Chatelaine magazine as one of the 10 inspiring Canadian women saving the environment. She is a registered professional planner and a proud mother of three.

Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice 世代同行會 supports youth and low-income immigrant seniors in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside. They build power in the community through intergenerational relationship building, and by helping seniors overcome language and cultural barriers to services that meet their basic needs. Their vision is of a Chinatown that is intergenerational and thriving, with accessible and culturally relevant services and an environment that cherishes our seniors and youth.

The DTES SRO Collaborative works to organize tenants in Single Room Occupancy hotels in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and Chinatown, with a focus on improving habitability, safety and housing and food security.


David Lam Centre, Simon Fraser University

Global Asia Program, Simon Fraser University

Saturday, May 14, 2022 | 2PM - 4PM